Films by Silvio Caiozzi will be shown Sunday at the Castro Theater.

On Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Castro Theater, Paula Tejeda, the tireless owner of Chile Lindo, will present the first annual “Cine Chileno in San Francisco” with a retrospective of Chilean director Silvio Caiozzi’s work. As a bonus, Caiozzi will be on hand for a Q&A after the 7 p.m. showing of Y de Pronto El Amanecer (And Suddenly the Dawn, 2017), one of Chile’s contenders for the 2019 Oscars.

We talked with Tejeda about Caiozzi’s work.

Why Silvio Caiozzi for your first Cine Chileno festival?

In 1991, living in New York, I took on to producing a TV special hoping to sell it to Chilean television. I proposed to cover Joseph Papp’s Festival Latino in New York. I never sold the show to Chilean TV, but Joseph Papp invited me to watch the Chilean film, La Luna en el Espejo (The Moon in the Mirror), and I was mesmerized by Caiozzi’s work.

A decade later, in 2001, I met him in person when he presented Coronation at the San Francisco Bay Area International Latino Film Festival produced by Sylvia Perel. As a volunteer at the festival, I had the opportunity, more than once, to get to know Caiozzi. From then on we stayed in touch, and when he returned to the same festival in 2005, to present Cachimba, I promised to produce a retrospective of his work. I really have to be careful with what I promise, because once I make a promise, I never back out.

This initiative has inspired me to produce Cine Chileno in San Francisco annually. By presenting a retrospective of Chilean film directors once a year, I look forward to creating an opportunity that brings together the Chilean community and those in California that share common interests with Chile.

What is the film he is best known for and why?

Silvio Caiozzi is one of Latin America’s most-awarded filmmakers. He is an artistic feature film director, a scriptwriter, and a prolific producer. His career spans over four decades.

I’d say he is best known in Chile for his first feature film Julio Comienza en Julio  (Julio Begins in July). It is worth mentioning that this film was released in 1979, only six years after the 1973 Chilean coup d’état — a time when artists were fleeing Chile and the means to produce films were nil.

Caiozzi remained in Chile and managed to continue creating films that have the power to entertain and yet are charged with profound and universal social context. At the turn of the 21st Century, the people of Chile chose Julio Comienza en Julio the Best Film of the 20th Century, by popular audience selection through El Mercurio newspaper and Santiago City Hall (1999). 

The plot summary is here.

What is your favorite Caiozzi film?

It is hard for me to make comparisons when it comes to art and/or artists. I really admire Caiozzi as a director and find all his films magnificent. If I were to pick a favorite it would have to be La Luna en el Espejo. This film won the Best Actress award for Gloria Münchmeyer at the 1990 International Film Festival of Venice, and it won many other international film festival awards.


What is Caiozzi working on now?

Presently, Caiozzi is traveling to many international film festivals with his latest film in 13 years, Y de pronto el Amanecer, which won The Grand Prix of the Americas (Best Film) at the Montreal World Film Festival last year. This film was selected by the Chilean cultural ministry to compete for the best foreign language nomination next year, at the 2019 Oscars.

The plot summary is here. 

The schedule for Sunday’s retrospective:

10:10 a.m: Julio Comienza en julio (Julio Begins in July, 1979)

Short: Descorchando Chile, an award-winning television series that spotlights Chilean wineries


1:30 p.m: La Luna en el Espejo (The Moon in the Mirror, 1990)

Short: Descorchando Chile, an award-winning television series that spotlights Chilean wineries


3:50 p.m. Descorchando Chile (Cheers from Chile, 2010), three episodes of an award-winning TV series that spotlights Chilean wineries


6:15 p.m. cocktails

7 p.m. Y de Pronto El Amanecer (And Suddenly the Dawn, 2017)

U.S. Premiere


Grand Prix of the Americas (Best Film), The Montreal World Film Festival (2017)

There will be a Q&A with Caiozzi after the film.

Lydia Chávez

I’ve been a Mission resident since 1998 and a professor emeritus at Berkeley’s J-school since 2019 when I retired. I got my start in newspapers at the Albuquerque Tribune in the city where I was born...

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you Lydia Chavez and Mission Local for your dedication to the Mission community on so many fronts!!

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