With a World Premiere and two Official Selections, Chilean documentary stands out at Sheffield DocFest

3 junio, 2024

Relentless Memory, a film about indigenous peoples and human rights, will have its World Premiere in the International Competition of this English festival. Its screenings here.

● In addition, the story behind the work done by a company of firefighters putting out dreadful simultaneous fires in Chile, told in Pirópolis, will have its European Premiere at this event. Its screenings here.

● The developing project A Troop of Bears, is the third Official Selection, in this case to participate in the MeetMarket of this important film event. The attendance of its filmmakers to this event is supported by Mincap.


The 31st edition of Sheffield DocFest, one of England’s main documentary film events, will be held between June 12 and 17, with a solid Chilean presence. Relentless Memory, directed by Paula Rodríguez and produced by Paola Castillo and Gema Juárez Allen, will have its world premiere as an official selection in the festival’s international competition. In addition, Piropolis, directed by Nicolas Molina and produced by Joséphine Schroeder and Francisca Barraza, has been selected to participate in the People & Community section.

The official selection of the prestigious festival market, MeetMarket, will include A Troop of Bears, a project directed by Christián Martínez, Paola Castillo, and Pachi Bustos, and produced by Paola Castillo and Alejandra Díaz. Additionally, more than a dozen producers will be part of the Chilean delegation present in Sheffield, thanks to the support of the Ministry of Arts, Culture, and Heritage (Mincap).

«The presence of this Chilean delegation at Sheffield DocFest is another demonstration of the commitment we have as the Ministry of Culture to the audiovisual sector. And that commitment has also been reflected in the special impulse that our government has given to the creative industries, with concrete measures such as the return of the IFI and the bill that establishes tax benefits for foreign companies that film in Chile. We will continue to grow and support local creators, in Chile and around the world,” said Carolina Arredondo, Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage.

“Chilean documentary arrives at Sheffield DocFest and its significant market, with brave stories that are artistically solid and showcase the thematic diversity that characterizes us as a sector. Over the past 8 years, Chiledoc has focused on strengthening its relationship with this festival, mainly because its quest revolves around daring films with surprising perspectives that enrich its programming. The Chilean presence, through the 2 selected films and the project in the market, as well as the works in progress carried by the producers of the delegation, precisely reflects a variety of perspectives and, at the same time, the risk-taking in storytelling, which resonates strongly with the audience in Sheffield and the international industry,» comments Diego Pino Anguita, Deputy Director of Chiledoc, an initiative responsible for promoting and disseminating Chilean documentary cinema worldwide.

Reclaiming Ancestral Memories

Determined to unearth the silenced history of her ancestors, Margarita, a Mapuche activist and researcher, embarks on a profound journey guided by the diary of Katrulaf, a Mapuche Indigenous warrior. She retraces the deportation route of the Mapuche people. By uncovering this past, she gives voice to the displaced people and the genocide inflicted upon them during the military invasions that founded Argentina and Chile.

Through a blend of archival footage and present-day images, Relentless Memory becomes a record of resistance and remembrance, poetically interweaving the ancestral Mapuche landscape with the memories that were forcibly erased from the land and its people. Margarita’s emotional journey, evocatively captured by Paula Rodriguez, supports her belief that «revisiting history not only reopens wounds but also offers the opportunity to rebuild ourselves.

Relentless Memory is a co-production between Chile and Argentina. It is part of the International Competition’s selection at Sheffield DocFest, which, according to the festival, «rewards films that show a strong artistic vision and courageous storytelling.»

Chile in Flames

Within the People & Community section, which celebrates and questions the ties that bind us together, as described by Sheffield DocFest, Piropolis has been selected. The documentary unfolds through the eyes of the Pompe France fire brigade, a company with diplomatic ties to France. The film presents Valparaíso as a threatened city. The captain and his crew welcome Baptista, a French firefighter who has arrived to provide training on fires caused by the eucalyptus forests surrounding the city. However, amidst the escalating social and political crisis of the 2019 uprising, the brigade finds itself confronting violent protests. They must also come to terms with the inclusion of women in their traditionally male-dominated environment.

In the words of Sheffield DocFest, this documentary «is visually striking and highlights the terrifying beauty of the fires: the hypnotic scenes crackle with tension as the crew battles the flames, but it is equally adept at addressing the chaos of a polarized society.»


Within the official selections, A Troop of Bears is included. It tells the story of the encounter between the son of a disappeared detainee and the man who betrayed him during the Chilean military dictatorship. The film explores the traces of forced disappearance, betrayal, silence, and guilt, proposing new images to dream about what could have been.

Chilean Delegation

Outstanding Chilean filmmakers and producers will also participate in this important meeting with their projects in development. The Chilean delegation includes Pablo Aravena, Pablo Navarrete, Paola Castillo, Josephine Schroeder, Pachi Bustos, Miguel Kopp, Christian Martínez, Paula Rodriguez, Nicolás Molina and the group of four producers selected by the Council for the Arts and Audiovisual Industry (CAIA): Carola Fuentes from La Ventana Cine; Joaquin Echeverria from Brisa Films; Florencia Dupont from Santiago Independiente and Fernando Fuentes from El Espino Films.

Additionally, Diego Pino will participate in this edition of Sheffield DocFest as a jury member for the International First Feature Competition.

About Chiledoc

Chiledoc promotes the talents of Chilean documentary filmmakers and their films and series worldwide. Our commitment lies in fostering the sector’s expansion through strategic promotion, creating and strengthening networks, and promoting associative practices. We are a collective force.

Chiledoc is a public-private organization supported by ProChile under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chilean Corporation of Documentaries (CCDoc).

Natalia Raipan | periodista@ccdoc.cl