Nyon’s Visions du Reel Sets Chile Focus

Event comes after Marcia Tambutti, Patricio Guzman win at Cannes, Berlin.

Building on Marcia Tambutti’s Cannes L’Oeil d’Or win for “Beyond My Grandfather Allende” on Saturday, Nyon’s Visions du Reel will include a Chile focus in its 2016 edition.

One of Europe’s most prestigious documentary events, the Swiss fest, which includes a Doc Outlook – International Market, will run April 15-23, 2016.

Beyond completed films, the Focus will also feature a presentation of Chilean projects seeking European co-production partners, said Chiledoc director Flor Rubina.

“The special Chile focus is recognition for our production sector, and a sign of its current health,” she added.

Beyond Tambutti’s L’Oeil d’Or – a newly created plaudit for best documentary among titles selected at Cannes — Patricio Guzman scooped a best screenplay Silver Bear for “The Pearl Necklace” at 2015’s Berlin Fest.

But Chile’s docu feature tradition is rich and a standout in Latin America, said Cinemachile director Constanza Arenas, who cites, apart from Guzman, Sergio Bravo and Pedro Chaskel, co-founders of Chile’s Centro de Cine Experimental in 1959, who both went into exile after Pinochet’s coup; and Ignacio Aguero, director of 2009’s “El diario de Agustin,” a study of bias at the CIA-funded conservative newspaper El Mercurio. Their ranks have now been swelled, said Arenas, by leading contemporary figures such as Cristian Leighton, co-founder of Surreal, Chile’s top TV docu production house; directorial duo Ivan Osnovikoff and Bettina Perut; and Maite Alberdi.

Screening at Locaerno’s 2013 Carte Blanche, “Surire,” from Perut and Osnovikoff, records the battle between the local indigenous community, a mining and geothermal companies and the state to exploit or conserve Chile’s Sourire salt flats, extending 14,000 feet up in the Andes.

Alberdi’s “Tea Time” stood out at 2013’s first BAL Goes to Cannes pix-in-post showcase. Nominally about some old dears who have shared a tea together for decades, “Tea Time” develops into a portrait of exemplary democratic cohabitation.

“The focus is recognition for a strong, rich tradition and a bridge connecting it to the world,” Arenas said.

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