This year, Chile has had an unprecedented participation at the Venice Film Festival. Four of its productions participated in the festival, competing in diverse selections, and with one day left before its closing date, Chile has received five important recognitions. This historical participation serves as evidence of the growth in number and quality of the productions and stories coming from this end of the world.
The first award was the Starlight International Cinema Award, presented to Chilean actor Alfredo Castro. Then came the historical announcement of the Queer Lion Award presented to Sebastian Muñoz’s film, The Prince. This was followed by the FIPRESCI Award for Blanco en Blanco, by Theo Court, and finally, the ARCA and UNIMED Awards for the film Ema, by renowned directro Pablo Larraín.
Alfredo Castro received the International Starlight Cinema Award two days ago, becoming the first Latin American person to obtain this recognition, which is granted by Italy’s female journalists’ circle. The award is presented to personalities from the film industry, both in Italy and worldwide, and seeks to place value on cinematographic talents.
On the other hand, the Queer Lion Award is presented to productions that deal with LGBT issues. At this edition of the Venice Film Festival, the recognition was given to The Prince, a debut film by Chilean film director Sebastián Muñoz. “Our film doesn’t focus 100% on an LGBT niche; rather, it is a film that wanted to speak about human love, about love between men, but not necessarily about homosexual life,” the director declared after the award’s announcement.
Likewise, the FIPRESCI Award –presented by the International Federation of Film Critics— was given to the film Blanco en Blanco, directed by Theo Court and featuring the performance of Chilean actor Alfredo Castro. The recognition is presented to films participating in Venice’s Orizzonti section, which is dedicated to the latest trends in international cinema.
Pablo Larrain’s much-awaited film Ema, received two important recognitions today: the ARCA CinemaGiovani Awards and the UNIMED award. The first recognition was presented for “expressing a new idea of family, a revolutionary and unexpected idea that gives voice to our ancestral need for paternity, while challenging the social restrictions that regulate it,” ARCA explained. The organization added that the award was also for representing an avant-garde idea of film, “Giving life to a modern language in which drama and music are fused together without the typical stereotypes, showing the future of the art of making films. For developing a classic subject in a provocative and anarchistic story, that becomes innovative and revolutionary thanks to its substantial contents and character traits, and for deconstructing social and cinematographic conventions through dance and its power for expression.”
This recognition is one of the main parallel awards that are presented within this competition. It has been awarded for 18 years by a jury made up of young French and Italian citizens aged 18 through 26.
With regards to the UNIMED Award for Best Film, this award was presented by a jury consisting of young students from the Mediterranean Universities.
It is worth mentioning that Ema will also be presented at the Toronto Film Festival, and will later participate in the Perlak section at the San Sebastian Film Festival, where the film The Prince will also be taking part in the Horizontes Latinos competition.