World Premiere of PIRÓPOLIS at Tribeca, Followed by Sheffield

World Premiere of PIRÓPOLIS at Tribeca, Followed by Sheffield

World Premiere of the Documentary Feature PIRÓPOLIS,  the Fourth Feature by Award-Winning Director Nicolás Molina at Tribeca Festival, Followed by Sheffield DocFest

This Riveting and Visually Stunning Documentary Follows an Impassioned Yet Precarious Chilean Fire Brigade
Amid Climate Change-Fueled Wildfires and Social Upheaval

Pirópolis, the fourth film from the celebrated Chilean director Nicolás Molina (Gaucho Americano), will have its world premiere in the Documentary Competition at the 23rd edition of the Tribeca Festival, taking place June 5-16, 2024 in New York City; followed by its European premiere at the 31st edition of the Sheffield DocFest, running June 12-17, 2024 in the United Kingdom.

Employing an engrossing vérité narrative, Pirópolis immerses viewers into the director’s residing city, the Chilean port city, through an all-volunteer fire brigade with French ties called the “Pompe France.” The city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the fire brigade find themselves amidst social upheaval as the country is rocked by national protests and a referendum to rewrite the national constitution.

Led by a charismatic captain obsessed with all things French, the fire brigade welcomes a guest from France to help develop new techniques to fight the increasingly intense wildfire season fueled by climate change and the adoption of a monoculture of eucalyptus plants. While a social crisis explodes, the fire company is deployed both to the front lines of the summer wildfire season and to respond to protests. 

A bastion of tradition in Chilean society, the longstanding firefighting institution celebrates its historic ties to France, military code, and hierarchy. However, younger generations of firefighters are challenging these outdated values, striving to make the companies more professional and to include new women recruits. “Pompe France” captures a society’s transformation as a microcosm of a polarized nation.

The city of Valparaíso is particularly vulnerable to devastating fires, this past summer in Chile resulted in the loss of 131 lives and the destruction of 12,500 homes. The region’s extensive eucalyptus monoculture, covering vast swathes of land, contributes to biodiversity loss, soil erosion, and water scarcity, while the shallow-rooted eucalyptus trees heighten the risk of landslides. The presence of these monocultures, particularly near impoverished neighborhoods, magnifies the connection between social equity and environmental degradation.

Set in the context of intensifying wildfires around the world, and the Chilean constitutional referendum, the beautiful and haunting cinematography of Pirópolis witnesses the unequal fight against fire in a broken society.

Tribeca Festival Screenings:
Saturday, June 8, 5:45pm at Village East by Angelika — World Premiere
Monday, June 10, 9:30am at AMC 19th St. East 3 — P&I Screening
Monday, June 10, 5:45pm at AMC 19th St. East 3
Tuesday, June 11, 6pm at AMC 19th St. East 4

Sheffield DocFest Screenings:
Friday, June 14, 5:45pm at the Bertha DocHouse Screen 3
Sunday, June 16, 6:30pm at the Splice Post Screen 1

PIRÓPOLIS. Chile, 2024, 73 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. Directed by: Nicolás Molina; Written by: Nicolás Molina and Valentina Arango; Producers: Joséphine Schroeder and Francisca Barraza; Production companies: Funky Films and Pequén Producciones; Cinematographer: Nicolás Molina; Editors: Mayra Morán; Sound: Jorge Acevedo; Color: Kenzo Mijares; Sound Design: Roberto Espinoza. World sales: Compañía de Cine.
About the Director:
Nicolás Molina
 (b. 1985) graduated in Audiovisual Direction from the Catholic University of Chile. He directed and produced the short films El jabalí in 2007 (Official Selection at FICValdivia and FICViña) and El atleta in 2010 (Official Selection at FICValdivia and Sanfic). In 2013, he helmed the television documentary series “Chile Sounds!” (CNTV 2012). Molina’s debut feature film came in 2014 with the documentary Los castores, which premiered at the Sheffield DocFest, earning him the Best Film accolade at the Valdivia International Film Festival. His second documentary feature, Flow, premiered at Sheffield in 2018, garnering awards including Best National Film at SANFIC 2018 and screening at prestigious festivals such as Guadalajara, Kerala, Docs Barcelona, and DOXA. Molina’s third feature, Gaucho Americano, premiered at Hot Docs in 2021, securing the Best Film award at the Trento Film Festival in Italy. Continuing his academic pursuits, he enrolled in a Master’s program in Creation at the Zine Eskola of Elías Querejeta in 2021, where he edited his fourth film, Pirópolis.

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