Chilean cinema’s spectacular season in 2011 continues to reap international acclaim, with the country’s new wave of film makers sweeping Latin America’s most important cinema events last week.
Four Chilean films returned from the Guadalajara and Miami festivals bearing top honors, while a swath of other films and actors received accolades and acknowledgments.
Bonsái, by Chilean director Cristián Jiménez, won the Best Ibero-American Film award at Miami’s International Film Festival, as well as the festival’s Best Screenwriting award, combining for a total prize of US$35,000.
The film is based on a novel by the same name by Chilean writer Alejandro Zambra. In a recent interview, Director Jiménez said it is not “just an adaptation of a novel, but a work whose theme is literary expression.”
Now in its 29th edition, the festival is considered an entry point for Latin American films into the U.S. market. The 2012 event was hailed as the “the most powerful” yet by its director, Jaeo Laplante, screening 100 films from 35 countries.
Meanwhile at the Guadalajara International Film Festival,Violeta se fue a los cielos (“Violeta Went to Heaven”) – fresh from its triumph at the Sundance Film Festival – added yet another feather to its cap, taking out the Fipresci prize from the International Federation of Film Critics.
The film’s protagonist, Francisca Gavilán, also won Best Actress for her performance as folk singer and cultural icon Violeta Parra.
In what is considered the most important film festival in Latin America, two other Chilean films were awarded top honors at Guadalajara: Victor Kossakovsky’s Vivan las Antipodas (“Long live the Antipodes”), which won Best Latin American Documentary award, and Che Sandoval’s Te creis la más talentosa, (“You Think You’re the Most Talented”) won the Titra prize, which provides funding for further distribution to promising films.
Maite Alberdi’s El Salvavidas (“The Lifeguard”) also received a special mention in the category of Latin American Feature Film Documentary.