Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile: Valdivia Film Festival awards five productions by former UC students

The group of alumni and students of the UC Audiovisual Direction career won the Golden Pudú of this contest, standing out in three different categories, with five pieces in competition. This important event is an excellent showcase for young filmmakers who seek to install their work on the international audiovisual circuit.

Between October 11 and 17, the 28th version of the Valdivia International Film Festival took place , which this year implemented the hybrid format, a product of the Covid-19 pandemic. As every year, several students, alumni, alumni and teachers of UC Audiovisual Direction (DAV) were present at this important event, which celebrates Chilean and international cinema and which, after a 2020 version made 100% online, returned to turn to the halls of the capital of the Los Ríos Region.

“It was a different festival, as there was little public (very few students who generally arrive en masse). There were functions in only three rooms and with limited capacity. However, one felt the excitement of being in a movie theater again, experiencing a festival, watching world premieres of films that we probably cannot see in theaters in other contexts from Chile ” , says Carolina Urrutia, a DAV professor who was present in this contest.

After several days of viewing, the award ceremony was held on Saturday, October 16, and it was a night with many good news for the UC Faculty of Communications , as several former students received the Pudú de Oro , a statuette given by this festival. in the categories in which they participated.

Some of the awarded short films were the result of the UC Audiovisual Direction students degree project, made in 2020, and avoiding the complex context of a pandemic.

“We are very happy and moved by the artistic and public contribution that they as alumni are contributing by creating these works, putting them into circulation and affecting us all with these stories, in different ways,” says Susana Foxley, director of the Department of Audiovisual Creation. of the Faculty of Communications.

Among the winning works, there is the work of young filmmakers but who already have a long career, and who have participated on other occasions in the festival circuit. Claudia Huaiquimilla, Nicolás Videla and Diego Acosta , in addition to former students, have also been teachers of the faculty, and have contributed from that showcase to the development of new generations.

On the other hand, among the awarded pieces there are also works that correspond to works by recently graduated audiovisual directors. This is the case of the works of the directors Camila Ortega and Catalina Etcheverry , whose teams are also made up of fellow students, in script and production work, among others.

The winners are:

Feature Film Competition

Best Film: “My Brothers Dream Awake” , by Claudia Huaiquimilla, former student and DAV teacher.
Special mention of the jury: “Travesía Travesti” , by Nicolás Videla, producer Nicole Bonilla, both former DAV students.
Latin American Children’s Short Film Competition

First prize: “The box of my memories” , by Camila Ortega, produced by Emilia Rodríguez-Cano, both former DAV students.
Special jury award: “Mi Papá Azul” , directed by Catalina Etcheverry and Produced by Elisa Reyes, both former DAV students.
Chilean Feature Film Competition

Best film: “Al Amparo del Cielo” , by Diego Acosta, former DAV student.

For Camila Ortega, director of “La caja de mis memoria” , winner of the Latin American Children’s Short Film competition , this award was a real surprise.

“I didn’t expect it, since the short film was nominated it was already an honor just to be present in the competition. Having won is almost like a dream, I take it with humility, with pride and as a very special recognition. Also with great joy, especially as a motivation to continue creating audiovisual pieces with meaning and for all audiences, regardless of their age, ” said Camila Ortega.

In the same category, “Mi Papá Azul” , directed by Catalina Etcheverry and produced by Elisa Reyes, both former students of Audiovisual Direction, won a special award from the jury.

“We are very happy with my team and very honored to have been part of a very important festival in Chile. For my career it is quite important because it opens up the possibilities for me to feel that one can go far, but above all, telling stories that make sense to me. “My Blue Dad” came a lot from the heart, ” said Catalina Etcheverry about this recognition.

Both short films were the result of the title project of the two teams, made in 2020, and which circumvented the complex context of the pandemic.

“These projects arise from the deep commitment, the investigative interest and the collaborative work of the teaching teams and the students who are available with all their capacity, and who in this case overcame all the obstacles that the pandemic put them, to develop projects in the last stage of his career, and that had complex issues such as sexual abuse of children or adult suicide. These directors feel a commitment to convey through their own voices and views what happens to others, but it affects us all, ” says Professor Foxley.

The young filmmakers who triumphed in the short film category agree that their time at the Faculty of Communications was very significant in order to develop the works that triumphed in Valdivia.

“From my time at FCOM, what I appreciate the most is the space to be able to tell stories freely. If it hadn’t been for that, I might not have found my voice, which is linked to animation. I also want to thank the teachers, especially Sebastián Bisbal and Elisa Eliash, who motivated us not to give up the idea. In a pandemic context, the teachers were very understanding ” , explains Catalina Etcheverry.

On the way in the Audiovisual Direction career, another of the winners of FIC Valdivia rescues how this career gave her a closeness and knowledge of local creators in the Chilean film scene.

“ Having been in Audiovisual Management and being part of the FCOM is undoubtedly one of the best decisions I have made. I met wonderful people, I learned a lot and it was a very nice experience. And one of the things that I am most grateful for are the professors I had at university, learning from filmmakers and producers of current Chilean cinema, academics and professors studying the audiovisual world marked my way of seeing cinema, understanding it, working it, to appreciate it, ” says Camila Ortega.

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