'The Day I Was Not Born' Wins Top Prize at Santiago Film Festival

The German/Argentine coproduction took the Best Film award at the Santiago de Chile International Film Festival, which closed Saturday.

BUENOS AIRES -– German/Argentine coproduction The Day I Was Not Born took the Best Film award at the Santiago de Chile International Film Festival, which closed Saturday. Directed by first-timer Florian Cossen, the film depicts a young German woman who finds out she’s actually the daughter of a couple who was kidnapped and murdered by the military junta in Argentina. The film also won the FIPRESCI award at the Montreal fest in 2010.

In the awards gala held at Santiago’s Museum of Fine Arts, the jury presided by French actress Dominique Sanda also awarded young Mexican filmmaker Yulene Olaizola as Best Director for Artificial Paradises. The film premiered at Rotterdam fest earlier this year, and is Olaizola’s first feature film after her acclaimed documentary Shakespeare and Victor Hugo’s Intimacies, an award sweeper last year at film fests in Mexico (Ficco), Buenos Aires (Bafici), Lima, San Sebastian and Havana.

Special mentions went to Marie Loisier’s The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, local helmer Francisca Fuenzalida’s La espera, and Norberto’s Deadline, Uruguayan actor Daniel Hendler’s directorial debut.

The Chilean Cinema Competition was topped by Oscar Godoy’s immigrant drama Ulises, while Constanza Fernandez picked the Best Director award for A Map for a Talk. The jury formed by Gijon fest director José Luis Cienfuegos, Argentino producer Juan Pablo Gugliotta and New York Film Festival programmer Richard Peña also granted a special mention to the documentary La muerte de Pinochet.

The Audience Award went to Maria Elena Wood’s documentary Locas Mujeres, which depicts the relationship between Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral, the first Latin American writer to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, and American writer Doris Dana.

The seventh edition of SANFIC was dedicated to the memory of Chilean filmmaker Raoul Ruiz, who died in Paris on  August 19, the same day the fest opened.