Sanfic Industria, the biz component of Chile’s prominent Santiago Int’l Film Festival, will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year with a slew of activities over 10 days (Oct. 27 – Nov. 5), marking the second edition of the event this year.

Given the slightly improved pandemic situation in Chile, Sanfic Industria will be a hybrid event, with some in-person activities, particularly for its expanded Sanfic Series and Morbido festival events.

“This year is an anomaly as we held last year’s cancelled Sanfic Industria event in March and we’re now holding the 2021 edition in October,” said its director Gabriela Sandoval, who expects next year’s edition to be a regular in-person event in August.

Cinemas and other cultural venues have already opened up in Chile, albeit at reduced capacity, but they’re banking on 100% capacity openings before or by next year, if the COVID-19 pandemic is completely relegated to a frightful memory by then.

For the first time, Sanfic and Mexican genre festival Morbido will hold a bi-national Mexico-Chile edition, with five titles from Morbido’s official selection screening at Sanfic Industria’s second week, following their presentation in Mexico City.

“For me it’s very important to continue growing and working between Sanfic and Morbido, that’s why this year, for the first time in Morbido Fest history, we’ll do a bi-national edition, starting in Mexico City and ending in Santiago,” said Morbido festival founder-CEO, Pablo Guisa. “The only way to create and build up a strong Latin American genre industry is to work together, understanding our differences and taking advantage of our similarities,” he asserted.

The Sanfic-Morbido relationship has continued to grow in strength ever since they announced their long-term collaboration in 2019. Each year Morbido selects a prizewinner from participating genre projects, which includes backing up to 30% of the winning film’s proposed final budget as well as assuring its commercial premiere in Mexico, international sales representation and programming across Latin America through the Morbido TV network.

For the second time, the online Morbido-Sanfic Lab takes place with the oversight and counsel of Guisa and some important incentives.
TV Series are also being given a new impetus with the Sanfic Series showcase, which had a soft launch in 2019 with the theatrical screening of Chilean-Finnish co-production, “Invisible Heroes.” The showcase will present the first two episodes of up to five series from Iberoamerica, both fiction and non-fiction. October is spring in Chile so outdoor screenings will likely be programmed as well, weather permitting, noted Sandoval

The Series Lab, which kicked off online in March this year for Chilean projects alone, will expand to include projects in development from Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, aside from Chile. Selected projects will receive counsel on their scripts, market strategies, growing an audience and pitching. This will culminate in pitching sessions before experts and guests.

“There aren’t enough forums for series and genre projects in South America so we’re hoping to expand those spaces,” said Sandoval. The move comes as Chile emerges as a prominent producer of high-end series and world-class events, led by Cannes, are giving more attention to genre films. Case in point: Julia Ducournau’s body horror-thriller film, “Titane” clinched the Palme d’Or this year.

What’s certain is that hybrid events are here to stay. Sanfic Net – the event’s networking space where fiction or non-fiction feature films and series, in development or completed, are presented by its filmmakers to festival programmers, fund reps, platforms, buyers, sales agents and producers – will be online from now on, said Sandoval who reports an exponential growth in participation, from an average of 300 meetings during pre-pandemic times to a staggering 1,300 last March.

Overall participation in Sanfic Industria jumped from an average of 200 participants to 450 in March.

Other features of the 10th Sanfic Industria includes its regular sections, all online this year: Santiago Lab (for fiction and non-fiction films in development), the Producers Network and its oldest section, the Ibero-American Work in Progress (WIP), which will feature up to 10 feature films in post.

Meanwhile, the 2021 Sanfic film festival will take place online over August 15-22. Next year, barring any catastrophic health crises, the festival and its industry section will run concurrently as in previous editions