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Exploring Gender Issues, Indigenous Peoples, Climate Change, Teen Suicide, Chilean Docs at Cannes Doc Plumb Universal Themes

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Anna Marie de la Fuente With Maite Alberdi, twice Oscar nominated for her last two docus, “The Eternal Memory” and “The Mole Agent,” and Tana Gilbert whose feature debut “Malqueridas” won the Grand Prize at Venice’s Critics’ Week, Chilean documentaries are having a banner year.

Five documentaries participate in the May 20 Chilean Docs-in-Progress Showcase at the Marché du Film’s docu section, Cannes Docs.

Moreover, a delegation of some 15 other Chilean documentary filmmakers have swept into town with their respective projects, with themes ranging from gender issues, Indigenous peoples, climate change, teenage suicide and even, true crime. “Chilean documentaries today touch on more universal themes, they are not so inward-looking,” Chiledoc director Paula Ossandon told Variety.

One of them, “Oasis,” has been picked up by Argentina’s Compañía de Cine to handle its international sales. Created by the MAFI filmmakers collective, this feature doc, which premiered at Berlinale, explores Chile’s failed attempt to draft a new constitution to replace the one from the Pinochet dictatorship. “The Chilean documentary ecosystem is truly remarkable – artistically vibrant, politically engaged, and creatively diverse – and passionately supported by the organizations in charge of its global promotion, starting with Chiledoc,” said Pierre-Alexis Chevit, head of Cannes Docs, who expressed his delight at welcoming the four Chilean docs-in-progress, as well as the winner at Conecta 2023, “Searching for the Other.” The Docs-In-Progress Chile Showcase aims to boost the financing and distribution opportunities for the works presented there.

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