Chilean film biz finds footing again after quake's effects
In a clear indication that Chilean cinema can be a hot international commodity, Films Boutique has sold pluriprized comedy “Optical Illusions” to a slew of territories.Concurrently, other pics from Chile, where the local film industry is bouncing back after being striken by the February earthquake, are generating Croisette buzz. Young director Cristian Jimenez’s “Illusions,” about the struggles of Chilean society to come to terms with the marketing era, has been picked up by Soda Pictures for the U.K., Sophie Dulac distribution for France, One Films for Russia, SBS for Australia, and Wiesner Distribution for Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Chilean sexy laffer “Grado 3” has also drummed up sales, including North American rights being picked up by leading Latin American homevid distibbery Laguna Pictures. The Chileans are out in full force in Cannes, with a delegation of 34 directors, producers and industry representatives who made the trek under the country’s new Cinema Chile umbrella org. “There has been a big shift. We’re producing about 40 feature films a year — half on film and half on digital — which is pretty good for a country with 16 million people,” said producer Bruno Bettati, who heads Cinema Chile. Bettati said the local industry infrastructure, including the location of Chile’s Valdivia festival, has largely escaped the destruction caused by the earthquake.