The film “Violeta se fue a los cielos” (Violeta went to Heaven) directed by Chilean Andres Wood, and “Young & Wild,” the first work by director Marialys Rivas, took the prizes for best international film and best international screenwriting at the Sundance Film Festival.
The judging panel at the main showcase for independent film in the United States selected “Violeta went to Heaven,” a coproduction by Chile, Brazil, Argentina and Spain, which tells about the tumultuous and exciting life of Chilean singer and popular icon Violeta Parra.
Cinematography in the South American country was also honored when the prize for best international screenwriting went to Chile’s “Young & Wild,” the first work by director Marialys Rivas, and written by Rivas, Camila Gutierrez and Pedro Peirano.
“Young & Wild” is the story of a Chilean teenager raised in a strict evangelical family who struggles to discover her sexuality in the South American country.
During the nine days of the festival in Salt Lake City, more than 110 films from 31 countries were screened, among them six Ibero-American works.
The other Latin American films in the running - “A cadeira do pai” (Brazil: Luciano Moura), “El ultimo Elvis” (Argentina: Armando Bo), “Gypsy Davy” (Israel, United States, Spain: Rachel Leah Jones) and “Madrid, 1987” (Spain: David Trueba) - did not win any awards.
Although not in the competition, the film “Red Lights” about paranormal activities directed by Spain’s Rodrigo Cortes and starring Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver and Elizabeth Olsen was also screened at Sundance.
The festival, the main aim of which is to make films known and gain distribution for them in the U.S. market, for its 2012 edition received 6 percent more participation requests than it did in 2011.