- This second-to-last official program announcement brings acclaimed pictures from around the world and many exclusive premieres. Festival Passes are now on sale, for this edition, taking place from October 10 to 16.
Valdivia, September 14. In its return to complete in-person activity, the Valdivia International Film Festival (FICValdivia) announces the films that will be part of its 29th edition, in the categories of Youth Feature Film, Latin American Short Film, and Latin American Children’s Short Film.
Festival Passes are now on sale for this new FICValdivia edition, taking place from October 10 to 16. All the information is available in the festival website at ficvaldivia.cl.
Official Youth Feature Selection
This important section debuted in 2018, during the 25th edition, and since has put its focus on productions that take on conflicts and topics associated with the 13-18 years of age segment.
Annually, six films make up this section, curated by filmmaker Tiziana Panizza. The first of them is Holgut, a documentary by Belgian director Liesbeth De Ceulaer. With the frozen Siberian landscape as a backdrop, the movie crosses two apparently opposing lines of action. One of them follows the adventure of two little brothers, one from the city, and the other from a village, who start toward the Yakutia desert, in search of a reindeer. The other follows a scientist who, at the scene of melting permafrost, the consequence of global warming, searches for the remains of a mammoth, with the hopes of cloning it. Both stories have, as a common thread, a meditation on extinction. It is not just the archaic view coming from the landscape that, in the narrative, takes on a testimonial dimension, but also the urgency of climate change and its consequences for the immediate future, a place where the picture connects myth and science.
The second feature competing in this section is Kim Min-Young of the report card, by Lee Jae-eun and Lim Jisun, a South Korean duo that deals with the transition into adulthood of a 20-year-old girl that did not go into university but chose to work halftime. Therefore, its context revolves around her memories of high school. In that line, her reunion with an old roommate, with whom she had put together a reading club, triggers small conflicts. In the territory of wishes, unsettled issues, and the search for affection, the film opts for a playful and ironic construction that is deeply warm toward the universe it depicts.
At every turn in Lobo e cão a similar feeling toward the characters shines through. Portuguese filmmaker Cláudia Varejão extends her experience in documentary to take on this fiction set in the island of São Miguel, a community in the middle of the Atlantic. Their insularity has allowed the inhabitants to organize from their old traditions culturally and socially, especially with a hyper-conservative vision of gender identity. In this restrictive environment, the movie tells the story of Ana, her friend Luis, and Cloé, a Canadian that has arrived in the island for the summer. They start to confront this conservative status, and to shake the morals of the locals. Lobo e Cão works as a colorful fable that deals with the tensions in the struggle for LGBTQI+ rights, expressing them with pop imaginary that contrasts and rebels against the moral opacity of the inhabitants in São Miguel.
The dilemma of staying or abandoning the place of origin is one of the topics present in Tsumu, Where do you go with your dreams, a documentary by Danish director Kasper Kiertzner that documents a group of LGBTQI+ youths that swarm around Tasiilaq, an isolated town of nearly two thousand inhabitants, on the east coast of Greenland, with soaring rates of youth suicide, alcohol consumption, and sexual abuse. In this unforgiving physical and social climate, Lars, Thomas, and Eino try to come into their own, amid an atmosphere of violence the film keeps off camera, but that seeps in, in dialogs and in the freedom with which the three dress and wear make-up, in themselves, a way to face the tense hostility that gravitates around the town’s everyday life.
Something different happens with Soy niño, by Chilean filmmaker Lorena Zilleruelo, a documentary that follows Bastián, a trans 18-year-old youth that struggles to affirm his identity, in a process that the director, the boy’s cousin, began to capture six years prior, at the time when the child began detecting certainties regarding his gender identity. The picture describes a path of searching, doubts, and discovery, amid social and economic obstacles. In the confessional intimacy with which the director approaches this itinerary, the picture also evinces the institutional gaps regarding transgender reality in Chile, which persist despite the social advances in the way people view sexual diversity.
The final film in competition is Yamabuki, by Japanese filmmaker Juichiro Yamasaki, a story that crosses over the lives of a handful of characters in a small mountain town, overwhelmed by their social, economic, and family circumstances. The point of cohesion is a high school student who is immersed in carrying out silent protests in the town center, to attack immigration and conscription policies, before her stunned father, a police officer. At the same time, the narrative also focusses on a former member of the Korean national equestrian team that, accosted by creditors, has sought refuge with his family in this locality, where he works as a laborer at a quarry. These two parallel lives are connected by chance, by solitude, and by the vast rocky landscape they are immersed in.
- Soy niño, Lorena Zilleruelo. Chile, France, 2022, 62 min. Latin American Premiere.
- Kim Min-young of the Report Card, Lee Jae-eun, Lim Jisun. South Korea, 2021, 94 min.
- Tsumu – Where Do You Go With Your Dreams, Kasper Kiertzner. Sweden. Denmark. 2022. 80 min.
- Holgut, Liesbeth De Ceulaer. Belgium. 2021. 75 min.
- Yamabuki, Juichiro Yamasaki. Japan, France. 2022. 97 min.
- Lobo e Cão, Cláudia Varejão. Portugal, France. 2022. 111 min.
Five Chilean productions in the Official Latin American Short Film Selection
The Official Latin American Short Film Selection groups together fourteen motion pictures of a broad formal and thematic range. The first of them is Cerro saturno, by Bolivian artist Miguel Hilari, a visual work that delves into the graphic relationships between nature and city. Copalli, by the Mexican collective Los Ingrávidos, explores relationships with the Nahuatl worldview, based on the extraction of resin from different vegetable species and the rituals that stem from it. ¿Dónde está Marie Anne? is an experimental short by Peruvian director Yaela Gottlieb, while the documentary Gambote, by Argentine filmmaker Sofía Bensadon, describes the routines of a couple that manufactures a specific type of brick. Los mayores ríos se deslizan bajo tierra is a 16mm film by Colombian native Simón Vélez, about a woman that leaves everything to grow strawberries. Luto, by Argentinean author Pablo Weber, virtually narrates, with fixed images, the existential tale of an anonymous protagonist whose voiceover reflections emerge out of Diego Armando Maradona’s death. Luz Nocturna, by Costa Rican director Kim Torres, tells the story of three small siblings that must contend with the loss of their mother. Serrão, the documentary by Brazilian director Marcelo Lin, narrates the difficulties a man trying to rebuild his life in the favelas. And, in Trazos de silencio, Mexican filmmaker Valentina Pelayo documents her journey in Mexico City, to track through her gaze, a history of the endemic violence in her country.
From Chile, the selection includes Geranios, by Lou Marino, a drama about a woman that must adapt to the extravagant lifestyle in Santiago’s upscale neighborhood, after being driven from Pudahuel. The science fiction-tinged Las criaturas que se derriten bajo el sol, by Diego Céspedes, depicts a trans woman that, together with her son, visits her former partner, with whom she had a toxic relationship. Tana Gilbert’s Ninguna estrella builds a narrative based on family images that her son’s grandmother documented for fifteen years. Quebrantahuesos, by Martín Baus, is a documentary built out of digital archives of films shot before the coup d’état. Felipe Rodríguez Cerda’s Cuaderno de agua refloats an old journal by a relegate from the dictatorship in the southern reaches of Melinka, which is found by her niece, 35 years later.
- Quebrantahuesos, Martín Baus. Chile. 2021. 10 min. Chilean Premiere.
- Geranios, Lou Marino. Chile. 2022. 21 min. World Premiere.
- Ninguna estrella, Tana Gilbert. Chile. 2022. 25 min. World Premiere.
- Las criaturas que se derriten bajo el sol, Diego Céspedes. Chile. 2022. 17 min.
- Cuaderno de agua, Felipe Rodríguez Cerda. Chile, France. 2022. 15 min. Latin American Premiere.
- Luto, Pablo Weber. Argentina. 2021. 27 min.
- Copalli, Colectivo Los Ingrávidos. Mexico. 2022. 7 min.
- Cerro Saturno, Miguel Hilari. Bolivia, United States. 2022. 13 min.
- Serrão, Marcelo Lin. Brazil. 2021. 19 min.
- Gambote, Sofía Bensadon. Argentina, Chile, Bolivia. 2021. 24 min. World Premiere.
- ¿Dónde está Marie Anne?, Yaela Gottlieb. Argentina, Peru. 2022. 6 min.
- Los mayores ríos se deslizan bajo tierra, Simón Velez. Colombia. 2022. 19 min.
- Luz nocturna, Kim Torres. Costa Rica. 2022. 15 min. Chilean Premiere.
- Trazos del silencio, Valentina Pelayo Atilano. Mexico, Spain, Portugal. 2022. 28 min. International Premiere.
Urban childhood and environmental awareness in Latin American Children’s Short Film
This year, the Latin American Children’s Short Film competition is made up of six pictures that, in different formats and techniques, take on topics related to nature and the troubles of childhood in the city. La increíble historia del choclo gigante, by Brazilian author Aldenor Pimentel, tells the tale of friendship and trust between an ant and an aardvark, with the relationship of balance and solidarity in the Amazonian savannah as a backdrop. El cuervo y el venado, by Mexican filmmaker Mauricio Calderón Rico, also speaks of friendship among wild animals, this time between a crow and a lost deer, looking for its family in the woods. By Colombians Andrés Castillo and Diego Castillo, Keradó shows a little girl’s process of awareness, regarding the dangers the operations of a hydroelectric plant pose to the survival of her village. Una pausa para la madre tierra, by Aldana Loiseau, depicts how environmental damage took a pause during the pandemic.
Child neglect in the modern city is the topic of the other two films in competition. Un niño sólo, by Argentinean author Miguel Garcés, takes on the troubles of a small orphan that barely has enough to warm his house over the winter, along with the bond that will unite him to a high-class girl, who celebrates her birthday. Along a similar line, the final short in this category is Todos los seguidores de Ness, by Brazilian director Bruna Steudel, about a boy that will do everything possible to get recognition for the internet channel he manages from home.
- El cuervo y el venado, Mauricio Calderón Rico. Mexico. 2021. 8 min. Chilean Premiere.
- Keradó, Andrés Castillo and Diego Castillo. Colombia. 2022. 15 min. World Premiere.
- Una pausa para la madre tierra, Aldana Loiseau. Argentina. 2022. 3 min. Chilean Premiere.
- La increíble historia del choclo gigante, Aldenor Pimentel. Brazil. 2021. 14 min. Chilean Premiere.
- Todos los seguidores de Ness, Bruna Steudel, Brazil. 2022. 19 min. Chilean Premiere.
- Un niño solo, Miguel Garcés. Argentina. 2022. 11 min. Chilean Premiere.
FICValdivia is funded and organized by Universidad Austral de Chile; produced by the Valdivia Cultural Center for Film Promotion; convened by the Great City of Valdivia, the Los Ríos Regional Government, and Codeproval; financed by the Audiovisual Fund, the Collaborating Festivals Program of the Audiovisual Arts and Industry Council (Call 2021-2022), and the Collaborating Cultural Organizations Program of the Ministry of Cultures, Arts, and Heritage.