In conjunction with Hot Docs 2022, Chiledoc has announced that the Toronto-based festival will screen seven Chilean documentaries as part of its Made In Chile component.
Screening from April 29, the selections highlight the burgeoning global impact of Chile’s fiery documentary film initiative, encompassing diverse and bold perspectives from new voices nationwide.
As North America’s largest documentary film festival, conference and marketplace, Hot Docs strives to forge critical relationships that lead to production opportunities for documentary filmmakers with a keen eye on the global marketplace.
“We are thrilled to celebrate and shine a light on this new movement of documentary filmmakers from Chile,” shares Shane Smith, Director of Programming for Hot Docs. “Their bold and daring approach to reexamining their country’s multifaceted history while crafting powerful and distinctively Chilean stories is capturing the attention of the documentary industry and the world.”
Made in Chile bows, in fact, just a few days after “My imaginary country”, by Patricio Guzmán, the dean of Chilean documentary filmmakers, was selected for a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival.
Paula Ossandón, director of Chiledoc, the Chilean documentary sector brand, details the state of documentary cinema in Chile: “The production of documentaries in Chile is prolific. You could say that Chile is a country of documentarians. And not only in the field of feature films, but also short films and series. Chilean documentary has a long history of international recognition in festivals and markets, but one could say that today it is at a particular moment, a moment when isolated examples are no longer those that shine abroad, but there is a sustained production, recognized for its thematic diversity and for its artistic quality, the depth of its content and its stories of universal interest.
She added: “It’s a boom moment that was exemplified by ‘The Mole Agent’ being nominated for the Oscars or in which two documentaries ‘Beyond My Grandfather Allende’ and ‘The Mountain Range dreams”, which won the Œil d’or at Cannes; or that Hot Docs, the biggest documentary festival in North America, decided this year to shine the spotlight on Chile; or that for the third time we organized a Showcase of films being edited at Cannes Docs de Marché du Film. Today, it is no longer just about specific documentaries, but about filmmakers recognized for their talent and a production appreciated for its artistic solidity and professionalism .
A breakdown of the titles indicates recurring themes and trends that Ossandón highlighted as “the main social problems facing the country”. They evoke the social revolt and the new government led by Gabriel Boric, and the current constitutional process where an assembly elected by the people drafts a new Constitution for Chile.
She also said that issues of gender dissidence are important to Chilean filmmakers, both their experiences and their demands, and that ethnic identity is highly relevant and recurrent in Chilean documentaries.
“Personal memory, intimate stories are also becoming important in the Chilean documentary scene; as well as the collective memory and the safeguard of the History, with capital letters, of our country. Chile has always been a country where issues of memory and human rights are of great importance,” she concludes.
“On Suspicion: Zokunetu” World Premiere
*Director Daniel Diaz is sobering about the life of his uncle, Bernardo Oyarzún, a prominent Mapuche artist who was arrested on suspicion of stealing jewellery; although he bears no resemblance to the actual thief. Produced by Esteban Sandoval (“Perro Bomba”) and Felipe Poblete, the film addresses deep-rooted prejudice against the Mapuche in Chile as well as the touching connection between family and Oyarzún’s storied career.
World Premiere of “Meeting Point”
* Through Raw Emotion, director Roberto Baeza and filmmakers Paulina Costa and Alfredo García set out to document the profound journey of transforming traumatic lived experiences into revelatory cinema. Marking a devastating dark era for Chile, they piece together the story of their fathers who met in captivity during the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile.
International Premiere “Desert Space”
*In northern Chile, loneliness turns into community as a solemn security guard, Leonel, shares his passion and belief in the existence of extraterrestrial life. The film’s exquisite cinematography reveals a vast landscape of possibilities as it expands its cosmic indulgence by hosting the first public UFO sighting event in the iconic Atacama Desert. Directed by Yerko Ravlic and produced by Michel Toledo.
“Alis” North American Premiere
*Imagination is the key in this film, directed by Nicolas van Hemelryck and Clare Weiskopf of “Amazona” fame, which follows teenage girls as they embark on adventures with an imaginary classmate to escape chaos relentless life on the streets of Bogota. Embracing the future while building their narratives serves to break the cyclical violence. Sold by Latido.
“Primera” Canadian Premiere
* On October 18, 2019, a sudden system upheaval took place in Santiago as student protests erupted after a spike in public transport fares. Filmmaker Vee Bravo documented the events from an activist’s perspective as the movement escalated and government repression intensified.
“Corrupted” World Premiere
*After losing her memory to electroconvulsive therapy, Andrea experimentally reconstructs her past using found footage, journal entries and audio recordings. Directed by Juan Cifuentes Mera (“Los Ojos Del Sapo”).
Online Screening of “Agent Mole”
*Academy nominated Best Documentary Feature, directed by Maite Alberdi (“I’m Not From Here”) and a hot selling title for Dogwoof, the film follows Sergio, an unlikely octogenarian and secret agent, as he… he looks into allegations of elder abuse and theft within a community of Chilean retirees. It reveals a whole different type of crime. “The first time I saw a cut, what stuck with me was Maite’s incredible ability to bring tenderness and humanity to a subject that can be very dark,” said the Chilean Pablo Larrain. Variety.