August 23, 2019
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Chile to be main country at Berlinale European Film Market 2020

 Benedicte Couvreur, Italian actress Valeria Golino, French actress Noemie Merlant, French actress Luana Bajrami, French actress Adele Haenel and French director Celine Sciamma arrive for the screening of 'Portrait de la jeune fille en feu' (Portrait of a Lady on Fire) during the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, in Cannes, France, 19 May 2019. The movie is presented in the Official Competition of the festival which runs from 14 to 25 May. EFE/EPA/SEBASTIEN NOGIER

Benedicte Couvreur, Italian actress Valeria Golino, French actress Noemie Merlant, French actress Luana Bajrami, French actress Adele Haenel and French director Celine Sciamma arrive for the screening of 'Portrait de la jeune fille en feu' (Portrait of a Lady on Fire) during the 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival, in Cannes, France, 19 May 2019. The movie is presented in the Official Competition of the festival which runs from 14 to 25 May. EFE/EPA/SEBASTIEN NOGIER

Cannes, France, May 19 (efe-epa).- Chile will be the featured country at the Berlinale European Film Market 2020, which will allow it to prepare its own program and show what has been done in film over the past decade as well as feature new productions, both on the silver screen and in television.

"It's a recognition of Chilean audiovisual (activity), the full sector," and what has been done in recent years in Chilean film, showing "that Chilean film is healthy, recognized and very important on the world level," Daniel Laguna, the executive secretary of the Chilean Culture Ministry's National Audiovisual Council, said upon announcing at an event in Cannes that Chile will be the "focal country" at the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin.

The agreement has already been signed and now the interinstitutional work must be undertaken to involve the public and private sectors, as well as all the Chilean film unions to put their best foot forward, Laguna said.

It will be an achievement by the entire Chilean film industry - including institutions, unions, directors, producers and "all who work in the audiovisual sector" - because Chile has had a strong presence at the Berlinale over the past 10 years, exhibiting great talent and creativity.

"The presence of Chile in the market has grown a lot due to the industry's marvelous work and the quality of the films ... (but) also because of the energy, the big ideas and the expansion of Chilean film in Latin America," EFM director Matthijs Wouter Knol said.

Meanwhile, Constanza Arena, the executive director of CinemaChile, noted that before Chile can be the main country at the EFM, much work must be done - although she said that that effort had been launched in 2013.

That was when filmmakers such as Sebastian Lelio, Pablo Larrain, Patricio Guzman, Alex Anwandter, Roberto Doveris and Pepa San Martin began to shine at the German film festival, creating a "tight link between Chile, the Berlinale and the market."

That "translated into a desire to do things together and win the confidence of one of the most important markets in the world for audiovisual," Arena said, adding that there is talent, ability and organizational expertise in Chile, along with a powerful public mechanism supporting work in the area.

Having the "honor" of being the key country at the festival will allow Chile - admittedly a small country in Latin America that, to date, has been overshadowed by great film powers such as Mexico, Brazil and Argentina - despite its limited budgets and relatively small film production, to highlight its growing body of work, Arena said.

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