Simply Stellar! Sebastián Lelio, A Fantastic Woman (Una Mujer Fantástica), Nominated to the 90th Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film!

February 27, 2018

Dear Readers...

As you know I've been on a collision course growing the Chile Lindo empire--working on a Big Bang! I multitask between the operations of the empanada shop, producing events, growing the community-outreach network, writing this newsletter, promoting cultural events in the Bay Area, and--hopefully--getting to eat lunch. Usually, an empanada. A friend pointed out that I picked not one, but two of the most demanding lines of work: restaurateur and producer.

Why this compulsion to bridge my two worlds? I'm sure the reasons are numerous, rooted in childhood experiences and my DNA. But for starters, back when I bought Chile Lindo, twenty-three years ago, I saw the opportunity to promote Chilean culture: food, wine, artists. It was the start of California mergers with Chilean vintners. The first California wineries to focus on Chile were Robert Mondavi, Gundlach Bundschu, and Kendall Jackson. In fact, in 1996, all three wineries sponsored a Chilean independence day celebration I produced called "Fiesta Chilena".

It was a time when Chilean performers started to build a following in San Francisco, such as for example Grammy Award winner Anita Tijoux (Best Latin Rock/Urban or Alternative Album). Her first Bay Area appearance was at La Peña Cultural Center. I became aware that a lot was transpiring between California and Chile, but only a few people found out about it because Chile didn't have an across-the-board outreach niche and transversal marketing strategy outfit stationed in California. So I set out to build one. 

I do not consider myself a business woman and I'm not a professional chef. However, I am a visionary. And all a visionary is, is someone with information and insight that perceives a need and acts on a it. The fact that I come from a family of artists and entrepreneurs, that always supported creative endeavors, makes my commitment to my work all the more compelling. The fact that Chile Lindo is iconic in the Mission District is a testament to perseverance and determination. Vision is at the crux of the entrepreneurial spirit, not capital, for I've done it all without major investors or working capital. Don't ask me how.

I suppose I own an empanada shop in order to tap into my creative writing passion while building a production and marketing company. As crazy as that may seem--in the United States' immigrant experience--it always starts with the food. The pen and empanadas are mightier than google search--they are the building blocks to the Chile Lindo empire.

Following are highlights of great things happening in our community and what I'm focusing on these days besides making sure that Chile Lindo makes the best empanadas I can possibly offer YOU? So, read on and ¡Viva Chile!

Saludos y cariños,
Paula Tejeda
Chile Lindo

What's happening where the "Chilean Connection" is concerned? Please mark your calendars, save-the-date and join me for a fun and interesting time at one or more of these upcoming events. These days my world is all about Chilean film and with good reason.
The production of the "First Cine Chileno in San Francisco" is underway. It's a project that I've had on my mind for almost a decade. Finally, this year it's coming to fruition... and it couldn't be at a better time for this year a Chilean film, A Fantastic Woman, directed by Sebastián Lelio, is an Oscar contender!!!!!!! 

Every year I'm a volunteer at the SF Latino Film Festival which is how I had the good fortune to meet Silvio Caiozzi, a renowned Chilean film director. I am privileged to invite him to San Francisco and to feature a retrospective of his work. Please save-the-date: November 11, 2018. 

Congratulations to

Last November I met with Silvio Caiozzi at his office in Chile to discuss The First Cine Chileno in San Francisco.

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

On September 4th, 2017, Silvio Caiozzi received the prestigious "Grand prix des Amériques" (Best Film Award) at The Montreal World Film Festival for his latest release ... And Suddenly the Dawn (...Y de pronto el amanecer).

For people in the know, The Montreal World Film Festival, taking place in Canada since 1977, is highly venerated. It is a category "A" international film festival. It is the only competitive film event in North America that is recognized by the FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations). The Grand Prix of the Americas is the foremost prize granted by the high profile World Competition.

...Y de pronto el amanecer is an official selection at the upcoming FICG 33, Guadalajara International Film Festival, March 9 --16, 2018. ¡Buena suerte Maestro! 
Silvio Caiozzi receiving the "Grand prix des Amériques" at world premiere in Montreal World Film Festival, September 2017. 

An International Women's Day  
Tribute to Nina Serrano 
Poet l Filmmaker l Activist

What Is to Be Done? (¿Qué Hacer?)
Country Joe McDonald
Greg Landau
Valerie Landau

Thursday, March 8th
6:00 PM to 9:30 PM

981 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

No Cover. Please RSVP.

Nina Serrano is truly an inspiration. I've admired her poetry and activism for many years. However, I had no idea that she was also a filmmaker until I discovered a film she directed in 1970, set in Chile, entitled "What Is to Be Done?." The film was co-directed with her former husband Saul Landau, and Chilean director Raúl Ruiz.

Filmed on location, during the election campaign of the socialist coalition candidate Salvador Allende, the rare historical footage is the backdrop to the finely woven fictional story line. Each character represents a different ideological facet, personifying the antagonistic Chilean political tendencies on the rise, as momentum builds towards an inevitable collision, the military coup of 1973.  Mind you the footage was filmed in 1970, while Salvador Allende was still campaigning. After the Allende victory the film crew returned to San Francisco, spending three years fund raising and editing. Although the film ends with the euphoria of Allende's election, it seems to foreshadow a preordained tragedy.  

By the time the film was ready to premiere in a New York theater Chile was under a military dictatorship and the theater itself received a bomb threat. Nonetheless, "What Is To Be Done?" went on to receive international film awards. The New York Times hailed it as "...  a deft blend of fiction and documentary...".  

My first question to Nina had to do with the film's compelling soundtrack. The filmmakers' incorporated the music and lyrics much like a Greek chorus, used in classical Greek theater where the chorus comments and describes the action. It turned out that the lyrics and music were composed by non-other than the brilliant Country Joe McDonald, founding member of Country Joe and the Fish. If you grew up in the 60s and 70s and were part of the anti Vietnam war movement, you'd know Country Joe. His solo appearance at Woodstock is legendary and his composition "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag" became the official anti war protest song.
Country Joe's Woodstock legendary solo performance, 1969.

An International Women's Day  
Tribute to Nina Serrano  

As well, Nina Serrano is a published poet and senior programmer for Pacifica Radio since 1961. She produces KPFA's "La Raza Chronicles". At age 82, Nina Serrano published her first novel "Nicaragua Way."

Her books will be available for sale at the event.


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Viviana Navarrete (left) & Anna Schwartz,
The Winebow Group (right)
An International Women's Day Tribute to  
Nina Serrano  

At this International Women's Day commemoration we highlight Viña Leyda wines, produced by Chilean winemaker Viviana Navarrete.

Juan Antonio Pérez, terrirtoy manager at The Winebow Group, surprised me with a Chile Lindo visit by winemaker Viviana Navarrete.

At the event, we will serve Chile Lindo empanadas and Viña Leyda wines.

Thank you Anna Schwartz, Fine Wine Specialist at The Henry Wine Group, for selecting a fine Chilean wine, produced by Viviana Navarrete, a woman winemaker, for this event.

A special thank you to Covo for hosting this event, and to the Covo team, Beau-Robert Metcalfe and Emma Laedlein.

On a side note Chilean film director Raúl Ruiz, who directed the Chilean actors in What Is to Be Done?, lived in France for most of his career and his avant garde films gained international notoriety. In fact, Lincoln Center presented a retrospective of his films on January 12, 2018.    

Una Mujer Fantástica (A Fantastic Woman
Nominated to the 90th Academy Award
for Best Foreign Language Film

A Fantastic Woman, playing at the Roxie Theater, SF
March 2nd -- March 8th.

Co-presenter Consul General of Chile in San Francisco, Enrique Barriga, will attend the showing on Friday, March 2nd, 7:00 PM.

Roxie Theater
3117 16th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

March 2nd -- 8th, 2018

Chilean actress Daniela Vega , star of A Fantastic Woman, will make history at the Oscar's ceremony --she will be the first ever transgender performer to present at the awards ceremony.

Want to watch the Oscar's with a fun group to root for Chile?
Invite friends and comon down to the Roxie's Annual Oscar Party
Sunday, March 4th  
Doors open at 3:45 (15 minutes before the Red Carpet show begins).
The charge is $15 at the door ($12 in advance.)

Here's "Your Pal, Matías Bombal" at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco after interviewing the film's star Daniela Vega and its director Sebastián Lelio, on January 9th, 2018. The interview will be featured on Matías Bombal's Hollywood.

I wrote about Matías Bombal, producer/director/host/movie critic (Chilean, long time Sacramento resident) and his spectacular enterprise exactly 4 years ago. I just checked the link to my February 2014 newsletter and realized that on that same newsletter I promoted Sebastián Lelio's first hit, Gloria. Here's the l ink to that blast from the past 2014 Chile Lindo Newsletter.
Matías Bombal takes the director's seat
Matías Bombal's Director's Hat

The "Chilean Connection" keeps on glimmering. On Wednesday, February 21, 2018, Matías Bombal and his collaborator/editor Chad E. Williams presented the premiere of their documentary
Alhambra: Sacramento's Palace of Fantasy.

The two--back to back--premiere screenings at The Tower Theater in Sacramento were sold out! 

ALHAMBRA: Sacramento's Palace of Fantasy - Teaser Trailer A
ALHAMBRA: Sacramento's Palace of Fantasy - Trailer


For more information on the documentary and the many hats Monsieur Bombal wears, stay tuned at Matía's Bombal's Hollywood

Or follow his latest escapades on
Facebook .

I can't pass this opportunity to tell you that Matías Bombal was featured in the Wall Street Journal on January, 23rd, however, this was before his film premiered and for a completely different passion: his love affair with Mercedes "Eva" Bombal.

"The car crossed the Atlantic aboard an Italian ocean liner to his [Matías' father] home country of Chile in 1960. Then in 1969, he took it to California, where he became a professor at the University of California, Berkeley."---WSJ

A Mercedes With Roots in Three Continents

Kristine Tompkins addresses guest at "A Tribute to the Wild Legacy of Douglas Tompkins"
January 31st, 2016.


On January 31st, 2016, people from around the world came to San Francisco's Fort Mason Center to pay tribute to Douglas Tompkins' life . I was very fortunate to be invited by Carolina (Carola) Morgado, a family friend that is a high-ranking team member for Tompkins Conservation in Chile. The energy of a room filled with civility gives one HOPE.

Two years later, Kristine McDivitt Tompkins together with President Michelle Bachelet put a stamp on the Tompkins Conservation legacy for our planet and future generations by creating a 10 Million Acres National Park System in Patagonia.

Frankly, no words can express the sense of indebtedness and gratitude that aware citizens of our endangered planet Earth feel towards Douglas and Kristine Tompkins. I am moved to tears with emotion when I think of the magnitude of the fulfillment of their vision--it is as majestic as the Andes Mountains!

"With 10 Million Acres in Patagonia, a National Park System Is Born"--NY Times

Tompkins Conservation San Francisco Office

Meanwhile, as history was made in Chile with the creation of the national parks, the San Francisco team of staff and volunteers invited me to celebrate. We toasted with wine and what else... Chile Lindo empanadas!

¡GRACIAS! Thank you for inviting me to be part of your celebration on such a historic day.
Tompkins Conservation
SF Office Team

Big smiles and joy was the overall mood in the San Francisco headquarters, and a sense of pride in their great accomplishment.

These ladies, Alison Kelman (left) Communications Director, and Nicole Perman (right) Program Outreach Coordinator, were still on the go as we celebrated. Thank you ladies for your kindness and warm welcome.

Team member Normie Dea lifts her glass to toast their momentous accomplishment after many years of dedication and hard work.

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My favorite Douglas Tompkins quote. 
"A Tribute to the Wild Legacy of Douglas Tompkins," January 31st, 2016, SF. 

On October 2017 InvestChile, the Chilean Agency for the Promotion of Foreign Investment , inaugurated their San Francisco office. The event was attended by Chile's Ambassador to the United States, Juan Gabriel Valdés and the Consul General of Chile in San Francisco, Enrique Barriga. Former San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (R.I.P.) was also in attendance.

"Our mission is to give support to the needs of foreign investors and companies that would greatly benefit from the business opportunities that Chile offers."--InvestChile

 InvestChile > San Francisco

President Michelle Bachelet sent a video message to San Francisco's event attendees.

Sausalito-Viña del Mar Sister Cities' Fundraiser
Cheers to a Life Well Lived Dr. Oscar Abeliuk (QEPD)

Last year we lost a dear friend and a leading member of the SF Bay Area Chilean community. Oscar Abeliuk touched many, many lives. He was a Neurologist, he owned his own practice Abeliuk Medical Group, and he was an independent filmmaker and producer, he founded Abeliuk Productions.

He touched many lives and he was a true friend to many, many people in his life. I'm honored to say that he was a good friend and was very supportive of my work and overall vision. He was encouraging to artists and creative people overall.

The moment you met Oscar you immediately knew that he was a force of nature! One of his passions was Abeliuk Productions and following is a mini documentary he produced and directed about the Tsunami that hit Robinson Crusoe Island after the 2010 devastating earthquake in Chile. I leave you
Voices Of A Tsunami. I know nothing would please Oscar more than for you to enjoy his work.

Rest in Peace Oscar querido.

Paula Tejeda | Chile Lindo | (415) 368-3328 | Email | Website