Santiago’s international film festival turns Chile into platform for world cinema

Glitz and glamour is twinkling over Santiago this week at the annual SANFIC festival which will host a line-up of star actors and directors. The event will occupy 15 different cinemas around Chile’s capital, offering 100 films from more than 30 countries.

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SANFIC, Chile’s international film festival, kicked off on Monday and will feature winning films from the Cannes festival which include October, from Peru, and Los Labios, from Argentina. The panel of judges will include Abel Ferrara, three time Goya award winning Isabel Coixet and Claire Denis. 50 international guests have also been invited to present their films and take questions from audiences.

The festival’s Artistic Director, Carlos Nunez, sees SANFIC as a step on the road to gaining Chile the recognition it deserves worldwide. 9 Chilean films will be shown to local and international audiences in cinemas across Santiago.

Chile has had several recent successes. Earlier this year, Chilean director Pablo Larrain’s film Post Mortem – about a love affair during the 1973 coup d’état – was in the running for the Golden Lion prize at the 67th Venice International Film Festival.

Yet despite it producing as many films as Mexico each year, it falls behind when it comes to breaking onto the world scene, says Nunez. This event, he explains, gives Chilean cinema culture a chance to come out of the woodwork as Chilean cinema is viewed by prize-winning directors, critics and journalists who have been out on the tiles in Rotterdam, Cannes, Sundance and Toulouse.

Since its foundation in 2005 the festival has made other innovations. This year, screenings from the back of a truck will be staged through Santiago over the course of the week. Another neighbourhood will feature a giant drive-through cinema to replicate America in the 70’s and 80’s.

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This post is also available in Spanish