* FICVALDIVIA - Valdivia International Film Festival
74 square meters tells the story of the community leaders Iselsa and Cathy, which along 150 families were offered a dream. To be part of a middle class neighborhood in Valparaiso, a project designed by leaders in social architecture, which will afford them their own home, and will integrate them into a middle class neighborhood. The low-income housing construction project would eradicate them from the marginal areas where they lived, to integrate them into a community in an area with better access and networks to create a new neighborhood. However, for this to happen the residents have to face a challenge: due to the high cost of the land, they would have to finish the houses with their own resources.
For seven years, Cathy and Iselsa lead a massive migration in the Port city of Valparaiso, from marginal areas of the city to a middle class neighborhood, coordinating more than six hundred people. This marginal community includes indigenous groups, families that have always lived on the slopes of Valparaiso hills, and others that by mere change in luck have become very poor. They have never lived together, but decided to shake off the paternalistic state and become active in this revolutionary project that has welcomed their needs and ideas. Today, they work in coordination trying to overcome their internal differences and to try to become integrated into a neighborhood that rejects them because they are considered potential delinquents and drug addicts, perceived as people with no values that endanger their assets and the neighborhoodís integrity.
Throughout the story of two women leaders, chosen by the communities they represent, the encounter between these two worlds will be revealed. Iselsa Barraza, is the leader of the Rocuan community and she comes from a middle class family, a change of fate left her without money or work, living in a shanty type house, dangerously located on the slope of the hill, where she lacks access to water. Life in these conditions turns into a dead end street, because Iselsa has no address to place in her resume every time she goes job hunting. Cathy Bernal is the leader of the Vista al Mar community and she hopes to achieve her dreams in her new house, to live with both her children, and adolescent boy who sometime ago decided to live with his father and her four year old girl, who was born shortly after signing to participate in the social project.
In the meantime, the middle class community suspiciously observes their new neighbors; since now all they can do is wait to confirm whether their fears fade away or become real, and whether their lives also change by diminishing their quality of life. The worst problem arose a couple of months ago. The fierce residentís organization has broken down, trust has vanished, and it has distanced them from the most important mission of the project: to achieve moving into the awaited middle class neighborhood. Two factions have formed and the rest have chosen one side or the other. Today they face, perhaps the biggest challenge of all, to overcome the conflicts that divide them due to being worn out by the long process of building the promised houses. If they canít, creating the neighborhood they have fought for over seven years will be put at risk.
ABOUT THE DIRECTORS
A Chilean filmmaker, sheís a graduate of the International Film and Television School (EICTV) in San Antonio de los BaÒos, Cuba. She was awarded a grant by Eurodoc 2009 to train in international documentary production. She is currently directing the documentary films Genoveva and 74 square meters (in coproduction with ITVS, USA). She is the producer of the documentary Timoteoís fabulous ragged circus, directed by Lorena Giachino, The Community by Isabel Miquel, and The Lifeguard by Maite Alberdi, among others. She was awarded the Altazor Prize for Best Television Direction with the cultural show ìCine Video + Teatro,î an award given by her Chilean peers. She has also directed several seasons of the TV show ìEl Show de los Librosî (Media-Spain Award for the Best Ibero-American Show). She has also worked on short-length and feature documentary films, which have been selected and have won awards at several national and international film festivals. ìLos perros tienen hambreî (The dogs are Hungry, 1992), ìPiscis,î the documentary films ìNiÒos del ParaÌsoî (Children of Paradise, 2000), and ìLa Ultima Huellaî (The Last Trace, 2002). She is Executive Director of CHILEDOC, an organization that promotes the distribution of Chilean documentaries, primarily through trainning and network creation. She has participated as panelist in several documentary film festivals, such as: IDFA (The Netherlands), DokLeipzig (Germany), Vision Du Reel (Switzerland), Itís all true (Brazil), DokSheffield (UK), among others. She is a Documentary Film Workshop Professor at the Universidad de Chile and Universidad CatÛlica de Chile.
She obtained a Master of Art & Media Practice at the University of Westminster, London, (Chevening Scholarship)and attended the International School of Film and Television in Cuba (Ibermedia Scholarship). Since 1994, she has been field director of five documentary series for Discovery Channel Latin America, People & Arts, Travel Channel and she has directed several award-winning documentaries for Chilean television. Panizza has been working a series of trilogies of creative short documentaries: Visual Letters (Dear Nonna: a Film Letter 2005, Remitente: una carta visual 2008) that mixs cinematography and epistle languaje; La Insidia del Sol, that explores de relation between poetry and images, and currently, Visual Journals (Tierra Sola) that will relate traditional travel literature with visual experiences on far away islands of the world. These work has been selected and awarded at Torino Film Festival, European Media Art Festival, Fidmarseille, Biennale of Video and New Media, among others and recently she obteined the Bellagio Residency Program of the Rockefeller Foundation. She is a professor of documentary film at the Universidad de Chile and the author of the research project and publication ìJoris Ivens in Chile: documentary between poetry and social crtitcî.
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