Rapidly consolidating as one of South America’s banner film-TV events, Chile’s 17th Santiago International Film Festival (Sanfic) will split the Sanfic Industria section into two parts next year with a fully virtual industry section and marketplace to be held March 18-25 and an in-person festival in August.

Five Industria sections will unspool online in March including the traditional Santiago Lab for Ibero-American projects and Sanfic WIP sidebars as well as three new events: Sanfic Net: Business Tables; Sanfic Series Lab; and Ibero-American Women Producers In Focus. Several of the events will then host on-site counterparts at August’s festival.

“We decided to hold off on sections which included screenings of finished films or series until the face-to-face version in August because exhibiting online burns a window,” Sandoval said of the festival’s industry split. “We considered an outdoor event in March, but we can’t be sure of what the lockdown situation will be in Chile at that time.”

Calls for projects interested in participating in the Santiago Lab, Sanfic Net: Business Tables and the WIP section will open on Dec. 28, with other sections scheduled to initiate their selection process in the following weeks.

Santiago Lab Iberoamericano is open to any fiction or documentary feature film project currently in development. Sanfic has also partnered, under the Santiago Lab umbrella, with Pablo Guisa’s Morbido Group in Mexico on Factoría Morbido-Sanfic, a section dedicated entirely to horror, fantasy and science fiction projects. Winners of the Morbido sidebar are invited to bring their project to Mexico City at the next in-person Morbido Fest and will receive backing from Morbido’s production and marketing arms. Last year’s inaugural winner was Florencia Dupont’s Santiago-set thriller “Aracne.”

One of Latin America’s premier annual pix-in-post showcases, the Sanfic Ibero-American WIP will operate largely under the same guidelines as in past editions, allowing nearly finished film projects, fiction and documentary, to screen rough cuts for accredited industry guests and compete for several post-production prizes.

New this year, and custom designed for an online marketplace, the Sanfic Net: Business Tables for Ibero-American feature films and series is a dedicated space for films and series still in development. The section is designed as a platform for producers to present their projects to festival programmers, fund representatives, aggregators, platforms, producers, buyers and international sales agents.

A major addition to Sanfic 2021 is the Series Lab sidebar, its first-ever TV-dedicated section open to Chilean fiction series projects currently in development. Fueled by global successes such as Fabula and Fremantle’s Amazon Prime Video Original “La Jauria” and Germany-Chile co-production “Dignity,” demand for Chilean TV has never been higher. Series Lab will give project teams the opportunity to speak with international mentors who will tutor them on how to build an audience, writing for TV and marketing a series. Additionally, several local broadcasters and many of the world’s largest global platforms will participate in this year’s inaugural lab.

An online application space will be launched for Series Lab on Jan. 15, paving the way for the festival’s new Sanfic Series sidebar, where finished series will screen in competition including several premieres.

“We see this first Series Lab as a kind of pilot program,” Sanfic founder and Storyboard Media producer Gabriela Sandoval explained to Variety. “We have opened other parts of Sanfic Industria to more Latin American projects, not just those from Chile and the Southern Cone, and this is another platform we might consider expanding to all of Latin America. So the March event will hopefully inform what we do in August and beyond, but at a larger scale.”

Sanfic has also introduced its new Ibero-American Women Producers In Focus platform, a space to increase visibility for productions headed by Ibero-American women. This space will foster networking activities, training, meetings and, in a second version held at August’s in-person event, exhibit finished films and works in progress. The call for applications for the In Focus section opens on Jan. 15.

Lazy loaded image
Sanfic Founder Gabriela Sandoval Credit: Gabriela Sandoval