Our top five picks for Santiago International Film Festival

This year’s event brings together an impressive collection of local and international films. Here are the movies we’ll be watching.

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Opening on Friday August 19, the seventh annual Santiago International Film Festival (SANFIC) will showcase more than 100 local and international films covering a broad range of topics. The festival’s program will include 10 world and 25 Latin American premieres, along with exclusive insights into Chilean films that are still in production.

For cinephiles in Chile’s capital, it is an event not to be missed. All films below will be shown at Cine Hoyts in La Reina (Avenida Ossa 655, +56 600 5000 400). Here are This is Chile’s top five picks for the festival.

Chilean films

Mejor No Te Fumes (You’d Better Not Smoke): The first film from exciting young director Daniel Peralta, Mejor No Te Fumes is set in the bustling port city of Valparaíso. It focuses on Paulo, a young man who finds himself feeling dark and moody after breaking up with his girlfriend. He finds little comfort from his best friend Mauro and his only escape comes in the form of the vinyl records and books. But one day by chance, Paulo bumps into a stranger who is able to help him see things differently.
When: 6:30 pm, Saturday Aug. 20; 6:30pm, Monday Aug. 22

Locas Mujeres (Crazy Women): This documentary feature reveals the story of Chile’s Nobel Prize winning poet, Gabriela Mistral, tracing the path to success from her humble origins as a rural schoolteacher. Drawing on recordings of Mistral’s conversations with U.S. author Doris Dana at the home they shared on Long Island, the film takes viewers inside the emotional world of a woman in constant tension with her demons.
When: 10:30 pm, Saturday Aug. 20; 5:30 pm Tuesday, Aug. 23

El Ropero del Pueblo (The People’s Wardrobe): Set in Chile during the grim days of the Great Depression, this moving historical drama follows Alicia, a well-off teenager who mends second-hand clothing for people with few resources. In her first delivery, she meets Laura, a 10-year-old girl who introduces Alicia to the world of poverty. Despite the class barriers and the broader social tensions, a friendship develops between the two.
When: 1:30 pm, Tuesday Aug. 23; 4 pm, Thursday Aug. 25

International films

Harud (India): Actor-turned-director Aamir Bashir provides a moving portrait of the unstable reality of his native Kashmir, which has been plagued by conflicts in recent decades. Using mostly untrained actors, the film tells the story of Rafiq, a teenager whose family has not been able to overcome the grief following the disappearance of his older brother, Tauqir, who was a photographer. With little to hope for, Rafiq and some friends attempt to seek a better future across the border in Pakistan. But Rafiq’s world changes when he stumbles upon his brother’s old camera.
When: 4 pm, Saturday Aug. 20; 2 pm, Sunday Aug. 21

The Song in Me (Germany and Argentina): The first film from Florian Cossen, The Song in Me took the Fipresci prize at the Montreal Festival and received four nominations for the German Film Awards. It focuses on Maria Falkenmayer, a young German traveler who recognizes a Spanish nursery rhyme while waiting for a plane in Chile en route to Argentina. Why does it sound so familiar?
When: 8:15 pm, Wednesday Aug. 24; 8 pm, Thursday Aug. 25