Chilean student film selected for top Spanish festival

Originally a final year university project, Anónimo is now in the running for a 35,000 euro prize in the festival’s Horizontes Latinos category.

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A movie written and produced by a group of students from Santiago has been accepted for the prestigious San Sebastián Film Festival.

Anónimo (“Anonymous”) was selected for the festival’s Horizontes Latinos (“Latin Horizons”) category which is designed to promote emerging Latin American cinema. The category helped raise the profile of other successful Chilean films such as Post Mortem.

The film was put together by the first cohort of final year film students at the Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD) with assistance from course director, Marcelo Ferrari, and scriptwriting teacher, Julio Rojas.

Director Renato Pérez says the official selection for the San Sebastián festival was something that exceeded the expectations of all the students involved in the project.

“When we made the film we had a lot of confidence in our own ability but at the same time we were humble, knowing that it was our first film and a school project,” he told Chilean newspaper La Tercera.

Anónimo revolves around Javier, a 40-year-old architect who regains his freedom after 14 years in jail. Without any contact from his family, including a daughter whom he last saw when she was three, Javier seeks to make up for lost time.

“The film has a brave, modern and unprejudiced feel to it, exploring the human condition and the nature of social interaction,” said Pérez. “The performance and production qualities are a great achievement. This feature film is the final work of a group of university film students and, for that reason, it’s an extraordinary achievement for Chile.”

The Anónimo project received an Ibermedia Scholarship in 2009, enabling the students to receive valuable support from distinguished Latin American producers and scriptwriters. Last year it featured in the Santiago International Film Festival’s Work in Progress category.

The San Sebastián Film Festival will be held in Spain next month and the winner of the Horizontes Latinos category will receive a 35,000 euro prize.