Although filmmaking in Chile may have begun as early as 1902, feature production did not reach significant levels until after the early to mid 1920s: about eighty feature films were made before 1931, most of them after 1925. The best known film from Chile’s silent cinema era is probably El húsar de la muerte/The Hussar of Death (Pedro Sienna, 1925), and its most celebrated director Alberto Santana, who made fourteen features between 1923 and 1928, including El libro de la vida/The Book of Life (1923). Chile’s budding film industry suffered a setback with the coming of sound, when distribution and exhibition became dominated by US companies. In 1940 Aguirre Cerda’s Popular Front government established Chile Films, a state-owned studio and facilities company servicing independent producers; but domestic film production continued to be erratic. The late 1950s saw renewed attempts to establish a national cinema that could challenge foreign dominance and revitalize local production: in 1958 a cine club, and in 1959 an Experimental Film Centre, were founded at the University of Chile, where a Department of Communications opened in 1960 (see film society).
This page is a library guide to the cinema of Chile. There are several subject headings you can use to find resources in the online catalog. The call number ranges are also included. These can be found on Baker Stack Level 4. Please note: these are not the only call numbers, but they have the majority of items. These searches will also lead you to movie titles.
Articles and other writings about Chilean films can be found in many publications. Our collection does not include a journal which looks exclusively at Chilean cinema. However, we do have several other journals which look at Spanish language films. You can use Film & Television Literature Index to find articles or use the search box at the top of the page.