Accepted paper:

Creative collaborations: imaging new documentary film in Chile


Maria Paz Peirano (Leiden University )

Paper short abstract:

This paper looks at the creative processes of Chilean documentary filmmakers, which have developed a field of ‘creative’ auteur cinema. It focuses on how filmmakers expand the material and imaginary boundaries of film, based on traditional collaborative practices and new forms of collective work.

Paper long abstract:

This paper analyses new creative strategies of Chilean documentary filmmakers, who highlight collaborative work in their filmmaking processes and expand the imaginary boundaries of documentary cinema. Chilean so-called 'creative' documentary film is flourishing, as a form of artistically-driven and groundbreaking auteur cinema. Since 2010 documentaries have achieved unprecedented success in international film festival circuit, which works as "gatekeeper" of the art-cinema world and promotes innovative filmmaking practices. Based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork of the Chilean scene, the paper argues that these new 'creative' films are embedded in alternative forms of filmmaking, exemplified in such films as Propaganda (Murray and collective MAFI, 2014), which have combined the idea of 'auteur' with collective modes of production. Filmmakers have reinterpreted both traditional forms of collaboration in the documentary field and recent narratives of global 'creative economies'. The paper draws attention to the collective learning process and collaborative practices involved in the production of successful documentary films, which have an impact on the new ways of doing and imagining film in Chile. It discusses how documentaries' creative processes are intertwined with the re-articulation of traditional networks of cooperation, new practices of production and exchange, and new ways of imagining documentary as an art form. Thus, it looks at the ways filmmaking processes promote the construction of new creative subjectivities and expand the materialities and visual imaginaries of the field of production.

panel P30
Creative horizons: steps towards an ethnography of imagination