Focusing on Chile’s huge cinematic potential, Sanfic’s Chile Film Competition is set to receive national film productions and some promising co-productions from emerging and established Latin American talent.
The effort, backed by industry leaders Roberto Dovris, Alicia Sherson and Mexico’s Inti Cordera, illustrates how Chilean filmmakers are pulling in more support by presenting poignant, far-reaching stories.
The Chilean Film Competition was announced by Sanfic Industria, which will run from August 11-19 as a hybrid event.
Highly-anticipated projects include “Villa Olímpica,” produced in part by Cordera, who has already partnered with National Geographic and Discovery to bring forth compelling documentary series, and the fantasy feature “Piedra Noche,” which reunites the talented Argentine. Filmmaker duo Santiago Loza (“Extrano”) and Ivan Kosh (“Hoy No Me Too Mido”)
Also represented are young talents bowing their first feature efforts in projects such as Fernando Saldivia Yanez’s “Sobre Las Huellas del Tiempo,” and Agustina San Martín’s “Mater a la Bestia.”
Culturally significant documentaries that blend history and environmental and political themes with great works of fiction that carry an air of mystery and the supernatural create a well-curated and nuanced roundup. Films that question concepts of home and tradition are also passionately represented, reiterating unity in a world significantly torn apart by pandemics and growing uncertainty.
Speaking on the final selections, Sanfic artistic director Carlos Núñez commented, “There are ten films, three world premieres, two Latin American and five national projects, with different themes that connect with different audiences. In this edition, we are celebrating the national with films of great quality and artistic contribution. We celebrate the vibrancy of construction.
“This year the focus of our festival is on national productions because we believe it is necessary to highlight once again the importance of Chilean cinema and continue to be a window for national filmmakers who have seen their work directly affected by the pandemic,” added Francesca Florenzano. Executive Director of CorpoArtus Foundation.
Brief Description of Participating Titles:
“I want you to live my youth again” Chile. Director: Nicolas Guzman
A masterclass in empathy, this film by Nicolas Guzman (“If You Listen Carefully”) explores the intimate relationships that bind. It follows Victoria and José, who have two contrasting personalities, as they overcome their differences by finding surprising similarities in shared moments at the film school where José studies and Victoria works as a secretary.
The project reunites Guzmán with producers Roberto Dovris and Alicia Sherson of the Chilean independent production house Nina Nino Films. The trio previously worked on Guzman’s “Victim Potential,” a slick vampire tale for the Internet age. A highly regarded Chilean director, Dovris won the Grand Jury Prize at Berlinale in 2016 for his first film “Plantas”, which landed its Chilean premiere at Sanfique in 2019. Sherson, in particular, is considered an integral part of the new Chilean cinema. 2005 “Play” and “Il Futuro” directed by Rutger Hauer.
Francesca Soto Rojas shares production credits.
“Old Old” Chile. Director: Ignacio Pavez
This intergenerational drama centers on Carmen and Jorge, who suffer from the effects of age and declining health, set to take a significant toll on them as the days pass. In tandem, the short clips made by their granddaughter surface and allow a glimpse into the social and familial considerations of old age that lead to the protagonist’s continued decline and extremely severe state of neglect.
The film is written and directed by Ignacio Pavez (“Weed”), and produced by Pavez and Marc Nicolet of Santiago-based Gallo Negro Productions as well as Ivo Malinarich and Maximilian Bolados of Naira Films.
“The Brick Effect” Chile. Directors: Carola Fuentes, Rafael Valdeavellano
In an in-depth exploration of the Pinochet-era economic policies of the “Chicago Boys,” Carola Fuentes and Rafael Valdevellano return with an in-depth look at how those policies affected the public. The film follows unlikely allies Mariana and Ramiro as they navigate a growing revolution in a country tasked with shaking up neoliberal rule for future equal opportunity for all who live there.
During the turmoil leading up to the election of a new president and the drafting of a reworked constitution, the pair provide an honest representation of the issues through the eyes of someone who has suffered them and whom they have come to see harmed the most. Weak among us. Clips from the film were included in works-in-progress screenings at Toronto’s Hotdogs Fest in May, the film is produced by Chile’s Fuentes-Valdevellano-founded La Ventana Cine.
“In the Traces of Time” Chile. Director: Fernando Saldivia Yanez
An ambitious first-feature effort, Saldivia Yañez produces, writes, and directs this multi-generational story of a gaucho family from Magallanes that strives to keep traditions alive despite an ever-evolving global landscape. Through a rustic depiction of pastoral work, the film provides an intimate commentary on the environmental relationship to the land and the memories of the past that help sustain them.
Enrolled in an MFA at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, his first short “La Tejedora de Races,” poetically depicted the indigenous yagan art of grass weaving and was screened at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and the Seattle International Film Festival.
“Kill the Beast” Chile, Argentina, Brazil. Director: Agustina San Martin
In her feature film debut, writer-director Agustina San Martín (“Monster God”) explores the ominous disappearance of a young boy and the journey of his seventeen-year-old sister, Emilia, who travels across a terrifying and remote religious frontier. City for the North. Confronting local legends surrounding mythical animals and confronting his past, the story promises a journey through reality and mysticism all at once.
The film celebrated its world premiere at TIFF and won the APPLAA Award for Best Film at the San Martin Mar del Plata Film Festival. The production, in part, goes to Argentina’s Diego Emson, who previously directed Mattias Lucchesi’s “Ciencias Naturales,” a coming-of-age drama that won best feature film in selection in Berlinale’s Generation strand and a special mention at San Sebastian. Co-production credits to Lucila de Arizmendi, Florencia Rodríguez, Dominga Ortujar, Aline Mazzarella, Mathias Pesanha and Santiago Carabante.
“Olympic Village” Chile, Mexico, Argentina. Director: Sebastian Cohan
Argentina’s Sebastian Cohan (“Buscando a Panjeri”) explains the diaspora when documenting the children of the exiled generation. Living in Mexico City’s Villa Olímpica in the 70s, the kids loved their place in the world. After the end of the dictatorship in South America, they were forced to follow their parents’ roots to a completely unfamiliar place and start over, often feeling as displaced as the generations before them.
The effort is a co-production between Mercedes Córdova and Valeria Forster of the Buenos Aires outfit Brava Cine (“E il Cibo Wa”), and the Santiago-based Villano Productions (“Zamudio, Lost at Night”) founded by Juan Pablo Sallatto. Juan Ignacio Sabatini.
“Wealth of the World” Chile, Mexico, Argentina. Director: Simon Farriol
Writer-director Simone Fariole creates the story of a farmer-turned-militiaman as he fights for Chile’s independence. He wakes up deaf on the battlefield surrounded by fallen soldiers and then wanders home with a horseman who has lost his sight. A greater obstacle than they overcome on their return journey is their dwindling will to survive, tested by the wildness of nature and the trappings of their own minds as they remember what they saw.
Along with Farriol, production credit goes to Ivo Malinarich and Maximilliano Bolados of Chile’s Naira Films.
“Hunter” Chile. Director: Martin Duplaquet
Director Martin Duplaquet (“Dios Me Libre”) adapts this thrilling script by Valeria Hoffmann and Antonio Luco that takes place in the mountains. There, a mother, Emilia, and her teenage son, Matteo, survive a global pandemic by living off the grid and hunting rabbits. After a mysterious woman tries to steal their Jeep, the pair become embroiled in a tense and cheating relationship with the thief, Rena. Production credit goes to Duplaquet along with content director and executive producer Francesca Barraza of Santiago-based Funky Films.
“The Copt” Chile, Costa Rica. Director: Felipe Zuniga
Felipe Zúñiga presents his first feature-length effort, a story about Rosmeri, the last inhabitant of La Picada, a town destroyed by ash from continuous volcanic eruptions. He has a tumultuous but endearing relationship with the volcano as it gives him the energy to resist trespassers urging him to leave his home.
A co-production between Costa Rica’s Alejandra Vargas of Noche Negra Producciones, Federico Lang, director at Costa Rica’s Caramba Cine and Alejo Crisóstomo, executive producer at Chile’s Ceibita Films, a production company committed to culturally relevant Latin American cinema.
“Stone Knight” Argentina, Chile, Spain. Director: Evan Fund
In his adaptation of Santiago Loza’s original script, Argentine director Ivan Fond tells the trauma-filled story of Sina, a woman who travels to the coast to sell her summer home a year after losing her son at sea. As she and her friends pack home, painful emotions come to a head, and Greta’s husband confesses to seeing a mythical creature that local rumors hint at, leading them on an entirely new journey.
Co-written by Argentine writer Martín Felipe Castagnet, the film is a co-production between Laura Mara Tablon, founder of Argentina’s Rita Cine, and Buenos Aires-based Insomnia Films, co-produced by Santiago-based Globo Rojo Films.