18/01/2017 Chilean documentary “El pacto de Adriana” shall have its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival
>>> The feature film debut of young filmmaker Lissette Orozco was confirmed as one of the titles that shall make up the German festival’s Panorama section. The 67th edition of the Berlin Film Festival, one of the world’s most prestigious film events, shall take place from February 9th through the 19th.
Educated as a bilingual secretary in the middle of the Chilean military dictatorship, and at only 19 years old, Adriana Rivas came to be a member of the Lautaro Brigade and the personal secretary of the former head of the DINA, the Chilean national intelligence agency, Manuel Contreras. She has resided in Australia for the last four decades and has returned to Chile on several occasions to visit her family, but the last time she came, almost 11 years ago, she was arrested for her participation in the so-called Conference Case, which led to the murder and disappearance of several leaders of the Communist Party from 1976 to 1977. However, after spending a few months in prison, she was granted conditional release with travel restrictions and used the opportunity to escape to Sydney through Argentina. She is currently still facing an extradition process ordered by the Supreme Court.
This complex character, who has denied the accusations that have been brought against her and has even made controversial declarations to the international press, is the subject of the documentary film “El pacto de Adriana”. The documentary, which is based on the long-distance relationship that Rivas has held with her niece Lissette Orozco, whom in turn is also the film’s director, has been officially confirmed for its world premiere as part of the Panorama Dokumente, the documentary category of the Panorama section of the Berlin International Film Festival, one of the world’s most prestigious film events, whose 67th edition is to take place in the German capital from February 9th through the 19th. “El pacto de Adriana” is Orozco’s first feature-length film, and it shall arrive at the Berlinale after a successful previous international run during its development stages, achieving recognition in Chile through Corfo 2012, at the Tribeca Film Institute (USA) in 2015, and by being chosen at Best Pitch at DocsDF (Mexico) in 2015.
The director herself has talked about the experience of developing such a personal documentary project: “As a girl, I had a heroine: my aunt Adriana. In 2007, she was arrested, and I found out that during her youth she worked for the DINA, Pinochet’s secret police. Some time later, when the country had returned to democracy, she fled the country while facing a judicial process for the murder of an important communist leader. Today, my aunt is living a nightmare. In Australia, Chilean residents ask for her extradition and march in protest against her. The case has become popular in the media. I never realized how I got involved in her terrible past, and I am now a part of her delirious present. I’ve had a privileged access to the victims of the dictatorship, and through this film, I am willing to go to the final consequences in order to learn the truth and get to know who my aunt Adriana really is.”
Considered as one of the world’s most important film events, with a tradition that dates back to over six decades ago, the Berlin Festival has been an important platform for recent Chilean Film, both in the official competition as well as in parallel sections such as Panorama, Forum, and Generation. With the exception of a film as outstanding as the documentary “El botón de nácar”, by Patricio Guzmán (Silver Bear for best screenplay in 2015), when it comes to our country’s productions, this space has been mostly reserved for fiction. The award-winning films go from the 1992 Silver Bear for Ricardo Larraín’s “La Frontera”, to new awards in recent years for films such as “El club”, “Rara” and “Nunca vas a estar solo”, as well as the positive reception of films such as “Aquí no ha pasado nada” and the notorious Silver Bear for best actress that was awarded to Paulina Garcia in 2013, for her performance in Sebastian Lelio’s “Gloria”. This same filmmaker is returning precisely this year to the festival’s official competition, with the world premiere of his most recent feature-length film, “A Fantastic Woman”.
In its 2017 edition, Panorama Dokumente shall include the recent works of filmmakers such as Fernando León de Aranoa, as well as the highly praised “I am not your Negro” by Raoul Peck. “El pacto de Adriana” was one of the 15 titles that were officially confirmed this Tuesday by the Berlinale, which includes the world premieres of productions from countries such as Germany, Brazil, United States, France, and England. directed by renowned filmmakers such as Romuald Karmakar and João Moreira Salles.
“To have my debut film selected for Berlin is like any filmmaker’s dream,” said director Lissette Orozco. “In this film, I decided to work with a personal story; I entered a complex place, including family values and secrets, memory, and the reconstruction of a loved one’s figure that is already falling apart. It’s a feature film on which I spent five years of my life, and it’s been a hard and honest process, one of transformation and of the passage of time, which makes this recognition from Berlin tremendously satisfying. And due to the subject that is addressed, I feel that I have the responsibility of representing the new generations, where my main objective is to talk about and reflect on our past, in order to grow in our present and fight for this to never happen again in Chile.”