Chile is synonymous with high-quality productions, and when it comes to Chilean animation, that goes without saying. In our country, both consecrated and emerging directors have blown the genre up, breaking down barriers and receiving never-before-imagined recognitions.
2016 was an explosive year. Bear Story by Gabriel Osorio was the first Chilean film and the first Latin American animated production to win an Oscar. In 2020, the buzz was around the series Petit by Bernardita Ojeda, which was part of the International Emmys.
There is no lack of examples demonstrating that animation is a badge of honor for our cinema sphere. We invite you to check out the latest news!
Annecy, the animation French event highlighting Chile
Annecy and Chile have a close relationship. The most important animation festival in the world has handed the stage to productions like Homeless by José Ignacio Navarro, Jorge Campusano, and Santiago O´Ryan and Nahuel and the Magic Book by Germán Acuña.
And in 2021 we are excited to say that two Chilean short films were selected in Annecy! Bestias by Hugo Covarrubias in the Official Competition, and La copia feliz del Edén by Samuel Restucci and Emilio Romero in Perspectives, both with a strong political component.
Bestias tells the story of a worker at the Chilean Intelligence Agency at the height of the civic-military dictatorship. Her relationship with her body, her dog, and her fear and frustration reveal her thoughts and the horrific fracture at which the country finds itself. La copia feliz de Edén, on the other hand, evidences the dark moment of the coup d’état, the F-19 bombing the Presidential Palace, and former President Allende committing suicide.
The Wolf House, one of the best animated films in history
At almost three years after its premiere, The Wolf House (Berlinale, 2018) by Joaquín Cociña and Cristóbal León continues to reap recognitions. Media outlet IGN, a global entertainment giant, ranked it as number six of the 10 best animation films in history, shoulder-to-shoulder with films like Toy Story and Fantasia.
“It’s quite powerful because we didn’t think that such a cultural space was going to establish such a good relationship with the film. We’ve had very good reviews, a good online premiere, and this ranking, which I feel is a bit exaggerated, I welcome it very happily,” said Cociña.
“We’re glad, we’re surprised, and I think it also makes us a little nervous. It’s exciting to me what has happened with the film since its premiere, and especially what has happened since last year, when we premiered in the United States. It’s beautiful to see that it has gone beyond being niche and permeated other, broader cultural spaces,” mentioned León.
The film is constructed as a fairytale for adults, narrating the human rights abuses carried out by former Nazi officer Paul Schafer at Colonia Dignidad in Chile.
Its dedicated construction, which weaves together different artistic techniques, has made it an unforgettable film, achieving recognitions such as the Jury Distinction at Annecy, the Quirino Award for the Best Visual Development of Ibero-American Animation Work, and the Best Animated Special Jury award in Havana, among many others.
What comes after The Wolf House
These days, Cociña and León have once again joined forces to develop a project, entitled Los huesos, produced by Lucas Engel, which will form part of the 2021 CinemaChile catalog.
“I consider myself a big fan of everything Joaquín and Cristóbal do. They’re two people with an enormous talent who know how to make use of a very particular language to tell stories that shift between dream and nightmare. For me it’s a privilege to be able to work with them, and I think it’s well deserved how much recognition they’re having internationally,” commented Engel.
Los huesos is an animation that appears to be made at the beginning of the 20th Century. Utilizing human cadavers and invoking the spirit of two cursed ministers, a little girl carries out a ritual to liberate the kingdom of Chile of its feudal legacy.