As this week’s 10th Sanfic Industria comes to a close with prize announcements, Chile’s Sanfic – the Santiago Intl. Film Festival – has unveiled first details of its 2021 festival edition, which runs Aug. 15-22.

Organized by Fundación CorpArtes and produced by Storyboard Media, for the second year running 2021’s edition will take place entirely online, with the call for applications opening March 26, said Sanfic artistic director and founder Carlos Nuñez, a partner at Storyboard Media.

This year’s 17th Sanfic will maintain all of 2020’s initiatives including a Women Directors in Focus strand, framing first, second, third and even fourth features from all over the world.

It will also continue its traditional three major competitive strands: an International Competition, a Chilean Cinema Competition and a Chilean Short Films/Local Talent Competition, Nuñez said.

The Festival will screen about 100 titles between features and short films, up from 84 in 2020, he added. The call for applications will run through May 10.

Sanfic and Sanfic Industria “offer the chance for producers to present a project and find international partners and is a  launchpad for many films to travel abroad. That’s a key consideration in these times,” said Fernanda Castillo, Director of Programming and Education at Fundación CorpArtes.

The decision to go entirely digital for Sanfic 17 reflects the state of the COVID-19 crisis in Chile, and indeed most of the world, with 16% of the population totally vaccinated – better than parts of Europe, for instance – but the rate of new cases still remaining high, near tripling the world average. Cinema theaters are still closed.

An online event also allows Sanfic to reach other regions and communities in Chile outside the capital, in a country of vast distances where travel from its north to center involves a five-hour flight, Castillo observed.

“We’re very keen to offer access to different demographies -children, young adults, adults – to an international auteur cinema and national productions at a time when Chilean cinema is doing very well,” said Nuñez.

Sanfic also aims to offers world and Latin American premieres and serve as a promotion platform for new Chilean talents, he added, pointing out that Chile’s modern greats – Pablo Larrain, Sebastian Lelio, Matías Bize – have all screened early films at the Festival. Currently nominated for a best documentary Academy Award, Maite Alberdi showed her first shorts at Sanfic.

The festival is evaluating whether to repeat a second digital or hybrid Sanfic Industria running parallel to the festival in August or push back towards the end of the year, aiming for an in-site event.