- The ceremony ended with the screening of a fragment of El Tango del Viudo (1967, 2019), feature film by Chilean master Raúl Ruiz.
- The Honorary Pudú Award was given to actor Mario Lorca, for his career on the stage and the screen, and tribute was paid to the last 10 years of Valdivian short films.
- A transfer deed was officially signed, marking the donation of a property for the Valdivia Cultural Center for Film Production, by the Ministry of National Assets.
- The Valdivia Chamber Orchestra performed a live musicalization of a fragment of the documentary La Respuesta, by Leopoldo Castedo Hernández, which opened the gala.
This Monday October 7, the 26th edition of the Valdivia International Film Festival kicked off with an Opening Ceremony hosted by actress Consuelo Holzapfel, and actor Andrew Bargsted. Present at the gala were Los Rios Regional Intendant Cesar Asenjo; Valdivia Province Governor María José Gatica; the President of the Los Ríos Regional Council, Marcos Cortez; the Regional Ministry Secretary for Culture, Helmuth Palma; the Executive Secretary for the National Council for Audiovisual Arts and Industry, Daniel Laguna; Universidad Austral de Chile Chancellor Oscar Galindo; the Chairman of the Board at the Valdivia Cultural Center for Film Promotion, Antonio Ruiz-Tagle, and FICValdivia director Raúl Camargo.
The gala opened with a commemoration of the earthquake that devastated the city of Valdivia in 1960, screening a fragment of the documentary La Respuesta (1961), by Spanish author Leopoldo Castedo Hernández, musicalized live by the Valdivia Chamber Orchestra.
Los Ríos Regional Intendant Cesar Asenjo pointed out the importance of the festival, considering it “an invaluable partner in the dissemination of culture in our territory.” He also highlighted how this alliance contributes to the development of local culture and identity. Likewise, he mentioned how the event harmoniously brings people together, “despite their physical appearance, and their way of thinking; everyone united around the beauty of cinema, as artistic expression.”
In his remarks, Universidad Austral de Chile Chancellor Oscar Galindo reaffirmed the University’s commitment with the event, and the work undertaken to improve the infrastructure where part of the festival takes place.
The President of the Los Ríos Regional Council, Marcos Cortez remarked on the importance of the arts and culture for society, and the relevance of having appropriate spaces, and infrastructure to develop these activities. Cortez made a call to all relevant players to contribute in finding permanent funding for the Festival.
The Chairperson of the Board at the Valdivia Cultural Center for Film Promotion, Antonio Ruiz-Tagle stressed the urgent current state of the environment, and how, this year, the Festival included a series entitled “Urgent,” as a call to action to contribute to diminish climate change.
Festival Director Raúl Camargo called on all attendees to make use of the festival as an instance to share as a community once again, for people to debate and arrive at consensus, in search of creating better and more integrative societies.
In one of the most important milestones in the ceremony, the Honorary Pudú Award was handed to actor and stage director Mario Lorca, for his career of over 68 years. A son of the locality of Punucapa, he participated in the film by Chilean directors Raúl Ruíz, and Valeria Sarmiento, La Telenovela Errante (1990, 2017), and in the Argentine feature La Nave de Los Locos, by Ricardo Wullicher, among many audiovisual pieces. In terms of the theater, he was a cast member of La Remolienda, a play by Alejandro Sieveking, originally directed by Víctor Jara.
Part of the opening gala included a tribute to the last 10 years in Valdivian Short Films, where local filmmakers Tomás Arcos, Cristóbal Duran, Marisol Cumsille, Rodrigo Jara, Samuel González, Carlos Vargas, and Dante Arroyo were invited to the stage.
Also during the event, the Valdivia Cultural Center for Film Promotion received a license for free use of the property located in Aníbal Pinto 1895, on the corner with Runca, which belongs to the National Assets Ministry, with the signing of the document by the Regional Ministry Secretary, Eduardo Berger Silva, Los Ríos Regional Intendant Cesar Asenjo, and the Chairman of the Board at the Valdivia Cultural Center for Film Promotion, Antonio Ruiz Tagle.
The ceremony closed with the screening of a fragment from the film El Tango del Viudo (1967, 2019), by renowned Chilean director Raúl Ruiz, which is presently in postproduction. The feature, inspired in the poetry of Pablo Neruda, dates back to the beginning of 1967, and could not be finished at the time, due to a lack of funds for dubbing and postproduction. The presentation was led by the creator’s widow, and co-director of the film, Valeria Sarmiento, along with producers Chamila Rodríguez, and Galut Alarcón.
The full-length picture that will officially kick off the Festival’s present version will be Los Fuertes (2019), first production by Chilean filmmaker Omar Zúñiga, which was shot in the Los Ríos Region. It will screen this Tuesday 8 at Aula Magna Hall, in Universidad Austral, beginning at 10:45pm. In turn, the closing film will be Technoboss (2019), by Portuguese director João Nicolau, which will screen on Sunday October 13, in the same university venue, at 8pm.
A week to live cinema
The program for FICValdivia 26 includes, among its competing sections, Chilean Feature, International Feature, and International Youth’s Feature, along with Latin American Short Film, and Latin American Children’s Short Film. The show times for the Official Selection can be found in the 2019 Program.
In terms of the Parallel Program, there are classic sections such as Gala, with a selection of recent productions from around the globe, together with the experimental series New Pathways; Dissidents features contingent perspectives regarding social processes in the world we live in; niche classics find their space in Nocturama; and, there is a program devoted to the cinema hailing from native peoples called First Nations. Additionally this year, FICValdivia debuts Urgent, a new section that revolves around the risks in the current climate emergency, in the codes of the audiovisual arts.
The Valdivia International Film Festival is possible thanks to its institutional platform, which includes Universidad Austral de Chile, the Valdivia Cultural Center for Film Promotion, the Great City of Valdivia, and the Chilean Government.