Santiago Mountain Film Festival: Winners with a very personal twist

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By Clara Ribera

The two short films that won at this year’s edition of the Santiago Mountain Film Festival are the result of very personal stories from the film creators themselves, which managed to sway the jury and the audience even moreso than the spectacular nature on display.

The two short films are also the first professional films of both producers: Daniel Pastene, who won first prize for El mono de Cochamó, and the Contreras brothers, who won the Readers Choice Award for their film Cordada de sangre.

Tribute to Mono
El mono de Cochamó, which also previously won at the Bariloche International Mountain Film Festival "Noche de Fogón" 2016, tells the story of Cristian Gallardo, who is dubbed here "El Mono" (which means " the monkey" in English). The film is above all a tribute by Pastene, who considers El Mono one of his life mentors. 
Photo: Cristian Gallardo Photo: Cristian Gallardo
Pastene is a Chilean musician who came back to Chile in 2013 after living 12 years in Belgium. He later arrived to the Refugio de Cochamó lodge through WWOOF network, an international volunteer network for environmental projects, which is where he met Mono. "He reflected that personal search I was looking for: to connect with the natural cycles, moving from the city life to getting back to nature," says Pastene. He now works as a manager in the lodge every summer.
After the success of his first short film, Daniel Pastene is already preparing a new documentary about an Argentine clarinetist living in Chile and he expects to continue producing films well into the future.
Watch El mono de Cochamó.


Family challenge
Cordada de sangre, produced by Chileafondo is a production by the Contreras brothers: Felipe (25), Diego (24) and Juan Pablo (23). It tells the story of how the three brothers prepared for and then climbed Torres del Paine in January of this year.
"We knew it was a very big project, and we were not sure we could achieve it", says Juan Pablo, the brother who coordinated the editing and production of the film. After Diego overcame a kidney transplant, they trained for seven months without pause in Puerto Varas and Cochamó, and after organizaing the logistics, they managed to climb the Torres and produce this award-winning documentary about their feat. 
Felipe, Diego (above) y Juan Pablo Contreras (below) at the summit.  Photo: ChileafondoFelipe, Diego (above) y Juan Pablo Contreras (below) at the summit. Photo: Chileafondo
Juan Pablo, Felipe and Diego are part of a family of six siblings, all very close. "What motivates me to climb is to do it with my brothers. Climbing with them gives me confidence and motivates us to continue," says Juan Pablo. They only began climbing three years ago, but as this film shows, they pursued their new sport with great passion. They also started and manage Iguana Boulder, a rock climbing practice site in Puerto Varas.
After the Torres del Paine project they are already starting to plan the next big climb, though they are not sure yet where they will go, but after the success of Cordada de sangre, for sure they will make a film to tell about the adventure.
Cordada de sangre is not yet available for viewing by the general public.