Founded in 1967 as the first film festival devoted to Latin American cinema, the International Film Festival in Viña del Mar will present its 22nd program from Monday Nov. 15 to Sunday Nov. 20.
In the course of the week, 80 short, long and documentary films from 12 different countries will be shown for an total expected audience of roughly 35,000 people.
By bringing together filmmakers from around Ibero-America, the Festival aims to create a space for dialogue about the present and future of film in the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking world.
Due to the sizable student population in Viña del Mar and neighboring Valparaíso, the Festival also serves as an educational opportunity for young and aspiring filmmakers.
The films will compete in one of five categories: international feature films, shorts and documentaries, and Chilean shorts and documentaries. Films from Colombia, Venezuela, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico and Peru will compete in the international categories, while 40 films from Chile will compete within the two national categories.
The Festival began as the first film festival in the world devoted primarily to Ibero-American films and today remains one of the foremost such festivals in the world.
In its current form, the Festival grew out of the International Film Aficionado Festival, which ran in Viña del Mar from 1963 to 1967 and had a broader scope than the Festival’s later, regionally-specific focus. After its two original events, in 1967 and 1969, the Festival took a twenty-year hiatus, beginning again in 1990 and proceeding annually since then.
Past Festivals have included films from outside the Spanish and Portuguese speaking world, such as Belgium and France. This year, however, the festival will feature exclusively Spanish and Portuguese-language films in honor of the bicentennial celebrations that took place across Latin America this year.
In fostering discourse amongst contemporary filmmakers, and making their works available to future ones, the Viña del Mar Film Festival contributes annually to an increasingly rich film culture in Chile and throughout South and Central America.