Colombia at IDFA

Pantalla Colombia No.: 125
noviembre 01 - 30 / 2023

Avalancha (Avalanche), Bandera Roja (Red Flag), Milisuthando, Transition, Alis, and two projects in the Forum section were the Colombian productions presented at the 36th edition of the International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam.


The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the world's largest documentary film festival, has been a yearly event in the Netherlands since 1988. Over twelve days, the event screens more than 300 films, sells more than 250,000 tickets, and welcomes more than 3,000 guests. The festival promotes the production and distribution of a wide range of documentary films and contributes to expanding and improving the international documentary scene, fostering inclusivity, and giving a voice to underrepresented filmmakers. In 2023, the selection included more than 250 titles, five from Colombia.
In Competition for Short, two Colombian productions will have their world premiere. Bandera Roja by Mónica Taboada-Tapia, produced by Beto Rosero for Guerrero Films, with executive production by Mónica Taboada-Tapia and Alberto De La Espriella, features cinematography by Rafael González Granados, sound by Pablo Martínez, sound design by Daniel Castilla Galán and music by José Rebimbas. The film portrays a lively beach scene in downtown Cartagena, disrupted by the intrusion of bulldozers and excavators to address the risks of rising sea levels due to global climate change. In an idyllic setting of sun and sea, regular visitors discuss their hopes and fears for the future.
The second short film, Avalanche, by Daniel Cortés Ramírez, is crafted solely from archival footage. It kicks off with the sound of scraping, rattling, and clattering—resembling pebbles breaking loose and rolling downhill. The ground quakes before the slide begins. Avalanche is a collaboration between José Manuel Duque López and Daniel Cortés Ramírez, co-produced with Germán García. The editing is done by Juan Canola, with sound design by Daniel Giraldo and Alejandro Bernal, and music by Alejandro Bernal and Daniel Giraldo.
The Best of Fests section, which highlights films that have won awards at the most important festivals, audience favorites, and outstanding titles from the international festival circuit, will present Milisuthando. The film, which received a grant from the Film Development Fund (FDC) in the Minority Co-Production category, was directed and written by poet and filmmaker Milisuthando Bongela and had its Dutch premiere. In this personal and poetic portrait, the South African examines the consequences of apartheid as she grew up in the independent Transkei, unaware that the territory's freedom was rooted in a deeply racist system.
This section will also feature Transition by Jordan Bryon and Monica Villamizar. The story follows Australian journalist Jordan Bryon's determination to stay in Afghanistan following the Taliban's takeover, which is not easy for a trans man —a candid and often surprising account of journalistic and personal choices. The documentary was produced by Monica Villamizar, executive produced by BJ LEVIN, Stuart Ford, Lourdes Diaz, and Joel Zimmer of AGC Studios; Matthew Heineman and Joedan Okun of Our Time Projects; and Sebastian Hernandez and Juan Manuel Betancourt of Ruvrika. The cinematography was handled by Gelareh Kiazand, Toby Musa, Neil Brandvold, Farzad Fetrat, and Jordan Bryon. Editing was done by Eduardo Resing and Maria Alehandra Briganti, with sound and sound design by Carlos Garcia, and music by Nadim Mishlawi.

The Forum, an industry section, will showcase two feature film projects in the production stage: Before the Fire and The Long Cuban NightBefore the Fire, directed by Ángel Giovanni Hoyos and produced by Jorge Botero (Séptima Films) and Jorge Caballero (Gusano Films), centers on the killing of a young Mapuche man by two hitmen in a recovered community in southern Argentina. The film delves into the legal proceedings following the murder and portrays the daily life of the community as they fight for their land and ancestral heritage—a story of land struggles and preserving cultural memory. The Long Cuban Night, directed by Sergio Fernández Borrás and produced by Casatarántula, is a live testimony of an impossible dialogue between a dictatorship and a group of artists armed only with cell phones to defend themselves.

Finally, Alis by Clare Weiskopf and Nicolás van Hemelryck was featured in the Online Program. The film, a collaboration between Casatarántula, De Film (Romania), and Pantalla Cines (Chile), had Helkin René Díaz G. handling the camera and cinematography. Gustavo Vasco and Anne Fabini edited, while Miguel Miranda and José Miguel Tobar did the music. Marius Leftarache was responsible for the sound design, and Patrick Alexander did the sound. Laura Taborda served as the production manager, and the team of producers included Nicolás van Hemelryck, Clare Weiskopf, Radu Stancu, and Alexandra Galvis, alongside executive producers Lise Lense-Moller, Vlad Radulescu, van Hemelryck, Weiskopf, and Ramona Grama. The film follows the stories of teenage girls residing in a shelter in Bogotá, delving into their challenging pasts through the perspective of a fictional friend named Alis. Their poignant narrative unveils a remarkable strength as they aspire to a brighter future.

Más noticias


Colombia's participation in Ventana Sur 2023

From November 27 to December 1, the most important Latin American film market will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Eighteen Colombian productions will participate in the different sections of the event, while a national delegation of more than fifty people will attend the event.

The Macondo Awards 2023 Winners

The 11th edition of this event, celebrating the best of Colombian cinema, took place. Proimágenes Colombia, under the leadership of director Claudia Triana, was the first organization to receive the Macondo Honorary Award.