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Five Chilean Talents to Watch in 2018

JUAN CACERES

“Perro Bomba”

With his debut feature, “Perro Bomba,” director Juan Caceres has made a big impression in Latin America, having competed and won development awards in Bolivia and Guadalajara, as well as his native Chile. His projects are intentionally low-budget, and made with little concern for potential commercial or festival success. Caceres says: “Filmmakers must abandon the bourgeois pretention of being unique artists with special talent. We must reach popular classes of our society, our great audiences.”

DIEGO CESPEDES

“The Summer of the Electric Lion”

An egalitarian filmmaker, Cespedes in interviews almost always answers with “we” rather than “I.” The credit for his recent short “The Summer of the Electric Lion,” set to participate in Cannes’ Cinefondation, must be shared with everyone involved, he notes. The next step for Cespedes and his team is a feature debut that will focus on three homosexual brothers during the time when the first cases of HIV were recognized in Chile.

FELIPE GALVEZ

“Rapaz”

Galvez admits to a degree of surprise that his short film “Rapaz” was chosen to participate at Cannes Critics’ Week. It’s violent from the word go; he knew he had made decisions that would challenge the selection committee, but was thrilled with the payoff. That propensity toward violence will also be a major theme in his upcoming feature debut, “Los Colonos,” which will examine the colonization of Chilean Patagonia through the eyes of the native Ona hunters.

ALEXANDRA HYLAND

“Those Girls”

A self-described “granny millennial,” writer-director Hyland is a filmmaker who knows what she wants to put on the screen. Among her favorite themes are female friendship, architecture, idiosyncrasies and little-known places. She is also keen to wrap those themes around culturally relevant issues facing Chile, as was the case with “Those Girls,” which followed two girls willing to do most anything to fund an abortion. The film was awarded a slot at Tribeca when it unspooled in 2017’s Santiago Intl. Film Festival.

IGNACIO JURICIC

“Enigma”

One calling card of the New, New Chilean Cinema is bold direction. Sneak-peeked in post at Guadalajara, “Enigma,” Juricic’s feature debut, is a case in point. In it, Nancy, a hairstylist, debates whether to go on a cold case TV show about her lesbian daughter’s murder. Her family tries to talk her out of it. Capturing Nancy cooped up in her family apartment, lensed in mid-shot and surrounded forever by a huge brood of daughters and friends, “Enigma” delivers a withering portrait of mass conservatism, its pressures and mechanisms, as Nancy seeks closure on her grief.

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