'Motu Maeva' Wins at Chile's Valdivia Film Festival

Courtesy of Valdivia Film Festival
'Motu Maeva'

Vivienne Barry's 'Trapped in Japan' grabbed best Chilean film honor.

The 22nd edition of the Valdivia Film Festival, Chile’s most renowned fest, announced on Saturday its best film award for Maureen Fazendeiro's Motu Maeva. Premiered in Toronto, the film is a Super 8 journey through the memories of 20th century adventurer Sonja Andre, a woman who lives in a shelter she built herself on the island of Motu Maeva. The awards were delivered at the festival's main venue, the UACH Auditorium, in a ceremony hosted by fest director Raul Camargo and actress Blanca Lewin (The Life of Fish).

The international competition jury — composed of Mar del Plata fest programmer Marcelo Alderete, Chilean actress/director Manuela Martelli (The Future) and Peruvian film critic Monica Delgado — also delivered a special prize to Argentina's El movimiento, directed by Benjamin Naishtat (History of Fear). Two special mentions were awarded to Denis Klebleev's Strange Particles and Peruvian doc A punto de despegar, directed by Lorena Best Urday and Robinson Díaz Sifuentes.

The Chilean competition was topped by Vivienne Barry's Trapped in Japan, a documentary about the true story of six Chilean journalists who found themselves stranded in WWII Japan after Pearl Harbor and returned home only a year later in a boat ride around the world. A special jury prize was also awarded to Fernando Lavanderos' road movie Sin Norte.

The Latin American Short Film Competition delivered its top award to Joaquin Tapia Guerra's Primavera and a special jury prize to Ivan D'Onadio's Organo.

With an invite list that included Cannes-favorite Miguel Gomes (Arabian Nights) and N.Y. indie filmmaker Nathan Silver (Stinking Heaven), FICValdivia also presented two lifetime achievement awards, to Chilean director Jose "Pepe" Roman and Canadian filmmaker and renowned native rights advocate Alanis Obomsawin, a special guest in a festival that strongly and publicly supports the demands of the mapuche, the country's first people, since its new direction under Camargo, who championed the expansion of its First Nations program, devoted to indigenous filmmakers and stories.

The Valdivia International Film Festival runs Oct. 5-11, featuring the latest from Chilean production.