Carmen Castillo will receive the 2023 Human Rights Film Festival Award

© Elisa Lipkau
© Elisa Lipkau


The Chilean filmmaker Carmen Castillo will receive this year the 20th San Sebastian Human Rights Film Festival Award. The prize ceremony will be at the Victoria Eugenia Theater on Friday 21 at 19:30, at the Opening Night of the Festival.

Carmen Castillo Echeverría (born in Santiago de Chile, 1945) was expelled from the country on 26 October 1974 by the regime of General Pinochet, installed following the Coup of 11 September 1973 which overthrew the legitimate Government of Popular Unity headed by Salvador Allende. Three weeks earlier, on 5 October, the DINA (the dreaded secret police) had launched an assault on the house on Calle Santa Fe, in a district south of Santiago, where Castillo was living in hiding with her partner Miguel Enríquez, at the time the head of the MIR (Revolutionary Left Movement). They both formed part of the MIR Resistance against the dictatorship. Enríquez died defending his own life and his pregnant partner, who was seriously injured.

Carmen Castillo began her long exile in Cambridge. After wandering the world in search of support for the Chilean Resistance, in late 1976 she moved to Paris, where she still lives, although with the restoration of democracy after Pinochet lost the 1988 referendum, she has returned to Chile for increasingly longer stays. Her return, however, has never been definitive.

Director of some twenty documentaries, most notably those addressing Chile, the dictatorship and her exile, such as La Flaca Alejandra (1994), El país de mi padre (2004) and Calle Santa Fe (2007). In 2015 she presented On est vivants (2015). She is the author of Un día de octubre en Santiago, Ligne de fuite and Santiago-París. El vuelo de la memoria (co-written with her mother, Mónica Echeverría).