Colombia in the spotlight in Toulouse

Pantalla Colombia No.: 121
marzo 01 - abril 15 / 2023

The 35th edition of the Toulouse Latin American Film Festival, which concluded on April 2nd, saw outstanding Colombian participation with ten films in official competitions and sections, 11 productions in a unique program dedicated to contemporary Colombian cinema, two projects in Cine en Construcción, and the participation of several Colombian guests. Colombian films in competition received three awards.


The Toulouse Latin American Film Festival is an annual event held in this French city since 1989. It was created by the Association Rencontres Cinémas d'Amérique Latine de Toulouse (ARCALT), which aims to promote films marginalized by commercial distribution circuits and contribute to their diffusion. The 35th edition of this event was held from Friday, March 24th to Sunday, April 2nd, and included in its Focus section a program of 11 Colombian productions that have gained recognition in recent years.
The organizers of this program, labeled Focus: Cinéma colombien contemporain, point out that "2022 was a strong year for the recognition of Colombian cinema's vitality, achieving solid notoriety at the Cannes, Venice, Berlin, San Sebastian, Busan, Doc New York, and Havana festivals. Proimágenes Colombia reports a spectacular increase in movie theater attendance, which had suffered so much from the pandemic and is now filling up again. Colombian cinema is rising at national festivals and winning awards in Latin America."
The productions presented as part of this program were Alis by Clare Weiskopf and Nicolás van HemelryckComo el cielo después de llover (Like the Sky After Raining) by Mercedes GaviriaDopamina(Dopamine) by Natalia Imery AlmarioLa jauría (The Pack) by Andrés Ramírez PulidoLa roya (Rust) by Juan Sebastián Mesa;  Los conductos (The Conduits) by Camilo RestrepoLos días de la ballena (The Days of the Whale) by Catalina Arroyave; Nuestra película (Our Film) by Diana BustamanteUn varón (A Male) by Fabián Hernández; Virus tropical (Tropical Virus) by Santiago Caicedo; and the miniseries Turbia (Muddy) by Contravía Films and Inercia Películas. The festival opened with Los reyes del mundo (The Kings of the World) by Laura Mora, and Vicenta B. by Carlos Lechuga.
In addition to the screening of these films, Cinélatino hosted a series of events featuring special guests like Theo Montoya, Daniela López, Mercedes Gaviria, Natalia ImeryDiana BustamanteAndrés Ramírez PulidoJuan Sebastián MesaClare Weiskopf, Sebastián Pinzón, Canela Reyes, Mateo Salas, and Laura Mora. Some also participated in the 18th edition of Cine en Desarrollo, a section marked by new projects with bold concepts.
Colombian productions also entered the festival's competitions. Anhell69 by Theo Montoya, which had its world premiere at the Venice Critics' Week in 2022 and received the Jury's Special Mention, was featured in the Compétition Long-métrage Fiction and received the Prix SFCC de la Critique. Diógenes by Leonardo Barbuy La Torre, a co-production between Peru, Colombia, and France, received a Special Mention at Cinéma en Construction Toulouse in 2022.
La Compétition Long-métrage documentaire featured two films: Amando a Martha (Loving Martha) by Daniela López Osorio, which premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), and La Bonga, which was directed by Sebastián Pinzón Silva and Canela Reyes and premiered globally at the event. The film follows the journey of 150 families expelled from their land by the Colombian armed conflict and paramilitary threats, returning to their territory after 20 years, received the Rencontres de Toulouse Documentary Award in this competition.
La Compétition Court-métrage included three productions: Bebé by Cristina Sánchez Salamanca, which was part of the official selection at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2022; El sol del río (The river sun) by Mateo Salas, which tells the story of a farmer who gets stopped by a paramilitary roadblock while traveling with his children to visit his wife in a nearby town; and Se alquilan lavadoras (Washing machines for rent) by Jefferson Romero, a documentary that follows a washing machine rental company located in the city's outskirts, high in the hills, collecting laundry stories from house to house. The latter won the Audience Award for Best Short Film.
The Découvertes Fiction category featured the Colombian co-production Vicenta B. by Carlos Lechuga, a portrait of Vicenta Bravo, a well-respected santera who foresees the future through cards and communicates with the dead. The film, depicting the life of an independent woman and reflecting contemporary Cuban reality, has been selected for official screenings at the Miami, Toronto, and Biarritz festivals.
Découvertes Documentaire showcased Camilo Torres Restrepo, el amor eficaz (The effective love) by Marta Rodríguez and Fernando Restrepo. The documentary is a tribute to the revolutionary priest, assassinated in 1965, whom Rodriguez had the opportunity to meet while studying at university.
In Jeune public, a section devoted to children, María Teresa Salcedo's Lea salvaje (Wild Lea) was featured as part of a program of six short films that offer an immersion in unusual environments, emphasizing the sounds of objects, nature, and the roar of animals. The Panorama de Asociaciones category presented a selection of documentaries chosen in collaboration with activist associations, including Cantos que inundan el río (Singings flooding the river) by Germán Arango and Matarife (Butcher) by Daniel Mendoza.
Finally, the 42nd edition of Cine en Construcción, a section that aims to facilitate the completion of Latin American feature films, showcased two Colombian projects: El otro hijo (The other son) by Juan Sebastián Quebrada and Yo ví tres luces negras (I saw three black lights) by Santiago Lozano.

Más noticias

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Colombia in Malaga and South by Southwest

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