×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Chilean Cinema’s Promotion Organization Fired Up for Local Films

Behind most great national cinemas is a great promotion body.

Such far-reaching and successful agencies as France’s Unifrance set the standard for other countries to emulate.

Promotion agency CinemaChile has been working since its launch in 2009 to meet that standard.

Its functions reflect its status as an agency backed by a private-sector entity, Chile’s Film & TV Producers Assn. It serves an industry, not a government.

Although large growth opportunities remain abroad, Chilean cinema confronts a dire necessity at home: Growing a still lowly domestic market share.

“We’re totally protected against political appointments, political favors. We know what the industry needs,” says Giancarlo Nasi, an APCT board member.
Serving a collective, it forms part of an industry’s knowledge economy.

“Instead of pitting us one against the other, CinemaChile has helped put us together,” says producer Juan de Dios Larrain. “That’s so important because you start working together, getting ideas and contacts, sharing projects, sharing everything.”

Working the smallest of Latin America’s “big six” territories of Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Peru, Chile’s $132 million total box office in 2016 was 17% of Mexico’s. Foreign markets, and access to them via festivals, is essential. Here, CinemaChile has proved a large facilitator.

“National agencies are a vital link between a cinema and festivals,” says San Sebastian Festival director José Luis Rebordinos.

Very good agencies such as CinemaChile “know festivals very well, their deadlines, programming; they can come up with ideas, give producer contacts, help festivals screen films, provide information,” he adds.

As Chile drives into larger, more accessible art films, many need to be made as international co-productions, whose number has jumped from two in 2010 to 13 in 2013. Here, too, CinemaChile plays a vital role.

Nasi recalls going to San Sebastian with “Raiz” in 2013. “It was the first festival in my life. Constanza [Arena, CinemaChile executive director] explained how everything worked. On a personal basis, I can say it is crucial to my career.”

Given its relatively low production output — 43 features in 2016, vs. 143-199 for Brazil, Mexico and Argentina — Chile punches far above its weight in festival presence. CinemaChile “works to find berths at festivals for not only its biggest titles, but also more modest films, and this helps a whole national cinema grow,” Rebordinos says.

CinemaChile is part of a virtuous circle, says Cannes Market executive director Jerome Paillard. “Chile has an agency that is supporting very well its industry and an industry that has the talent to take full advantage of that. Latin America’s big countries already have established agencies. Being newer, energetic and efficient, CinemaChile has been able to instantly take its actions to another level.”

Chilean filmmaking is now established as one of Latin America’s most prized auteur cinema brands.

But new market opportunities as well as challenges beckon. Chilean films hardly export to Asia. They still largely underperform abroad in Latin America. One way to address that is via co-production.

CinemaChile will sending seven producers to the Cannes Producers Network. It will stage a Fiesta Latina with other Latin American countries, another networking conduit.

“Co-production treaties have to be highly active,” says Arena.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Garin Nugroho film "Memories of my

    Indonesia Selects Controversial 'Memories' as Oscar Contender

    “Memories of my Body” directed by Garin Nugroho has been selected to represent Indonesia at the Academy Awards in the best foreign-language film category. The announcement was made on Tuesday by actress Christine Hakim representing the Indonesian Film Selection Committee. The fact-based film depicts the story of a young man from a dance troupe that [...]

  • Benjamin Wallfisch - scoring session, Abbey

    Composer Benjamin Wallfisch Signs With Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency

    Composer Benjamin Wallfisch has signed with the Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency (GSA) for worldwide representation, in partnership with London-based agency COOL Music Ltd. A top composer, whose scoring credits include “It Chapter Two,” Shazam!” Hellboy,” “Hidden Figures” and “Hostile Planet,” among others, Wallfisch has worked on over 75 feature films and is a member of the BAFTA [...]

  • The Moneychanger

    Toronto Film Review: ‘The Moneychanger’

    Uruguayan auteur Federico Veiroj (“The Apostate,” “Belmonte”) broadens his usual intimate dramatic scope to diminishing returns for his fifth feature, “The Moneychanger,” . Adapted from a novella by compatriot Juan Enrique Gruber, the period (mid-1950s to mid-1970s) tale centers on the eponymous character, an amoral currency exchanger, who winds up laundering some of the dirtiest [...]

  • Send Me to the Clouds

    Film Review: ‘Send Me to the Clouds’

    The social and economic pressures felt by China’s “leftover women” — referring to those older than 26 and unmarried — are examined in “Send Me to the Clouds,” a rewarding dramedy about a 30-ish journalist seeking financial reward and sexual fulfillment after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Bold by mainland standards for presenting a positive [...]

  • Jamie Bell Without Remorse

    Jamie Bell Joins Michael B. Jordan in 'Without Remorse' Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jamie Bell is in final negotiations to join Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of the Tom Clancy novel “Without Remorse.” Stefano Sollima, who most recently helmed “Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” is directing from a script by “Sicaro” screenwriter Taylor Sheridan. As previously announced, Jordan is starring as operations officer John Clark, also known [...]

  • Elizabeth McGovern, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter,

    'Downton Abbey' Movie Sequel? Producers Tease That They Have 'Some Ideas'

    “Downton Abbey” holds the record as the most-nominated international show at the Emmy Awards with 69 nominations and 15 wins — and now, it stands a chance to nab an Oscar. More than three years after the beloved series signed off the air following six critically-acclaimed seasons, “Downton Abbey” is making its big-screen debut. “It [...]

  • Todd Phillips Joaquin Phoenix Joker Movie

    What's Woker Than 'Joker'? Film Critics Made Everything Political at Fall Festivals

    “Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?” asks Joaquin Phoenix, playing a deranged incel version of the DC supervillain in “Joker,” the unconventional comic book movie that’s sucked up much of the air from the fall festival circuit. Like an aggro caricature of the “involuntary celibates” who troll message boards online, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content