Winner at Sony Future Filmmaker Awards

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

Mateo Salas from Colombia won the Student Fiction Competition at the Sony Future Filmmaker Awards.

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The awards are focused on short films and were established by Creo and sponsored by Sony. The annual short film awards program aims to support and elevate independent filmmakers and creators worldwide. It allows filmmakers to travel to Los Angeles and visit the Sony Pictures Studio in Culver City, California, for exclusive access to the industry. The awards are divided into three competitions: Filmmaker, Film Student, and Future Format, all of which are judged by a panel of leading industry figures. The winners receive cash prizes and a selection of Sony Digital Imaging equipment.

The event's first edition had a jury chaired by British film, theater, and television director Justin Chadwick (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom). Joining him were Nicole Brown, president of TriStar Pictures (Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody); Jeremy Barber of United Talent Agency; and Sir Roger A. Deakins, an Academy Award-winning cinematographer (Blade Runner 2049).
Chosen from a pool of 4,000 applicants, the selected projects for the call included Water Town by Dan Thorburn (United Kingdom), The Things You Don't Know About Me, Mom by Daniela Lucato (Italy), The Good Dolphins by Pedro Furtado (Brazil), In Cod We Trust by Seonghoon Eric Park (Republic of Korea), Winter Vacation by Pan Tianhong (mainland China), and El sol del río (The River Sun) by Mateo Salas (Colombia).

In El sol del río, a farmer embarks on a journey with his children to visit their mother. However, their bus is stopped at a paramilitary checkpoint midway through the trip, and three children, including the farmer's son, are forced to stay behind. As the bus continues without them, the man is left uncertain whether he will ever see his son again. Directed and written by Mateo Salas, the film was produced by Salas, Melissa García, and José Carlos Hoyos, co-produced by Juan Pablo Hormiga and Andrea Orozco, and featured Valentina Cuervo as assistant director. The cast included Monserrat de Los Ángeles Díaz Gómez, Esteban Hernández Sánchez, Pedro Antonio Valencia, Manuel Antonio Arango, Gloria Celia Gómez Saldarriaga, Kevin Andrés Puerta Jaramillo, Gilberto Mejía, and José Félix Londoño Zuluaga.
Mateo Salas is the director of two short films, El color de la sombra (The Color of the Shadow) and De muertos y flores (Of the Dead and Flowers). De muertos y flores was selected to participate in the 17th edition of the National Animation Competition at the Bogotá Short Film Festival - Bogoshorts. Salas also served as a student jury member in the Conexion Competition at the festival's 18th edition.

The other shortlisted Colombian candidates were Catalina Fonseca in the Student Non-Fiction Competition with her work Historias de una mente danzante (Stories of a Dancing Mind) and Ginna Parra in the Future Format Competition with her production Filtros (Filters).

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