Chile — 06 March 2016

chile oscar film



Valentina Aparicio

Photo by La Tercera

Viña del Mar, Chile. 6 March 2016.

Last Sunday, Chilean cinema received great news: for the first time in history a Chilean film won an Oscar. The winner was ‘Bear Story’, a short animated film. It won for Best Short Film. Created by Pato Escala and Gabriel Osorio at Punk Robot Animation Studios, ‘Bear Story’ is a short film starring an old bear who builds a diorama (a miniature display that tells a story) to tell his life story. The bear was separated from his family by a group of mysterious policemen who kidnapped him and other animals to take to the circus. After some time, the bear manages to escape and return home only to find his wife and son are nowhere to be found. To overcome the loss, the bear builds the diorama of his life story, but this time with a happy ending.

‘Bear Story’ is not only a moving short film. In Chile this film also has clear political message. At the Oscars’ Ceremony Gabriel Osorio, one of the creators of the film, explained: “Personally, I want to dedicate this achievement to my grandfather, who is the one who inspired this story, and to all the people who had someone [in their families] exiled, we hope that his must never happen again.” Here, Osorio was referring to the exile and separation of families that took place during Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship in Chile during the 70’s and 80’s.

Although short animated films are not very popular in Chile, the great achievement of the creators of ‘Bear Story’ has been praised by lots of admirers there. President Michelle Bachelet (Socialist) invited the creators to La Moneda, seat of the President of the Republic of Chile. Apart from the President, several political figures from both sides of the political spectrum have congratulated the creators of the film.  The film is critical of right-wing politicians, who in the past supported Pinochet’s dictatorship but now praise the short film. Regarding that, Osorio explained that he accepts congratulations from right-wing politicians as positive step towards healing those old wounds.



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