The leafy Providencia district in Santiago is known for its rich cultural life. Every summer, hundreds of people flock to its attractive sculpture park for the municipality’s annual jazz festival, which regularly draws accomplished local and international musicians, while the community art and design on offer in pretty Barrio Italia is flourishing.
And now the community is adding another string to its cultural bow with the first ever Providencia International Film Festival set to begin later this month.
The three-day festival aims to support Chile’s growing film industry by promoting feature-length, short and documentary films from young directors throughout the country.
Screening on the opening night is La Espera (‘The Wait’), the debut movie from Chilean director Francisca Fuenzalida, which explores the theme of youth abortion.
Set in Chile, La Espera tells the story of Natalia (María de los Ángeles García), a 17-year-old girl whose life is turned upside down when she falls pregnant. After struggling to come to terms with the shock, she decides to terminate the pregnancy but her boyfriend Rodrigo (Diego Ruiz) doesn’t agree.
The feature film, which was shown at this year’s Santiago International Film Festival (SANFIC), was awarded an Audience Choice Award at the 2010 Auburn International Film Festival for Children and Young Adults in Australia.
“I feel happy to be opening a festival that is all about giving a boost to emerging cinema,” Fuenzalida told Radio Bío-Bío.
“La Espera is a film for teens and adults that touches a theme that concerns us all but more than that, it’s also a film which has a unique and intimate narrative and visual style, with realistic staging and settings that are accessible to young people.”
As well as screening films from young directors, the festival will host a series of talks, forum discussions and cinema workshops with representatives form Chile’s film industry.
The festival runs from October 27-29 and the opening night celebration begins at 9pm. All events will be held at the Providencia Youth Cultural Center at Manuel Montt 101 and admission is free.
For more information (in Spanish), visit the festival’s website.