March 25, 1982, is a special date for Valdivia. Two shorts were introduced to the public on that date, after being screened in Santiago: Búsqueda en el lugar de la lluvia [Search in the place of rain] by Rubén González and Historia de un suicidio [The history of a suicide] by Mario Osses. From then on, Valdivian audiovisual creations have followed an uneven but sustained course thanks to groundbreaking pieces made during the Dictatorship by enthusiastic film lovers, most of whom were part of a local scene with national reach, made up by great poets, musicians and painters. Valdivia became a focus of cultural resistance and its artists organized themselves, even summoning a First Forum of Valdivian Artists, in 1989. This activity is directly related to the International Cinema Week carried out in April, 1993, to celebrate another of the great milestones of the city: the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Cine Club of the Universidad Austral de Chile. All these undertakings led to the launching of the first Valdivia Film Festival, in 1994, and made this 25th anniversary possible.
The event took in the nascent regional audiovisual scene and Valdivian works no longer needed to be premiered in Santiago, as was the case with Rubén and Mario. Soon, national productions would also choose our city as the venue to premiere their films. Thus, the City of Cinema was born.
The 25 Years of Valdivian Short Films: 1982-2007 selection includes 16 works and aims at bringing together a community around its audiovisual production. Hence, we will be able to see on the big screen corners of Valdivia that no longer exist or which have changed with the passage of time. At the same time, we can appreciate how the city of cinema itself has been represented by its inhabitants who consistently decide come rain, hell or high water to take a camera along and document it.
This is our tribute to all of them, to Valdivia, and to the great cinephile: Guido Mutis.