Next year, the EFM will present Chilean filmmakers and filmmaking under different aspects. The main programme will provide many opportunities to network with Chilean producers, distributors, investors and creators, and to get to know Chilean productions. Supported by ProChile – Chile’s Exports Promotion Bureau, “Chile in Focus” will also mark the tenth anniversary of CinemaChile, the organisation that has successfully promoted Chilean cinema worldwide.
Chilean cinema has always been present at the Berlinale and has received numerous awards, testifying to the success of Chilean filmmaking – as in recent years the Silver Bears for world-acclaimed films such as Gloria and Una mujer fantástica (A Fantastic Woman) by Sebastián Lelio, who was also a member of the International Jury in 2019. Furthermore, outstanding and award-winning films with important themes like El Club (The Club) by Pablo Larraín and El botón de nácar (The Pearl Button) by Patricio Guzmán have contributed to the history of Chilean cinema at the Berlinale. With Mexico, Canada and Norway as “Country in Focus” in previous years, Chile will be the first South American country to be featured in the “Country in Focus” programme of the European Film Market.
“I am pleased that our long-term positive relations with Chilean filmmakers will be further developed through the cooperation of the ‘Country in Focus’ programme”, commented outgoing Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick.” Chilean cinema has a long tradition at Berlinale, which we absolutely want to continue,” adds the new Executive Director of the Berlinale, Mariette Rissenbeek.
“Chile’s presence at the EFM and other Berlinale industry initiatives has grown steadily over the last few years, and the creativity of Chilean cinema has once again been confirmed internationally with the Academy Award for Una mujer fantástica. “We look forward to developing a diversified and substantive programme with our Chilean partners. Chile has a lot to tell and a lot to offer for the future,” says EFM Director Matthijs Wouter Knol.
Chilean Minister for Culture, Consuelo Valdés Chadwick comments: “The Chilean audiovisual industry is experiencing one of its best moments; the different awards and recognitions are proof of the excellent reputation we have gained globally, not by chance, but rather as a result of all the sectors involved. The main challenge we have as a government is to support and deliver the necessary tools so that our creators may continue to progress and make their work visible even beyond our borders. Therefore, this milestone that brings us together today, the celebration that next year Chile will be the first South American country to be invited as a ‘Country in Focus’ of the European Film Market of the Berlinale, is an incentive to continue supporting our cinematography. As the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage, we are committed to our filmmakers, actors, producers and all those who thrive daily so that today we can say that in Chile our audiovisual professionals are doing things right.”
CEO of ProChile, Jorge O’Ryan, adds: “ProChile, the Chilean government agency which promotes exports of Chilean goods and services to the world, has played a fundamental role in the internationalisation of Chilean cinema. Between 2013 and 2017, ProChile supported more than 100 projects including cinema, TV, documentaries and audiovisual services. Furthermore almost ten years ago, together with the private sector, ProChile created the sectorial brand CinemaChile, which has developed and executed a promotion strategy for hundreds of films which have accomplished various international recognitions such as Academy Awards and Silver Bears at the Berlinale. Being the ‘Country in Focus’ at the Berlinale 2020 is a big recognition for Chilean cinema, for ProChile and our country.”
Ambassador of Chile to Germany, Mrs. Cecilia Mackenna, comments on Chile as “Country in Focus”: “In light of its development in Chile, the audiovisual sector has opened a new and important dimension in the relationship between Chile and Germany. Proof of this is the ‘Country in Focus’ programme, as well as the Film Co-production Agreement between both countries which was signed during President Piñera’s visit to Germany in October 2018.”