- FICValdivia resumes in-person activities, carrying out a completely free of charge, hybrid format this year.
- This year’s official advertisement and poster were unveiled at a ceremony at the festival’s future base of operations.
- The Opening Film, the Main Feature, and the Closing Picture, plus the six movies in the Gala section will screen exclusively at Valdivia cinemas during the days of the festival.
Valdivia, September 29. The stabilization of the health situation in Los Ríos Region has allowed FICValdivia to strengthen its in-person program, during the festival week. With the current admittance quotas, the structure of the program is divided into those pictures that can only be seen online, via fivaldivia.cl, those in the hybrid format – with in-person screenings, as well as online viewing –, and a percentage that will only show at venues. Among the motion pictures that can only be seen in person – having previously secured tickets online, to safeguard the allowed admittance at each venue – are the opening film, the main feature, and the closing picture, along with the six movies that make up the Gala section, dedicated to the great masters in contemporary cinema.
“The 2021 Valdivia International Film Festival represents the added learning garnered during the pandemic, plus the untrammeled will of an entire team to reunite with our cinematographic community, at three iconic venues in our city, respecting the health protocols, but at the same time, maintaining our Official Selection, along with some non-competitive sections, available online, so they can be enjoyed throughout the Chilean territory, including the Tributes section, which will also be available to Latin America. We are thankful for the support of the regional and city authorities that have made this dream of coming together again a reality,” stated Festival Director Raúl Camargo.
The future “new home” of the Valdivia International Film Festival and the Valdivia Cultural Center for Film Promotion is a space that will be open to the community, for workshops, to learn about the history of cinema in the region, to plan our activities, as well as a neighborhood venue to show films with the best technology. It was there that this last Wednesday September 29, the 28th edition of FICValdivia was launched. The activities included announcing the entire program, and releasing this year’s official advertisement, made in conjunction with students and faculty from the Audiovisual Creation School at the UACh. Present at the ceremony were Los Ríos Regional Governor Luis Cuvertino, Valdivia Mayor Carla Amtmann, the President of Universidad Austral de Chile, Hans Richter, Cultures, Arts, and Heritage Regional Secretary Gabriela Avendaño, and Antonio Ruiz Tagle, Chairman of the Board at the Valdivia Cultural Center for Film Promotion.
28th FICVALDIVIA EDITION PROGRAM
In addition to the short films Los Huesos, by Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña, and Alicia Soñó con un Faro, by José Luis Torres Leiva, which will screen both in person and online for those that will not physically attend the festival, the full-length documentary Faya Dayi, by Mexican-Ethiopian filmmaker Jessica Beshir, is the third picture that integrates this section. The screening of this documentary will be exclusively in person.
The movie, shot in a black and white that highlights the visual talent of the artist, uses for context an Ethiopian legend to elaborate a reflection around the khat, a small shrub grown in eastern Africa, which, because of its hallucinogenic properties, possesses a ritualistic character for Sufi Muslims. Faya Dayi describes the religious dimension linked to the consumption of this plant, confronting it with the purely extractive logic of its mass commercial exploitation. Via the small stories Beshir weaves around it, the film projects into the repressive political scenario in her country.
Beginning this year, FICValdivia is adding to the customary opening and closing films a special event entitled Main Feature, which will screen only in person in the middle of the week-long festivities. This year, the chosen motion picture to kick off this new space in the program is A Night of Knowing Nothing, by Indian filmmaker Payal Kapadia, about a film and TV student that writes letters to her estranged lover who has returned to his home village. The picture documents the texts through a voice-over, and with them, it delves into the woman’s surroundings, her vision of the world, her desires, and her dreams, through a staging in images that emulate the visual character of a home movie.
For the closing, together with the in-person and online screenings of Notas, Encantaciones: Parte II, Carmela, by Alexandra Cuesta, and of Trópico de Capricornio, by Juliana Antunes, FICValdivia will show – exclusively in person – the film What Do We See When We Look at The Sky?, by Georgian director Alexandre Koberidze, a comedy set in a coastal Georgian town, in the midst of the 2018 Football World Cup, held in Russia. The feature narrates the fortuitous encounters between a chemist and a footballer that, affected by spell cast immediately after their first date, have changed appearances, and therefore lost all chance of recognizing one another. While they try to establish contact again, the different spaces in the city where they live stop being dull, becoming places for a potential reencounter.
- Faya Dayi, by Jessica Beshir. Ethiopia, United States, Qatar. 2021. 120 min. Latin American Premiere.
- What Do We See When We Look At The Sky?, by Alexandre Koberidze. Germany, Georgia. 2021. 150 min. Latin American Premiere.
- A Night Of Knowing Nothing, by Payal Kapadia. India, France. 2021. 90 min. Latin American Premiere.
Award Ceremony Short Film
Also exclusively in person will be the award ceremony screening of the short film Falling Leaves, by French pioneer Alice Guy-Blanche, made in the US in 1912. The picture is a beautiful fable about a young ailing woman, whose family doctor has assured she will die once the last leaf in autumn falls. Her desperate little sister Trixie calls on Doctor Earl Headly, a prestigious specialist, in the hopes he will save her.
Falling Leaves was the chosen film for the second Musical Composition Contest for Patrimonial Short Films, organized jointly by FICValdivia and the Valdivia Chamber Orchestra, and that this year had the support of the Swiss Embassy. The award-winning score will accompany the short film screening live, during the closing ceremony.
- Falling Leaves, by Alice Guy-Blanche. United States. 1912. 12 min.
The six movies that make up the Gala section will also screen exclusively in person. This section, devoted to the diffusion of the most recent motion pictures from the acclaimed directors that mobilize the roadways of international cinema, includes Diários de Otsoga, the first collaboration by Portuguese filmmakers Maureen Fazendeiro and Miguel Gomes, both award-winners in Valdivia, with Motu Maeva and Our Beloved Month of August, respectively. The picture centers on three characters that, in the midst of their laxity, decide to build a greenhouse for butterflies. The movie progresses chronologically backwards, and thus, the narrative moves closer to a reflection about the manufacturing capabilities of cinema itself.
Just like in 2017, when FICValdivia screened Claire’s Camera and On The Beach at Night Alone, this year, the South Korean director Hong Sangsoo is once again present with the two features he finished this year. Introduction ties together different episodes in a boy’s life (Shin Seok-ho), which are tenuously linked by the protagonist’s affective aspirations. The film maintains those circular structures that are usually part of his narratives, and here, all the situations the director builds rest on the desires and expectations of the leading man, which will eventually fail. In the case of In Front of Your Face, the picture touches again on his work’s permanent reference points: cinema as the incidental surrounding of his characters, the choice of a partner, the importance of the urban space and, of course, bars as a meeting point for alcohol consumption. With these elements, the film delves into the life of a partially retired actress that returns to Korea, after living in the United States for many years. The reunion with her sister and nephew, and especially, her return to the city, to an eventual role in a movie, are the engines that bring this woman’s existence out of adjustment.
In last year’s 27th edition, Romanian director Radu Jude was present in this section with Uppercase Print. This year, he is back with Bad Luck Banging Or Loony Porn, which, like his previous film, is an exercise in total creative freedom. The story revolves around a teacher that sees her life turn into a living hell, when an explicit home video she made with her husband is leaked, threatening to ruin her. The tale allows Jude to examine the morals in certain Romanian groups, reflect on what can and cannot be shown in cinema, and question the role of the spectator within that exercise.
Memoria, the new film by Apichatpong Weerasethakul moves from the jungles in Thailand to the cities in Colombia, the most occidental of his pictures. At any rate, he does not alter the direction of his observations, nor the depth of his cinematographic development. Jessica (Tilda Swinton) is a widow passing through Bogota, visiting her sister, who lies lethargic in a hospital bed due to a rare disease. One night, the noise of some strange detonations, that appear to come from out of nowhere, wakes her up and unsettles her so much that she obsesses to find the origin of those sounds. The motion picture is, like many from this director, a journey into the protagonist, an expedition that makes her travel first through the visible and damaged areas in the city, and later, through the ancestral nature of its cosmogeny.
In a different register. Retour À Reims (Fragments), the new documentary by French filmmaker Jean-Gabriel Périot resorts to an astounding amount of archive footage – from newscasts and fiction films to documentaries – to reconstruct the history of the French working class, taking Returning to Reims (2009), the autobiographical book by historian and philosopher Didier Eribon, as the conducting thread. As he had done already in Une Jeunesse Allemande and later in Nos Défaites, Périot elaborates a very personal vision on the political and popular itinerary in 20th Century Europe, especially in those events that crossed the 1960s. From this point of view, his new movie presents a broader arch, extending in two parts, from the 1930s to the end of the century.
- Diários de Otsoga, by Maureen Fazendeiro and Miguel Gomes. Portugal. 2021. 102 min. Chilean Premiere.
- Introduction, by Hong Sangsoo. South Korea. 2021. 66 min. Chilean Premiere.
- Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn, by Radu Jude. Romania, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Croatia. 2021. 106 min. Latin American Premiere.
- In Front of Your Face, by Hong Sangsoo. South Korea. 2021. 85 min. Latin American Premiere.
- Memoria, by Apichatpog Weerasethakul. Colombia, Thailand, France, Germany, Mexico, Qatar. 2021. 136 min. Latin American Premiere.
- Retour À Reims (Fragments), by Jean-Gabriel Périot. France. 2021. 80 min. Latin American Premiere.
The motion pictures featured in the New Pathways, Dissidences, and Nocturama sections, as well as those in Auteur Shorts, Cinema Lesson, Classics, Totally Wild, and Erotic VHS will be screened exclusively in person.
Concurrently to those pictures screening solely at venues, FICValdivia also has an exclusively online program. This includes the What’s Your Story! section, along with the Cinema School Short Film selection by FACIUNI, Austral Cinema Showcase, Cinema and Resistance and, in the Short Film Focus, the special shorts program made by the Brazilian collectives Chorumex and Anarca Filmes, which we have brought together under the moniker Chorume Anárquico.
In the case of the official selections, their screening will be in person for their premiere, and will be released for online viewing for 24 hours or until all available slots have been filled, with the exception of the Children’s Short Film Program, which will be entirely online.
The FICValdivia organizing team, along with BancoEstado, have programmed this free activity that will screen the Chilean films Los Niños, by director Maite Alberdi (La Once, El Agente Topo, El Salvavidas), La Casa Lobo, by Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña, and La Mentirita Blanca, by Tomás Alzamora. The special part here is this will be the first public drive-in cinema, free for the entire community, with films and live music in FICValdivia. The bands that will take part in the activity are Vevar (René González), Astromelia, and Mariana Eridea.
Those wishing to attend must sign up previously at ficvaldivia.cl, identifying all occupants in the vehicle. This format will permit accessing each car with a maximum of four occupants, all duly registered. After the health protocols are observed, attendees will enjoy the documentary on the big screen and the live band. Both the documentary sound and the live band will be broadcast over an FM station in the car radio.
As part of the parallel activities, once again, the festival will offer a space for dialog and reflection, within the context of Citizen Voices, which will be broadcast online, looking to debate on issues in the national and international contingency. This space is organized by the Valdivia Cultural Center for Film Promotion and will host important personalities in the country.
On Tuesday October 12, Citizen Voices will hold the event Kawin Human Rights and Territory in the Mapuche Nation, organized jointly with the National Institute of Human Rights (INDH), and moderated by Salvador Millaleo Hernández. Participating in the conversation will be Carmen Jaramillo Gualaman, elementary school teacher and pedagogical chief in the Education Department at the San Juan de la Costa municipality, and former constitutional candidate; history teacher and geographer Daniela Milanca Olivares, Mapuche intercultural educator and Storyteller at preschools in Los Ríos Region, environmental and feminist activist; Carmen Caifil Caifil, Mapuche attorney and an advocate for Territorial Rights, and former constitutional candidate; and Martín Correa Cabrera, a history graduate from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and prestigious researcher specializing in conflict issues and lawsuits by indigenous peoples of the Americas.
Another highlight of the program is Astronomy Kawin, which will take place on Thursday October 14. The panel, moderated by Beatriz Zamorano (Qué Leo Valdivia), will host speakers from two generations of astronomers and writers, both with recent and successful publications. Teresa Paneque, Master’s in Astronomy from Universidad de Chile is currently an doctoral candidate in Astronomy at the European Southern Observatory (ESO, Germany) and Leiden University (Netherlands). Astronomer José María Maza Sancho holds a PhD in Astronomy with a mention in astrophysics.
This year, two panel conversations have been organized. The first of them is with the Portuguese directors Maureen Fazendeiro and Miguel Gomes, which will kick-off the Voices program on Monday October 11. The second will be with renowned Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul, taking place on Friday October 15.
Austral Meetings is the industry space at FICValdivia. Its aim is to share a vision for the development of our audiovisual field, by promoting collaborative work, conversations on cinema, creative exploration, and permanent reflection on what we film. With a decentralized vocation, the instance seeks to strengthen Latin American ties. Its Future Chilean Cinema section is a fundamental part, and this year, it features the participation of 17 recently announced cinematographic projects.
These announcements complete this edition’s program. All the information and communiques are available at ficvaldivia.cl.
The Valdivia International Film Festival was founded and is organized by Universidad Austral de Chile; it is produced by the Valdivia Cultural Center for Film Promotion; and it is convened by the Great City of Valdivia, the Los Ríos Regional Government, and Codeproval; it is financed by the Audiovisual Fund and the Collaborative Institutions Program by the Ministry for Cultures, Arts and Heritage; main partner DirectTV and official sponsor BancoEstado.
All the info at our web and social media outlets.