FIDOCS Announces Winners

The 18th Santiago International Documentary Film Festival (FIDOCS) featured 97 films and awarded prizes for documentaries screened in in three categories: Latin American and Chilean documentaries, and International Shorts. This year the documentary festival included sections focusing on popular Chilean cinema as well as a section on human rights presented in association with Human Rights Watch. The festival also featured a retrospective on renowned Argentinean documentarian Néstor Frenkel.

The Corral and the Wind / El corral y el viento (pictured left) by Bolivian director Miguel Hilari won Best Film. It follows Hilari as he returns to his father’s hometown Santiago de Okola to visit his only remaining relative. The winner of the Special Jury Prize was Glowing Embers / Sobre las brasas (pictured below right) by Mary Jiménez and Bénédicte Liénard, about a coal merchant family from the Ucayali region in the Peruvian Amazon adapting to a changing landscape. The Audience Award was given to Santiago Esteinou’s The Years of Fierro / Los años del Fierro from Mexico, which tells the tragic story of César Roberto Fierro Reyna—a death row inmate awaiting his sentence despite mounting evidence of his innocence.

In the category honoring national productions, the Best Film Award was given to Crónica de un comité (pictured left) from the directing team of José Luis Sepúlveda and Carolina Adriazola.  It centers on a political committee formed shortly after the death of 16 year old student Manuel Gutiérrez, killed by military snipers during a protest. The jury recognized the documentary for its “strategic approach that illuminates the internal conflicts of a group of people, achieving an interesting metaphor of Chile."

A Special Jury Prize was given to festival favorite, Propaganda from the collective of ten filmmakers, MAFI Project (Film Map of Chile). It offers a unique take on Chile's presidential election and the surrounding propaganda campaign. The Audience Award was given to El gran circo pobre de Timoteo by Lorena Giachino that tells the story of a comedy show by transvestites—one of the longest running shows in Santiago.

Mexican director Gil González won Best International Short for Conversations of a Marriage / Conversaciones de un matrimonio, a reflection on love and marriage that follows a couple together for forty years still struggling to live in harmony.  The Special Jury Prize was given to Brazilian directors Paula Lice, Rodrigo Luna and Ronei Jorge for their short Jessy (pictured left), about Jessica Cristopherry a glamorous actress invented by Lice in her childhood. Mónica Savirón's Broken Tongue received a Special Jury Mention for her short that gathers the front page of The New York Times from 1951 to 2013 to challenge the traditional documentary narrative.

Established in 1997 by Chilean director Patricio Guzmán (The Battle of Chile, Salvador Allende, Nostalgia for the Light) the festival took place June 23rd through 29th.