Accepted Paper:

Peripheral filmmakers and transnational collaborations: Chilean 'festival' films between art and commerce  


Maria Paz Peirano (Leiden University )

Paper short abstract:

Chilean filmmakers construct a complex set of transnational, intimate, collaborations at the international film festival circuit. They constantly negotiate their creative practices, evidencing the overlapping narratives on art, commerce and cultural identity entwined in recent peripheral filmmaking.

Paper long abstract:

The paper upholds the various global interactions in which Chilean film is involved. It focuses on the complex transnational relational networks established at international film festivals and markets, which have enabled recent Chilean film production and circulation.

This work is based on a multi-sited, 'travelling' ethnographic fieldwork within the Chilean cinematographic network, a group of filmmakers and producers who exchange Chilean films at the festival circuit. It explores how these professionals negotiate their creative practices in places like Cannes, Amsterdam or Berlin, where they develop diverse sets of transnational relations and collaborations. Film professionals' performances at those sites lead to the construction of intimate, reliable relationships, which encourage both economic exchanges and an increasing artistic prestige.

The paper tackles the implications of those social interactions, and the ways in which they are entwined with an overlapping set of cultural meanings. Festivals and markets provide a fundamental space for contemporary filmmaking deemed to be 'alternative', as opposed to Hollywood dominant productions. Like other 'world' national cinemas, Chilean film depends to a certain extent on its international circulation, associated with the value-addition and commodification processes of both films and filmmakers in this context. Peripheral filmmakers need to negotiate diverse social identities and narratives, which are associated with different -and often contradictory- aesthetic, political and economic requirements. Thus, I argue that peripheral, local, filmmaking practices are deeply intersected by these transnational exchanges, and that the "festival films" getting recognition in the circuit, tend to convey those overlapping global expectations.

Panel P042
Relational patrons: anthropological perspectives on transnational and intimate art collaborations