To close this unique year, which has been unexpected and disturbing in many senses, we want to take a moment to revisit some of the positive things that we are able to salvage from it, and that were milestones for CinemaChile and the audiovisual sector this 2020:
10. More than 277,000 spectators worldwide watched Chilean films and series through the Thursdays of Chilean Cinema and Series Tuesdays programs.
Something fundamental this year was not allowing the pandemic to stop the circulation of Chilean creations around the world, therefore remaining connected to global audiences in quarantine or isolated from their loved ones. Through the Thursdays of Chilean Cinema program, 44 feature films and 50 short films were seen by more than 63,500 people. Forty percent of the works included in the program directed by women, 60% were fiction and 40%, documentaries.
During the 40 weeks of the program, we waded through the political and poetic spheres, that which is niche and that which is massive, with brilliant films that proposed reflections on the body and power (El Destapador by Carolina Adriazola and Reinos by Pelayo Lira), violence and inequality (Ulises by Oscar Godoy and Rapaz by Felipe Gálvez), marginalized identities (Casa Roshell by Camila José Donoso and Locas Perdidas by Ignacio Juricic), Mapuche resistance ([Pewen] Araucaria by Carlos Vásquez and Dungun, la Lengua by Pamela Pequeño), and racism in Chile (Petit Frère by Rodrigo Robledo & Roberto Collío and La Duda by Juan Cáceres), among other diverse topics. We also had special retrospectives of Sebastián Lelio, Dominga Sotomayor, Niles Atallah, Theo Court, Ignacio Aguero, and Perut + Osnovikoff.
The most watched films of the year were Adriana’s Pact by Lisette Orozco and Machuca by Andrés Wood, and the short films Here’s the Plan by Fernanda Frick, Austral Fever by Thomas Woodroffe and Sing with Meaning by Leonardo Beltrán.
Meanwhile, within the Tuesdays of Chilean Series program, the 30 series exhibited presented education and comedy, idiosyncrasy and irreverence, children’s content and historical dramas. Production companies like Parox, Zumbástico, Wood, Villano, Glaciar, Tres Tercios, and Mi Chica Producciones shared their award-winning series content with the world, allowing more than 214,000 people to enjoy the diversity and talent of our creators. Let’s keep moving forward to bring Chilean audiovisual work to new global audiences!
9. A historic event: First Pitch of National Series for emerging producers.
This year gave life to an unprecedented event, which was born out of the spirit of working collectively to achieve a common goal: to grow as an industry. Based on establishing camaraderie among national colleagues, to share a capital of knowledge about the operation and dynamics of the international market, the first national pitch of TV series was made in October. Aimed at emerging producers from all over Chile, 10 series were selected after a successful call that included 43 promising applications from all over the country.
Between dystopian thrillers, historical dramas, terrifying adventures and absurd comedies, the Estallida project amazed the international jury with its universal story. Paulina Garcia, producer of the future series (together with actress Mariana Loyola), had the opportunity to meet and present their project to Sheila Aguirre (Executive VP of Content and Format Distribution at Fremantle for Latin America, the Caribbean, and Spanish-speaking U.S.). A great collective moment for national series and emerging producers!
8. Chilean premieres continued to shine around the world in virtual and on-location festivals
Despite the difficulties presented by the contingency, it was impossible to stop Chilean cinema in 2020. Beginning the year with the premiere of The Mole Agent (Maite Alberdi) at Sundance, films swept through various festivals and exhibition spaces, both on virtual and physical screens.
Some works captivated audiences with their incredible acting strength, such as Alfredo Castro in Tengo miedo torero (Rodrigo Sepúlveda, Venice) and Mariana Digirolamo in La Verónica (Leo Medel, San Sebastián). Others had extensive and enriching runs, proving to be vital and powerful pieces with the ability to transcend through time, such as Night Shot (Carolina Moscoso, Fidmarseille and San Sebastián) and Los Fuertes (Omar Zúñiga, Outfest).
Chilean cinema led us through hip hop and urban inequality in Piola (Luis Alejandro Pérez, Guadalajara); love and science fiction in La nave del olvido (Nicol Costa, Huelva) and the dangers of fascism in Matar a Pinochet (Ignacio Sabatini, Huelva). On the other hand, risky debut films demonstrated the undeniable talent of authors such as Gaspar Antillo (Nobody Knows I’m Here, Tribeca) and Francina Carbonell (El cielo está rojo, IDFA) and short films shone from Spain, such as Dale Color (Barbara Robles, Huelva) to Mexico with Especulaciones sobre J.R (Fernando Vergara and Constanza Lang, Guadalajara).
7. FOR THE FIRST TIME THE CHILEAN ACADEMY SELECTS ITS CANDIDATE FOR THE OSCARS AND GOYAS (The Mole Agent launches its trajectory to the Goyas and Oscars)
"The most emotional spy movie ever made" - IndieWire
"Fun, exciting, delicately crafted. A refreshing and beautifully made film. Touching. Structured in a narrative development with a brilliant eye, and a detailed description of each character". - Hollywood Reporter
"A tender and deeply moving film that pushes the boundaries of traditional documentary storytelling." -500 days of film
Those were just some of the words of praise for The Mole Agent by Maite Alberdi, our Chilean candidate for the 2021 Oscars in the category of Best International Feature Film and at the 2021 Goya Awards in the category of Best Latin American Film. Great news for our country, her film, which follows an amateur detective on an incredible mission inside a nursing home, has captivated audiences and critics since its premiere at Sundance and world tour of Karlovy Vary and San Sebastian, among many other festivals. This new Oscar and Goya nomination also marks the first time that the Chilean Academy has selected a film for this instance. We wish Maite Alberdi and her team good luck on this new path to follow!
6. Never again without us women! The first gender-equal APCT board, presided over by a woman
In a year when the feminist movement has been taking on new spaces and has begun to be understood by institutions, large organizations, industries, and multiple sectors that have slowly gone transparent about their gender gaps and how they have perpetuated a model that disadvantages women, a milestone occurred that marked a before and an after for the largest and oldest association of film producers in Chile, the Association of Film and Television Producers (APCT).
In a great assembly constituted by the majority of the association’s members, the new directive for the next two years of work and representation of the audiovisual sector of our country was elected, composed of 3 producers and 3 production companies, being also the first directory presided over by a woman in the 41 association’s years of life.
It should be noted that the election was not only based on a principle of parity, but also, and above all, on the talent, careers, and outstanding professionalism of its members. We present you the new directory:
5. Looking to Asia: Eave Ties that Bind & CinemaChile join forces
In October, while The Mole Agent, La Verónica, and Tengo miedo torero had their Asian premieres at the Busan Festival, the market linked to the event also had a novel Chilean presence. For the first time, our country was participating in the Asian Contents and Film Market with a virtual stand and with two producers who were part of an international program organized in conjunction with EAVE, TIES THAT BIND. Ignacio Ruiz (Niebla Producciones) and Diego Rougier (Picardía) participated in two days of Case Studies between Asia and Latin America sharing work experiences and promoting the formation of creative and business links, together with more than 30 producers from 5 different countries and crossing 2 continents. Moderated by Alessandro Gropplero, Kristina Trapp, and Constanza Arena, the guests included participants from the Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, and Chile.
4. From Cannes to Buenos Aires: First ever participation in virtual markets
We all witnessed the effects that COVID-19 left on our society and audiovisual markets were not oblivious to this reality, finding various ways to propose measures to prevent the execution of these platforms from being curtailed. Something positive within all this: renewed development strategies were developed using virtuality in their favor and best of all, expanding the frontiers of culture. And because Chilean creativity cannot be stopped, more than 300 producers and directors had the opportunity to travel virtually from Cannes to Buenos Aires, promoting their promising project portfolios.
We invite you to review these proposals and the complete delegations that attended the Marché Du Film at Cannes, the Conecta Fiction in Spain, the Industry Club in San Sebastian, the Asian Content & Film Market in Busan, important serial content markets such as Mipcom and MipCancun, and the last market of the year, Ventana Sur.
With strong female characters, impressive locations, and trips to the Chile of the past and present, Chilean series in 2020 stood out both for their thematic diversity and their strong presence on streaming platforms, opening new doors and exhibition spaces. The premiere calendar of the most talked-about titles filled our quarantine days and accompanied us until the final days of this year.
In JUNE, THE PRE$IDENT, a series about the police case to capture Sergio Jadue and co-produced between Fabula, Gaumont, and Kapow, was released by Amazon Prime Video. JULY saw the launch of another Fabula series starring Daniela Vega, The Pack in Latin America and Spain by Prime Video and in Chile by TVN. Following the good news of the month, the series with the same name as the book by Isabel Allende, Inés del alma mía, was released by Amazon Prime for Spain.
In SEPTEMBER, after its premiere in Finland in 2019, Invisible Heroes was released to national audiences by Chilevisión. The Chilean-Finnish co-production, promoted by Parox and the YLE channel (Finland), and production company Kahio Republic (Finland), had a great international reach.
In NOVEMBER the long-awaited series about the horrors that occurred and were covered up by the Pinochet dictatorship and the hidden Paul Schäfer, Dignity, was released on Amazon Prime and Mega. A bilingual series, it was co-produced 50 percent in Spanish and 50 percent in German by Maria Elena Wood of Invercine & Wood, Story House Pictures, Red Arrow Studios, and Joyn.
In DECEMBER the American streaming of The Pack was announced through HBO Max, and Fremantle has distributed the exhibition rights in more than 70 countries in Asia, Europe and Oceania.
2. 97 cinematic proposals marked the launch of the 2020 International Film Catalogue
In the pages of our new International Film Catalog 2020, launched virtually via Marché du Film in April, various cinematic proposals by national authors were spun, personal views on cinema that, as a whole, reflected the collective experience of living in a country and in a world in transition. The new Chilean films in our catalog traced the political, from the most recent social movements to personal fibers, reflecting on themes such as social exclusion, access to mental healthcare, and clandestine abortion, as well as friendship, passion for art, and reunion. Of these 97 works, including 19 fiction features, 19 documentary features, and 59 short films, not all were able to be completed or released due to the pandemic, but we are hopeful that they will all find their audience in 2021!
1. CHILE, COUNTRY IN FOCUS AT EFM
In 1992, when Chile was just beginning its transition from dictatorship to democracy, a young filmmaker arrived at the Berlinale to screen his debut film without any support from the government, nor a marketing or press strategy, just the desire to share his vision with the world. Without any accompanying paraphernalia, this film resonated with the audience and captivated the jury, winning the first Silver Bear in the history of our country for a unique outstanding achievement. The film was La Frontera, and the man behind it, Ricardo Larraín, whom we miss deeply. That first Bear represents the way the Berlinale has supported Chilean cinema over the years, a strength that became evident once again many years later, in 2017, when Sebastian Lelio's A Fantastic Woman won a Silver Bear for Best Screenplay and then the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. A great achievement, made possible only by the support of the Berlinale. Due to this whole beautiful journey together, it was a great honor for Chile to be named the Country in Focus of the European Film Market at the Berlinale this 2020, reaffirming our country as a creative powerhouse.
Without imagining that it would be the last time this year that a Chilean delegation would travel abroad to show its best and newest audiovisual projects, the Country in Focus activity was a significant milestone for our industry. More than 70 producers and directors participated in various sections such as the Producers Hub, the Visitors Program, the Berlinale Series Market, Doc Salon, Talents, the Co-Production Market and a panel of Indigenous Voices. An unforgettable milestone, which we will treasure until we meet again, in person hopefully, in 2021!