Chilean cinema displays its diversity and international potential in Marché du Film.

9 julio, 2021

By LaTam Cinema
JULY 5, 2021

Cannes Film Festival, and its industry section Marché du film, will have a new edition from July 6th to the 17th, facing the challenges of a hybrid version that will include both face-to-face and virtual activities. In this Marché’ edition, Chilean cinema will be one of the region’s representatives with outstanding participation instead of a more discreet presence at the festival.

With the world premiere of her film «The Year of the Everlasting Storm» in the Special Screenings section, Dominga Sotomayor will be the only filmmaker of the austral country at the Cannes Film Festival. The film, produced by the American production companies’ Animal Kingdom, Neon and Rediencia, is directed collectively with Laura Poitras, Jafar Panâhi, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Anthony Chen, Malik Vitthal y David Lowery.

On the other hand, Chile will be one of the significant Latin American protagonists in Marché du Film, having participation that directly reflects on its cinema’s rising internationalization and its filmmaker’s talents. More than 60 industry professionals will be part of the delegation attending to the market, where many fiction, documentary and animation projects will have great visibility. Private and public institutions lead this mission: the Chilean Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage (MINCAP), ProChile, the Chilean Documentary Corporation, and its sectorial brand CinemaChile and Chiledoc, the Association of Chilean Animators and its sectorial brand Chile Animations, Chile Shorts and SANFIC Film Festival.

The Docs in Progress Showcase Chile, organized by the sectorial brand Chiledoc and which already held its first edition back in 2019, will be one of the major showcases for the austral country cinema. Four feature films looking to enhance their internationalization will complete the sample of works in the editing stage. Chiledoc director, Paula Ossandón, explains to LatAm cinema what are they waiting for this year’s edition: «We will be both onsite and online seeking to promote and connect Chilean documentalists with distributors, exhibitors, platforms, sales agents, festivals, grants and markets. We also want to create closer links with similar organizations to create alliances and with other producers to boost co-productions,» she says.

The four projects included in this activity dedicated to Chilean documentary examine identity and memory matters.

«Under Suspicion: Zokunentu,» Daniel Díaz’s debut film, is an autobiographic documentary where the director explores the stigma of being a Mapuche in the city through contemporary art. Produced by Pejeperro Films, this documentary is in its last stage of editing. «We look to connect with festival programmers, sales agents, distributors and other possible strategic partners that could be interested in joining this adventure, where we present ourselves as a young team mobilized by sociocultural problems,» Esteban Sandoval explains to LatAm cinema.

Also in its editing stage is the film «Edita», Pamella Pollak’s debut film. In this film produced by Pollak Films and Austral Content, the director wonders about her great aunt. The latter, during the Chilean military dictatorship, was accused by her family of madness.

«Bastard. The inheritance of a criminal», a Pepe Rovano documentary where he faces his relation with his father, a man convicted of crimes against humanity. The film produced with Totoral Media and co-produced with Italy had a long development and is currently in the production and post-production stages.

«Meeting Point», Roberto Baeza’s first feature film, completes the Docs in Progress Showcase Chile selection. Produced by La Toma and currently in its editing stage. The film plays with fiction to recreate what the parents of both filmmakers lived while being in a torture center.

Chile will also be part of Animation Days, a space dedicated to animation by this market and Annecy Film Festival, participating with five feature films in different stages. Some of those were recently part of MIFA, the industry space of Annecy Film Festival.

«Underground stories», arrives at Marché du Film after finishing its preproduction stage and presenting at Annecy’s Pitch Partner. The director, Jose María González, combines 2D and live-action to narrate a historical drama about the life of Ariel in two periods: the present time and the Pinochet’s dictatorship when Ariel’s house was a hideout for the two most wanted people during the Pinochet regime. Produced by the Chilean Cusicanqui Films and Niño Viejo and the Swedish Laika Film, the film examines the recent past as other Chilean animation shorts like «Bestia» and «The Happy Version of Eden,» presented at Annecy or older films as «The Wolf House» or «Bear Story.»

Currently in its finishing development and financing status, «Winnipeg, seeds of hope» is produced by El Otro Film and co-produced with Spain. This film also examines historical memory. The film, directed by Elio Quiroga and Beñat Beitia, follows a widowed father and his little daughter who exile Spain during the civil war. After being in a concentration camp in France, a ship chartered by Neruda opens the door to a new life in Valparaiso.

Also part of Animation Days is German Acuña’s next feature film, after premiering «Nahuel and the Magic Book.» Produced by Carburadores, «Devil’s Vein» is set in the Atacama Desert during the height of the mining boom in the 1920s. After stealing a gold piece to save his brother, a humble teenager got herself in trouble with the actual owner of the gold: the devil under the desert. The film targets children and preadolescents (9 to 13 years old) and is currently preproduction.

Set in the other extreme of the country, the 3D film «Uky and Lola in the Land of Fire» is currently in the preproduction stage. Directed by Fabián Andrade and produced by Wild Bunch Studio, the film follows a young Selk’nam and a Shaman apprentice, who must work together to save their people from the evil sheep farmers trying to enslave them and usurp the land.

The last film in the Chilean animation selection in Marché du Film is «Granpa Miguel». Directed by Tomás Montalva and produced by Llolleo Creativo, this film’s protagonist is a retired fisherman who will try to find his first love after finding that he has only one week left to live. This project, targeted at a family audience, is in the financing stage.

«Chile will be one of the major Latin American participants in Marché du Film, with a sizeable involvement that reflects the growing internationalization of its filmography and its talents.»

Chilean cinema will also be a part of Goes to Cannes, an instance that will include the participation of the SANFIC Festival industry area. The Chilean festival debuts in this space by sharing the first cut of five feature films, including «Patient(ly)» directed by Constanza Fernández. Produced by Celosa y Niño Niña Film, the movie narrates the patriarch and expert in bioethics who must fight the health system after contracting a strange sickness. The producer and director will attend Marché to outline the film’s international circuit through networking with sales agents and distributors, as she explains to LatAm cinema.

Under the umbrella of the SANFIC Film Festival, the Brazilian films «Empty House» by Giovani Borba and «Life that’s left» by Flavio Botelho and the Argentinian films «That weekend» by Mara Pescio and «Daughter» by Martin Desalvo will also be present in this instance.

The country’s horror and genre films will also have a great space in the market. The Argentinian platform, Blood Window, selected two Chilean projects for its showcase: «Dead Alive» by Sandra Arriagada and «Alien Island» by Cristóbal Valenzuela. At the same time, «Fever», a film in post-production stage directed by Elisa Eliash, will be presented at Fantastic 7, a joint initiative between Cannes Film Festival and Sitges Film Festival. This film is a La Forma Cine production made in co-production with Peruvian Films Bastaría and Tiempo Libre, and it’s the story of Nino. This boy travels to another world during a high fever episode. In this journey, a painting will absorb him, and the only way to get out is by entering another paint. The boy takes a remarkable journey through a maze of unique, fast-paced adventures whose final destination is home. This film was selected for this instance by Guadalajara International Film Festival.

Producers Network is a Marché space reserved for producers from all over the world. Five Chilean professionals will have meetings with peers from the United Kingdom, Poland, Russia, and Baltic countries. The attendants are Alejandra García from Wood Producciones; Gabriela Sandoval from Storyboard Media; Dominga Sotomayor from Cinestación; Alejandro Ugarte from Infractor Films and Giancarlo Nasi from Quijote Films. They participate in Marché under the umbrella of the public-private agency Cinema Chile.

Among other projects, Storyboard Media will present «Maybe It’s True What They Are Saying About Us», a film by Sofía Gómez and Camilo Becerra that narrates the story of a mother and a daughter who reconnect after macabre news that affects their lives. The film, co-produced by the Chilean production house La Jauría, the Argentinean’s Murillo Cine and Moracha Films, and the French Manny Films, will attend Marché to seek a sales agent.

As the producer house explains to LatAm cinema, Quijote Films will assist with the Niles Atallah film «Celestial Twins», looking for co-production and investment alliances. This film is about a mother and her son confined at home because of a global pandemic. The production house will also seek co-production and financing for «The Mysterious Gaze of the Flamingo», the debut film of Diego Céspedes, director of the awarded short film «The Summer of the Electric Lion». The film, co-produced with the French production company Les Valseurs, is set in 1984 and follows a preadolescent girl who lives in a desert town affected by a mysterious disease.

On another aspect, the production Company Lanza Verde will seek a sales agent for the second film of Claudia Huaiquimilla, «My Brothers Dream Awake», a co-production with the Chilean Ineffable. Its premiere will be at Locarno Film Festival. Lanza Verde will also present “Good Boy, Pangui”, coproduced with Niño Viejo and Plastivida; and the mockumentary “A song to die”, coproduced with Tercer Mundo.

The production house Equecco assists Marché with «Designation of origin», the second film by Tomás Alzamora, which is currently in preproduction and is looking for co-production. The production house also wants to define a world premiere and find a distributor for Alzamora new shot film «For some horses». In addition, Equecco will present two feature films in post-production, «History and geography» by Bernardo Quesney, looking for a co-production and a possible sales agent and «We forgot» by Belen Giadach, searching for its world premiere and a sales agent or distributor.

Suimang assists Marché with the feature film «Is there something instead of nothing at all?» directed by Peter McPhee and produced by La Elefant Producciones, seeking international distribution and participation in genre-film and documentaries festivals. In addition, the production company will also present «Mar & Cielo», a short film with a solid ecological mark by Rocío Huerta and Roberto Zamora. Along these lines, according to the Suimanga director Ana Belén Asfura, «we also want to establish new alliances for future projects, not only in audiovisual content but also in eco-sustainable production services and labs.»

The production company Calibre 71 will attend the market with three projects lead by David Albala («Jailbreak Pact») in development status: the paranormal mystery thriller series «Friendship Island», with Albala as showrunner; the feature film «Viento Blanco», a suspense drama about a Chilean military accident in the high mountain; and the documentary series «Me río con América», about two comedians that travel the continent uniting regional humour. The producer, Igal Abdala, explains to LatAm cinema that their goal in Marché is to find alliances with potential partners «with enough support to bet on ambitious projects […] aimed at the large audience without being simply commercial.»

Lastly, Astromelia Films participates in Marché with the project in development status «Cagliostro: the film poet» by Orlando Torres, for which it will seek support and financing networks.

The program also includes a dozen screenings of finished films and a selection of eight short movies at the Short Film Corner. The Chilean delegation is completed by BF Distribución, Cintamani Films, J. Andrés Arce, La Ventana Cine, Yareta Producciones, Glaciar Films and Wolf Producciones.