Written by Murray Ashton on Feb 23, 2012. Posted in Interviews

Filming on location in Valdivia in southern Chile with Bettina Bettati

Bettina is a graduate of the University of Utah. She worked for the university's Film Studies department as media specialist and worked in several independent film movie houses as curator and traffic co-ordinator before heading back to Chile in 2006.

Back in Chile Bettina became distribution manager for a Valdivian production house and soon became part of the production team for the Valdivia International Film Festival.

“I served as president of the board of the Valdivia Creative Industries Cluster and in 2009 I took up the leadership of the Valdivia Film Commission.”

Tell me about your region

Valdivia is the capital of the Rivers Region, a heavily wooded area famous for its extensive wetlands and temperate rainforests known as the Selva Valdiviana. We also have several lakes and we are very close to the snowcapped Andes Mountains, as well as Pacific coastal regions.

Valdivia also has a strong German heritage dating back to the mid-1800s. This is clearly visible in the architecture.

What locations are most commonly used by film and TV crews?

Most common locations are in the temperate rainforest and lush greenery, as well as the historic Spanish fortresses in Niebla.

What are the rare, more unusual locations?

Huilo-Huilo is a biological reserve dedicated to wildlife conservation and tourism. We have many active volcanoes in the Andes. Valdivia also has a strong German heritage dating back to the mid-1800s. This is clearly visible in the architecture.

What has been your most difficult location assignment to date?

Reaching the town of Corral by ferry on a very stormy day.

What types of production do you work on most and what has filmed here recently?

Mostly features and short films. Recent projects include Bonsai, by Valdivian director Cristian Jimenez and produced by Jirafa Films, which was selected at Cannes 2011 (Un Certain Regard). The multi-award-winning The Sky, The Earth and The Rain by director Jose Luis Torres Leiva, also produced by Jirafa Films, shot here too.

Are there any particular tips that you would like to share about filming in your region?

We live in a high rain area and our summer is very short. We have good medical services, nearly a dozen production houses, a mostly bilingual crew, good connectivity and a wide range of hotels and catering services.

Which are the best airports to use to film in your region and who flies there?

The only international airport in the country is Arturo Merino Benitez in Santiago. From here there are daily connections to the southern cities, with only two daily flights to Valdivia, but about ten daily flights to the nearest city of Temuco (two hours away) and a very reliable bus system.

What are the most film-crew-friendly hotels and where is your favourite wrap party venue?

We have several crew-friendly hotels in the city, ranging from the three-star (Di Torlaschi) and four-star (Diego de Almagro) to five-star hotels (Dreams, Pedro de Valdivia). For wrap parties there's Gaz Gaz club, and La Estancilla restaurant and brewery.

What do you do with your time off and what would you recommend crew and cast do to relax?

Most definitely sample Patagonian Cuisine. Try Valdivia’s famous ‘crudos’ (raw meat) and Valdivia’s award-winning handcrafted beers. Visit the Spanish fortifications in Niebla and navigate through the wetlands and the Cruces River Nature Sanctuary. Check out the coastline and the Alerce Native Forest reserve (Patagonian Cypress or Fitzroya).

Thank you.

Click here to contact Bettina.

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