Patagonia Rising at the Valdivia Intl Film Festival – Oct 11 & 12, 2011

Patagonia se levanta (Patagonia Rising) will screen as part of the Valdivia International Film Festival (FICValdivia) in Valdivia, Chile on Tuesday, October 11 at 8pm and Wednesday, October 12 at 10am.

About the film

Deep in the heart of Patagonia, Chile flow two of the world’s purest rivers, the Baker and Pascua. Fed by vast glacial systems, these free-flowing watersheds drive biodiversity in temperate rainforests, estuaries and marine ecosystems. They are also the life source for Patagonia’s most tenacious residents. Gauchos, the iconic South American cowboys, endure relentless winds and long winters on remote ranches in these river valleys.

Isolated and largely undeveloped Patagonia and its people are caught in a heated conflict surrounding a proposal to build five large hydroelectric dams on the Baker and Pascua Rivers. Promoted as “clean” energy, the project’s cultural and environmental impacts would forever alter the region. Alternatives exist. Clean energy experts are proving the viability of solar, wind and geothermal resources developed much closer to demand and infrastructure.

Over the past century more than 45,000 large dams have redefined the course and health of the planet’s rivers with disastrous impacts that continue to unfold. Tracing the hydrologic cycle of the Baker from ice to ocean, Patagonia Rising brings voice to the frontier people caught in the crossfire of Chile’s energy demands. Juxtaposing the pro-dam business sector with renewable energy experts, the documentary brings awareness and solutions to this global conflict over water and power. 

About the film festival

The FICValdivia began in 1993 as part of the Movie Club of the Austral University of Chile to celebrate its 30-year history of filmmaking. In 1994 it was called the Valdivia Movie and Video Festival, and began to focus on a theme of environmental harm and how to find a balance between humans and the planet.

From then on, the project broadened its scope, and in 1998 became the Valdivia International Film Festival; diverse cinematographers from around the world have come to promote and share the best national and international films. The FICValdivia has become well-known in Chile and throughout the world, and is an important venue for film development. Over 4,000 films have been screened so far.