Apparently this has been brewing since December but I am just taking notice today with the release of their Festival Trailer. Sponsored by Univision, Delta and presented by the Colombian Consulate, New York and Colombian embassy in Washington D.C, the inaugural Colombian Film Festival in New York will screen 16 feature films and 8 short films – all produced within the last two years, at the Tribeca Cinemas March 20 – 24.
This celebration of the dynamic offerings of contemporary Colombian cinema is very well deserved and timely. I have noticed through the film festival screeners I watch a shift in the type of films coming from Colombia. They are starting to eschew stereotypical drug crime gang stories. If a film does treat this real social ill, it is approached by far more novel and inventive ways. Definitely there is a nascent of singular conceptual and diverse genres bourgeoning. Among the films being screened in NYC, I highly recommend the surrealist Todos Tus Muertos written and directed by Carlos Moreno (Dog Eat Dog), Porifirio, an oddly sensual, deceptively quiet and powerful film written and directed by Alejandro Landes which screened in the illustrious Directors Fortnight in Cannes, and the quirky Sofia and the Stubborn written and directed by Andrés Burgos Vallejo – a type of Alice in Wonderland story about an older woman who finally makes her wish happen. All three of these demonstrate the type of imaginative conception I mention. Oddly missing from the lineup is the Colombian entry for the 2012 Oscars, Colors of the Mountain written and directed by Carlos César Arbeláez. The film may even be the most screened in world wide film festivals including San Sebastian and San Francisco International.
Colombia produces less than 25 features a year and that represents a substantial increase over the past 10 years. It’s noteworthy to mention that 18 home grown features were released in Colombian theaters. Hopefully this critical access will whet the local audience appetite and nurture a serious support system for filmmakers. Unlike the powerhouse independent and government fund agencies of Chile, Argentina and Brazil, Colombia has struggled to make steps towards consolidating its talent and building an organized film industry. The Cartagena Film Festival taking place later this week, is but another positive indicator of the rising interest in Colombian Cinema as both a location and Ibero American producer. Looking at their Made in Colombia section and you’ll find even more brand new 2013 releases.