'Shell' Tops Santiago Film Fest

Moises Sepulveda’s "Illiterate" wins the Chilean competition.

SANTIAGO DE CHILE – Scott Graham’s Scotland-set drama Shell topped the Santiago International Film Festival, which closes Sunday in the Chilean capital.

The award for Best Film in the Chilean competition went to Moises Sepulveda’s Illiterate, an adapted version of Pablo Paredes' play starring Paulina Garcia (Gloria) and Valentina Muhr. The film revolves around the issue of education, in a country that in recent year has seen wide-spread student protests over what they say is an unfair educational system inherited by the dictatorship. The film also won the SANFIC Audience Award and will have its European premiere as the Closing Film of the Critic’s Week at the ongoing Venice film fest.

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The jury of the international competition also awarded Frédérick Pelletier as the Best Director for Canadian pic Diego Star, and delivered 2 special mentions: I am from Chile (Gonzalo Diaz) and Thai fiction-documentary Karaoke Girl, directed by Visra Vichit Vadakan.

Documentaries ruled in the local competition, where Jose Luis Torres Leiva won best director for Ver y escuchar, and two mentions were awarded to Alberto Fuguet’s Locations: Looking for Rusty James –a reflection about Rumble Fish, the cult film by Francis Ford Coppola, who will present Fuguet's film in Telluride--and Rodrigo Dorfman’s Occupy the Imagination: Stories of Resistance and Seduction.

The Short Film Competition, National Talent, was topped by Sebastian Ayala Alveal’s Anqas. Two mentions were given out to Marcelo Del Campo’s Montaje anónimo and Luis Alejandro Pérez’s Siempre tarde.

The Latin American Work in Progress awards went to Betina Perut and Ivan Osnovikoff ‘s Surire (Chile), Luciana Piantanida’s Los ausentes (Argentina), and Alejandro Fernández AlmendrasMatar a un hombre (Chile), which recently topped the Carte Blanche section in Locarno.

The festival reinforced industry sidebar SANTIAGO LAB had 2 winners in both the fiction and documentary categories, out of 30 projects that competed for development and support awards that included post-production services (HD Argentina) and participation in  co-production forums (Cartagena Meetings, DocsDF, and DocsBarcelona) The winning fiction projects were La hija (Isabel Orellana) and El paraiso (Sergio Castro), while doc awards went to Gringo rojo: Socialismo pop (Miguel Ángel Vidaurre) and Maggie Lay, la última vedette (Edwain Oyarce)