The Contestant at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

Pantalla Colombia No.: 071
octubre 15 - noviembre 30 / 2017

Carlos Osuna's new feature film will compete in Estonia along with European, Asian, and American films. It is the only Latin American film in the Official Competition


From November 17 to December 3, The Contestant (El concursante) will feature in the Official Competition of the 21 Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, the only festival in the Baltic countries, held in the Estonian capital since 1997. Tiina Lokk, the festival director and chief of programming, says, “What we have here is a kaleidoscope of genres from drama to thriller to horror to comedy. It is likely to generate debates as to quality, and that is what I think cinema should do – generate discussion, both about the art of cinema and the world at large.”
The film follows a young shy man who is unemployed and who will see his life change. Written for the screen by Osuna, Juan Mauricio Ruiz y Alejandro Quintero, The Contestant is a film based on true events in 2011. Osuna seeks to “ask a big question about society and where it is headed. This is a story for all of us who have had to live in a society governed by chance, where hard work, effort, and passion hardly make a difference. A society in which we are always on the list but never chosen. A society of resigned losers. A society of contestants that are never going to win.”
Osuna is compelled by Cristobal, the main character. He is a man without a path, a man who wastes time. “This young man cannot undertake anything. He is unemployed and accustomed to living without expectations or dreams, accustomed to simply surviving.”

In 2014, The Contestant won the award for best film project at the International Producers Meeting at the Cartagena Film Festival (FICCI) and participated in Marché du Film at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2015, the feature film was also at L’Atelier, a section by Cannes’ Cinefondation that supports the emergence of a new generation of filmmakers.

The Contestant is a production of Malta Cine, starring Ronaldo Tejedor Simarra, Elena Díaz, Daniel Moncada, Kissinger Miranda, Brian Villa, Sunami Rodriguez, and Abelina Suárez. Its crew included Carlos Osuna, director; Juan Mauricio Ruiz, producer; Carlos Osuna, Alejandro Quintero, and Juan Mauricio Ruiz, script; Andrés Tudela, assistant director; and others.

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