Chilean cinema from the present and future will be a protagonist at Guadalajara’s 36th Festival

27 septiembre, 2021

By LatAm Cinema
SEPTEMBER 27, 2021

Between October 1st and 9th will run the Guadalajara International Film Festival (FICG) 36th edition, a key meeting for Latin-American cinema. Chile arrives at the Mexican city present at almost every section of the competition: 11 feature and short fiction films, animation, and documentary competing in four festival sections; eight projects participating at diverse industry sections: Guadalajara Builds, DocuLab, Coproduction Meeting, and Episode 0.

Chilean cinematography returns at Guadalajara after an outstanding participation scooping three awards in its last edition; Andrés Wood’s “Spider” won the Best Iberoamerican Film award, Luis Alejandro Perez’ “Piola” won Best Iberomaerican First Film, while the renowned actor Alfredo Castro won the Maguey and Mezcal awards with his work in Rodrigo Sepulveda’s “My Tender Matador”.

“FICG is a special and cherished place for Chilean cinema. For many years it has had a fundamental role in revealing our production at different development stages, from its participation at different industry sections to its posterior premiering at the festival”, says Paula Ossandón, Chiledoc’s director, the sectorial brand for Chilean documentaries. She remembers Chilean titles awarded at previous editions of the festival, like: Lissette Orozco’s “Adriana’s Pact”, Cristóbal Valenzuela Barrios’ “Stealing Rodin”, Claudia Huaiquimilla’s “Bad Influence”, and Alex Andwanter’s “You’ll Never Be Alone”.

This October, eleven Chilean titles have been selected to participate in different FICG sections. “Chilean production is going through a great moment. It has enjoyed great international recognition over the last few years at some of the most important film festivals in the world and at spaces considered to be industry barometers, like Oscar Awards. A fiction film (Sebastian Lelio’s ‘A Fantastic Woman) and an animation short film (Gabriel Osorio’s ‘Bear Story’), awarded in their respective categories, as well as a documentary (Maite Alberdi’s ‘The Mole Agent’) nominated this year. These kinds of milestones show how solid is our production’s development in every genre. In animation, for instance, we are seeing great things happening: in less than four months Hugo Covarrubia’s ‘Beast’ won at Annency, and Cristobal Leon’s and Joaquin Cociña’s ‘The bones’ was awarded at Venice”, explains Ossandon.

As part of 11 films competing at the Ibearomerican Feature Film section, four Chilean films stand out. “Immersion” by Nicolás Postiglione, coproduced between Chilean production companies Juntos Films, Araucaria Cine, PrimateLab, and Mexican production house Whisky, and Latido Films in charge of sales, will have its world premiere at Guadalajara. This film, which was part of Cinema in construction Toulouse – Lima 2020, is about a father and his two daughters who is forced to help three young men when their boat sinks, facing a series of prejudices and suspicions. “My brothers dream awake”, by Claudia Huaiquimilla, recently premiered at Locarno, was produced by Chilean film companies Lanza Verde and Inefable, with Meikincine in charge of sales. It is based on actual events and tells the story of two brothers who live at a juvenile detention center until a young man with a possible escape plan arrives. “To kill the beast” by Agustina San Martin is a coproduction between Argentinian companies Caudillo Cine and Lucila de Arizmendi, Brasilian company Estudio Giz and Chilean company Oro Films, with The Party Film Sales in charge of sales. The film, premiered at the Toronto Festival, is about a teenager facing her past when traveling to Misiones, looking for her lost brother. “Dusk stone”, by Ivan Fund, arrives at FICG after Venice, San Sebastian, and Biarritz. Produced by Argentinian companies Rita Cine and Insomnia, and Chilean company Globo Rojo Films, and Ellen Driver in charge of sales, the film is a fantastic drama led by a woman joining a friend who has just lost her son, to sell her summer vacation house, who hear rumors of a strange creature appearing.

Chile is also present at the Iberomerican Fiction Short Film with three projects: “I dreamed I was alive” by Eymeraude Cordon Le Beurier, produced by Maltrato Films and Parina Films; “A house in the sand”, by Cristobal Garcia Mauriz, produced by Vortice Films, and “An impossible love story”, by Javier Alonso, produced by Parina Films. Also, three animated short films are competing for the Rigo Mora Award: “Beast”, by Hugo Covarrubias, produced by Trebol 3 Producciones and Miyu Distribution; “Uninhabited” by Camila Donoso Astudillo, produced by Praxia Producciones, and “The bones” by Cristobal Leon and Joaquin Cociña, produced by Pista B and Diluvio.

In the industry area, eight Chilean projects are seeking to accelerate and strengthen their growth. “There is a powerful generation of new filmmakers who are daring genres by crossing them, mixing fiction and documentary, documentary and animation. They feel local stories are important, they are proud of their origins, question dominant cultural models, and take subjects that matter at a social level, like the role of women and their value, right to divergence and diversity, both in genre, racial identity, and politic freedom”, comments Ossandon.

At Guadalajara Builds, a space for feature fiction films in their first cut finalization and distribution funding, one of seven selected films is the Chilean “History and geography”, directed by Bernardo Quesney, and produced by Equeco. The film is about a television comedy actress returning to her hometown to stage a play in a quest to regain the artistic prestige she thinks she has lost in the past.

At DocuLab’s 13th edition, a documentary laboratory for projects at the editing stage, the Chilean film “Under suspicion” participates. Directed by Daniel Diaz Oyarzun, and produced by Pejeperro Films, the documentary reflects on Mapuche identity through the artistic work of the director’s uncle, Bernardo Oyarzun.

At Episode 0: developing series, a program consisting of intensive meetings between seven selected series and TV and film professionals, “The Outcast’s Dance” participates. The project is directed by Angel Linares and Emilio Aguilar Pradal, produced by Mexican companies Libres Films and Matriarca, Chile, and France. The six 45’ episode series is about four Frente Patriotico Manuel Rodriguez activists involved in different attempts against Pinochet’s dictatorship, who are discovered living in Mexico after 20 years as fugitives.

Lastly, five Chilean titles will be part of the Coproduction Meetings, a space for Iberoamerican developing projects to be presented to producers, buyers, distributors, and other decision-makers in different cinematographic development stages. “The search for coproductions is another feature evidencing Chilean cinema’s internationalization. There is a concern for finding alliances with other countries to join forces, as well as audiences. Our market is small, and national productions need these alliances to raise funds and broaden to new audiences. This is extremely important, for instance, for series. Fortunately, the great quality of Chilean production houses’ work allows these alliances to take place”, Ossandon explains. The five Chilean projects looking for partners at Guadalajara are “Now They’re Coming For Us’ by Shawn Garry and produced by Clara Films, “The White Room”, by Ana Piterbarg and produced by Bikini Films and Picardia Films, “Going Back Home” by Catalina Alarcon and produced by Mimbre producciones and Pequen producciones, “Animals” by Andres Waissbluth, produced by Avispa Cine, Retaguardia Films and Rayuela Films; and “Giraffes”, by Felipe Carmona and Sarahi Echeverría, produced by Clapproducciones and Otrolado Films.

Besides representatives of the titles mentioned above, the Chilean delegation at Guadalajara includes producers from the mission organized by CCDoc and Animachi, financed by the Ministry of Cultures, Arts, and Patrimony. Also, representatives from ProChile, CinemaChile, Chilean cinema’s sectorial brand, Chiledoc, Chilean documentary’s sectorial brand, and Chilean Animation, representing the animation world, are part of the mission. “Guadalajara will be one of the first Latin-American festivals and markets taking place in a hybrid format with a strong bet on on-site activities. For this same reason, and because of its closeness to Chilean audiovisual sector, Chilean participation will happen in both formats. Even though the main mission will be online, many directors and producers will attend in person. Until today a Chilean on-site stand has been confirmed, and two networking activities promoted by ProChile and Chiledoc”, concludes Ossandon.