The French meeting event was one of the last to make the decision to move all its operations into a virtual platform and, although it seemed unthinkable, by these days thousands of professionals from the world of cinema (including more than 45 Chileans) have been holding multiple online meetings to get the best partners and therefore to start closing agreements that will move forward the new film projects. Examples of the above are the latest national announcements: Storyboard Media added a Spanish co-production partner for the film El Cardenal; Berliner sales agent Films Boutique acquired international rights to the fiction film La Verónica (Merced); and Maite Alberdi’s latest film, The Mole Agent, was sold by UK documentary specialists, Dogwoof, to Australia and New Zealand (Madman), Scandinavia (Nonstop), Israel (Yesdocu), China (Dddream) and Brazil (Globoplay). In addition, producers such as Karina Jury (Atómica Films and 17 Producciones) and Andrés Mardones (Altiro Films) have been able to close the financing of their projects thanks to the meetings held these days.
Although nothing replaces a face-to-face conversation, the Chilean producers managed to strengthen their networks of contact and present -with the support of the Ministry of Cultures, Arts and Heritage, Prochile and Cinemachile- the next Chilean films. The national participation in the meeting also sought to reactivate the incipient and talented Chilean audiovisual industry, which survives in the midst of the pandemic thanks to a strong collaborative spirit.
Films with protagonists such as Paulina García, Aline Kuppenheim and Héctor Noguera. Themes that have impacted such as the fraud committed by La Polar (national retail store) or the recent social outbreak. Struggles that do not cease like discrimination or reports of abuses against Health Insurance Companies. As well as trips to the past showing a nation that was just beginning. All of these are the core of a Chilean cinema that does not stop and that, after an intense week of work, has managed to make its offer visible in the international market.
"Being able to participate in one of the most important international markets of the audiovisual industry is undoubtedly a stimulus for those filmmakers, producers and representatives of the national industry that, as a result of the health emergency, have been affected in some way by their projects and their work in general. We know that virtual experience does not replace face-to-face encounter, but the important thing is to be present and continue to open paths for the Chilean audiovisual sector in the international arena, a mission that we as a Ministry are committed to and will continue to support from our tools and possibilities", said the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Consuelo Valdés.
Have a look here of some of the most promising fiction and documentary films that our country will continue to present to the world:
The Sorcerers by Christopher Murray (Fabula)
Based on one of the most controversial and enigmatic real events in Chile’s history, the new film by the director of The Blind Christ promises to be a unique journey into the past, narrating a judicial persecution that confronted the nascent Republic of Chile against a powerful organization of sorcerers in Chiloé called "La Recta Provincia". Through Rosa Raín, a Huilliche girl who wants justice after her father’s murder by asking Mateo Coñuecar for help, the king of a powerful sorcerer organization, the film will invite the audience to witness this fight in which Coñuecar will be accused of being an authority parallel to the nascent Republic; and Rosa, with no one else in the world, will take up the challenge of freeing him, even if this means starting on the path of no return of witchcraft. The atmosphere of the film will be marked by mist and it will develop into a landscape that, as the persecution and the journey of Rosa advances, will become increasingly blurred, indefinite and mysterious like witchcraft itself.
May it all end by Moisés Sepúlveda (Primate Lab)
Inspired by the great fraud committed by La Polar (national retail store) -orchestrated by top executives and affecting shareholders, AFP pensioners and hundreds of thousands of customers- this fiction feature already already has its protagonist: the famous actress Paulina García (Gloria), who will be working under the direction of the outstanding director Moisés Sepúlveda (The illiterates), playing a character who really existed. García will become María Zaid (55), who assumes as the first woman manager of a major national retail store and must fight hard to defend her position and also the stability of the company. So, with the complicity of her bosses, she starts a shameless scheme to defraud her own clients until she discovers she has been used. However, she is not willing to go down alone. "With this film I want to go beyond denunciation and simplistic approaches of the characters. For this, the work of co-writing it with the director and scriptwriter Alicia Scherson, who has been able to build deep and particular characters, was fundamental. And of course, with the permanent insight of Paulina (García), who has read and commented on all the versions of the script, "says Sepúlveda.
Maybe it’s true what they say about us by Sofía Gómez & Camilo Becerra (Storyboard Media)
Among the projects in their portfolio there is Maybe it’s true what they say about us, directed by Sofía Gómez and Camilo Becerra, which is co-produced by Murillo Cine (Argentina). For this project, they wish to close a third European partner, by continuing discussions that took place during the EFM. It is a drama with a bit of thriller, inspired by the case of the Colliguay sect, commanded by Antares de la Luz. Another fictional project by Storyboard Media is Benjamin Avila’s El Cardenal, a film about the most critical years in the life of Cardinal Silva Henríquez, and that already counts with a co-production with Argentina, Brazil, and recently announced by Variety, with Spain. This latest news, one of the most important announcements for Chile during the virtual Marché du Film de Cannes, ensures that the film reaches Latin American and European audiences, with a top of the line production value for our country.
La práctica by Martín Rejtman (Forastero)
Chilean actresses such as Amparo Noguera, Antonia Zegers and Camila Hirane will be part of this new film that promises to be a naturalistic and delirious comedy about the 40s crisis. A 90-minute fiction whose originality is based on its theme: it will be set in the world of yoga, a discipline that is becoming increasingly popular and massified in modern Western society. The film will be written and directed by Argentinean director Martín Rejtman (Dos disparos), who will shoot for the first time outside his native country, working in Chile. This is how this new film is a co-production between our country, Argentina, Germany and Portugal, already showing a successful circuit in theatres and festivals.
Fever by Elisa Eliash (La Forma Cine)
Nino is a spoiled child who, immersed in a strong fever, is absorbed by a mysterious painting. His mother had warned him and the trick that made him fall prey to the painting has been unleashed. Then, Nino does nothing but to get lost in a maze of images, trying to get home. This is the synopsis of the new film by director and screenwriter Elisa Eliash (Aquí estoy, aquí no), which was presented by her executive producer, Clara Taricco, at the Marché du Film, looking for the necessary financing to close the last post-production stage and also to envisage its international premiere and distribution. The Chilean production of La Forma Cine and Válvula Films, along with the Peruvian production company Films Bastardía, gets into the head of a child with fever and goes with him into this world filled with photographs, drawings and paintings that crosses the history of the arts.
The Religion Teacher by Sebastián Muñoz (17 Producciones)
Directed by the winner of the Queer Lion Award in Venice 2019 (for his debut opera The Prince), this drama LGBTQ, set in Rome, will narrate in 100 minutes the story of Genesio, a religious teacher from a school in the periphery, who is dismissed from his post because of his sexual orientation. In turn, he will travel to the past, when thirty-five years ago, Genesio’s mother, a missionary in Chile during the Military Dictatorship, was also expelled from the Church when she discovered she was pregnant. The film is in development and it will be a major co-production between Chile by 17 Producciones and Italy, in the hands of Macaia Film, addressing the conflict of discrimination.
Happiness by Pepa San Martín (Manufactura de Películas)
Happiness is Pepa San Martín’s second feature film after Rara. This new production, co-produced with Aleph Cine (Argentina), has already cast two of Latin America’s most acclaimed actresses: Paulina García and Mercedes Morán. Produced by Macarena López, who is taking part in the Marché du Film, directed by San Martín herself and written by Alicia Scherson and Luz Croxatto, Happiness describes the relationship between two women: Ana (García) and Teresa (Morán). They have known each other for many years and were once rivals in water sports. Today, while facing difficult circumstances in life, Ana asks her friend to be her coach in a great challenge: to cross the icy waters of a strait that exists between Argentina and Chile. But this desire hides something more than a sporting feat.
Patient(ly) Enduring Suffering by Constanza Fernández (Niña Niño Films)
The film starring Héctor Noguera, and in post-production stage, is based on the book El Pa (de) ciente, written by Dr. Miguel Kottow, a Chilean ophthalmologist and bioethics expert. In the publication of testimonies, he shares his experience through the Chilean private health system, after becoming seriously ill. Presented as a film about a human being falling ill (literally) and then getting caught up in diagnostic and therapeutic technology, the film "is an invitation to look at ourselves through the eyes of the cinema and talk about what everyone fears: illness", holds its director.
The Last Song by Jaime Villarreal (Alto Andes Films)
The life and death of Víctor Jara, one of the most emblematic singer-songwriters of the movement called "Nueva Canción Chilena" and part of the fundamental pillars of Latin American music, continues to inspire artistic works every year. This is the case of The Last Song, a fiction feature that already features a first version of a script written by Mateo Iribarren, which recounts from a perspective never before explored, the fateful story of Victor Jara during the military dictatorship. Its main attraction is, according to its creators, where it is told and the great experience of Mateo as a screenwriter that will give life to a drama of 140 minutes. "The story of Víctor Jara's death has never been told from fiction. That moment is a painful place, very touched from the documentary, where a renewed atmosphere in fiction must be created to recover the attractiveness and freshness of the story for new generations. Fiction allows us to cross those dark nights of the year ‘73 with a tangential story that has a more current, more modern construction, which makes us see the story closely”, said Sergio Karmy, one of the executive producers of the film.
Sergio Larraín, the eternal moment by Sebastián Moreno (Películas del Pez)
This documentary project is in the middle of the editing stage and tells the story of one of the most important national photographers in Chile, who is also part of the prestigious international photography agency, Magnum Photo. "Participation in the Marché du Film is an important opportunity to plan the distribution and the premiere of this documentary within a space of international quality, because we want the world to know the work of this genius of photography", says Moreno about this 80-minute biography produced by Claudia Barril.
Matapacos Resistance 360º by Pepe Rovano (Almágico Films)
Described by its producer, Cristóbal Almagia, as a map of Chilean resistance during the State of Emergency, this documentary explores from a unique point of view the Chilean social revolution as it is filmed with 360º immersive technologies, and allowing the viewer to experience first-hand the emotions of getting into relevant milestones like the Chilean front line, being part of the 8M movement in the so-called "Plaza de la Dignidad" or accompanying artists in their activism against a system they consider repressive and unfair. The idea belongs to Pepe Rovano, director and screenwriter, who has a previous work in human rights and also a special interest in immersive narratives. "In the international context, our idea is to provoke an urban tour in different countries where the user, through photographs arranged in the streets and via QR codes, will be able to see and reflect on a distant social conflict, but that becomes closer to him when he experiences it 360º in his city, "says Almagia.
Custodio, the tiger of the East by Jorge Acevedo (Yareta)
Directed by Jorge Acevedo and produced by Mixie Araya -who works from northern Chile- the documentary shows the interculturality that occurs in Latin America, in this case how ranchera music, coming originally from the northern hemisphere, in Mexico, reaches and penetrates so deeply into the life and culture of a man who lives in a mountain range region located in southern Chile. These days, Araya has been looking for the best sales agent to plan the distribution of the documentary.
Clandestine Stories by José María González (La Merced Producciones)
Based on a graphic novel by Ariel and Sol Rojas, this animated adult film is directed by José María González and is in the pre-production stage. Its producers, Karla Falcón and Patricio Ochoa, hope to close the financing of the film, which tells how Ariel (52), depressed for not finding the way to communicate with his son, with Asperger, Franco (14), draws a graphic novel with a pen to tell him about his life, narrating his transition from innocent childhood to the rebelliousness of adolescence, and how his life changed radically when his parents decided to hide in their home, and during ten years, the people most wanted by the dictatorial regime of Pinochet.
The Viper Hunt by Esteban Larraín (Altiro Films)
It’s Esteban Larraín’s third fiction feature (Michelangelo’s Passion), who will now direct a film that focuses on a journalist with a stagnant career and a personal life in crisis, and who believes she has found a clue to the whereabouts of Paul Schäfer, the leader of a sect accused of several crimes. Finding Schäfer will not only give her a new boost to her career, but will help her learn the truth about her late father, who is suspected of twisted relationships with the elderly leader. The film, which promises to be a 120-minute thriller, is in the middle of development and in search of funding, being produced by Andrés Mardones.
Aroma by Omar Zeballos (Voladores Films)
Following the story of a Frenchman who discovers that his Chilean father, a disappeared detainee, has a deeper identity secret and will take him on an internment trip in the Atacama Desert, this 90-minute drama is produced by Sophie Chevalier-Z and directed by Zeballos. "I was born in Santiago, but my dad is from the North so I was always attracted by the empty landscapes and the Atacama desert, and I wanted to do a work related to this region. In addition, the encounter with the screenwriter Michel Meyer was also fundamental, he knows nothing about Chile, but is interested in the same territories as me. The film has great co-production potential... I spend time between France and Chile, "says Zeballos.
All about Ariel by Jorge Fernández (Atisbo Films)
According to its director, this film is inspired by the women of his family and with it seeks to show the diversity of paradigms that live in a home with regard to motherhood and the socio-political problems that it entails. Produced by Alicia Alfaro, the film will tell a story about unwanted motherhood and all the prejudices that come with the decision not to want to be a mother for a woman in Latin American reality. Looking for co-producers, Fernández and Alfaro argue that "participating in an internationally relevant market as the Marché du Film is a very enriching experience both personally and professionally and we want to make the most of it".