Chilean movie continues to pick up accolades in Europe

“Volantín Cortao” won its latest prize at the prestigious Toulouse Film Festival and will have a special screening in Santiago this week.

Oscar season may be over, but there is plenty of great cinema — and accompanying awards — to look out for this season. At a time when Chilean cinema is moving from strength to strength, “Volantin Cortao, (or Kite, Untethered)” — a gripping yet gritty social drama set in a Santiago suburb — stands out even among its peers for its success on the festival circuit.

Directed by Aníbal Jofré and Diego Ayala, the movie recently added the prestigious Toulouse Film Festival to its list of successful competition outings in Europe with its emotional telling of the unlikely bond between a boy from a poor neighborhood and an older social worker. Earlier this month, “Volantín Cortao” received the main prize, the “Coup de Coeur, (or heart beat)” — a French expression used to describe the emotion brought by an great work of art.

Ayala, understandably, was over the moon and keen to emphasize the importance of this recognition for the movie’s future commercial success.

“Just being here is a privilege and an honor for us. This is a festival dedicated to Latin American cinema with an interesting editorial line that has brought it significant critical prestige,” he gushed. “Participating in the official competition will also boost the distribution of the film so we are very happy.”

Judging by his reaction, you could be forgiven for mistaking this triumph as the movie’s first accolade but co-director Ayala has already found plenty of success on the film festival circuit. Previously “Volantín Cortao” was invited to compete in international competitions at the Locarno Festival (Switzerland) and the Rome Festival, where it went head to head to Oscar nominated productions.

There has also been plenty of recognition on the directors’ home turf. Chile’s own film-hub, Valdivia and its famous festival saw the movie receive two prizes and “Volantín Cortao” is now scheduled for a special screening in the capital as part of the ongoing Femcine festival.

To attend the free screening, head over to Cineteca Teatro Municipal Maipú on Avenida Pajaritos 2045 at 8 p.m. Thursday March 26.

See the “Volantín Cortao” trailer here.