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Chilean Animation

The Bones: An ironic journey in time

After the long and successful run of the feature film “The Wolf House,” award winner at Annecy, La Habana, Quirino, among others, and considered by several popular rankings as one of the best animated films of 2019, directors Cristobal León and Joaquín Cociña prepare the details of their new project, short film “The Bones”

The idea behind “The Bones” begins to form with the funds obtained from the Chilean Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage, the support of NUMU (Nuevo Museo de Santiago), and the contribution of executive producer Adam Butterfield. The short film, currently in post-production, gives continuity to the particular visual and narrative styles of these two artists. Its creators plan to have a first cut by the end of May, and then send it to American musician Tim Fain (“Black Swan”, “Moonlight,”) so he can add his musical compositions.

The plot is framed within the social and political outbreak of 2019 in Chile. “We thought it was important to imagine a short film that would dialogue with the Chilean oligarchic tradition, with the bases of the idea of the rich against the poor, of the country envisioned from the ruling classes. We wanted to create a ritual to rewrite the Chilean oligarchic history. Obviously, it is very pretentious to think that this idea will survive in the short, but it was within our concerns, and it still is,” says Joaquín Cociña, co-director.

The project was conceived as fiction and treated as an historical document. The artists imagined that a series of film tapes and fragments of mummified bodies appeared at an excavation site. The film material found turns out to be the first ever stop-motion animated film in the world. Dated 1900, this film was produced in Chile a few years before the first European and American animations known to date.

“This discovery is revolutionary in many ways. First, Chile would become the birthplace of the history of animation. Second, the animation is made with human corpse fragments, pieces of real people used for animation. And third, how revealing the story that can be elucidated from the found film fragments is. The animated film recounts the visit, from the future, that Jaime Guzmán pays to Minister Diego Portales,” says Cristobal León.

Constanza “Coni” Nordenflycht, mother to Diego Portales’s children, invokes the corpses of Portales and Jaime Guzmán. Coni performs a ritual to bring back their corpses, trying to rewrite Chile’s oligarchical history.

In this history of Chile, Jaime Guzmán was a Chilean politician, constitutionalist lawyer and academic who served as senator and collaborator – in the legal and political matters – of August Pinochet, during the Chilean military Dictatorship. Diego Portales was a Chilean merchant, and politician of the conservative party who played a fundamental role in the consolidation of Chile during the XIX century.

The bodies that represent the corpses of Jaime Guzmán and Diego Portales on the short are based on models from parts of the bodies of Cristobal León, director; Lucas Engel, producer and Joaquín Cociña, director. The head – and face – of Portales is a modified model of Cristobal’s, and Joaquín’s was used for the base of Jaime Guzmán’s head. 

The project is co-produced by Pista B and Diluvio, in addition to having American Adam Butterfield as executive producer. 
Diluvio is a production company created by Niles Attalah, Cristobal León and Joaquín Cociña, that focuses on its own projects (for example the feature films “The Wolf House” and “Rey”) as an artistic collective, and as a provider of audiovisual services that focus on art projects.

Pista B is led by producer Lucas Engel (“My Tender Matador”). As a production company, they have lately focused on comedy content such as “Tiempos Mozos” and “Frente Fracasados.” However, they are currently expanding their spectrum of projects by experimenting with different genres and formats. 

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