La laguna del soldado (The Soldier's Lagoon) took part in Hot Docs 2024

Pantalla Colombia No.: 131
mayo 01 - 31 / 2024

The film, directed by Pablo Álvarez Mesa, competed at the Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival.

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Hot Docs, the Toronto International Documentary Film Festival, is one of the most important events of its kind, attracting filmmakers and audiences from around the world. Each year, the Festival presents more than 200 innovative films, showcasing and supporting the work of Canadian and international documentary filmmakers and promoting excellence in documentary filmmaking. A non-profit organization, it was founded in 1993 by the Documentary Organization of Canada (formerly the Canadian Independent Film Caucus), an association of independent documentary filmmakers.

Pablo Álvarez-Mesa's filmmaking journey continued with the selection of La laguna del soldado  at Hot Docs. He is the director and producer of this Colombian-Canadian co-production. The film is part of a cartographic series about Simón Bolívar's campaign, tracing his liberation route from the eastern plains to Bogotá and its impact on Colombia's present. The trilogy is characterized by the juxtaposition of temporalities, multiple overlapping voices, and the creation of atmospheres, tonalities, and sound designs in 16mm.

La laguna del soldado is a path that leads back to the páramo. Its bluish, eerie atmosphere sets the stage for Bolivar's voice and his musings on the Chimborazo volcano. The road, lined with frailejones, also acts as a timeline, revealing the history of the Muiscas, the Spaniards, Bolivar and his troops, mining, and the many participants in the recent conflict. It was presented as a project at the Cannes Docs program of the Marché du Film in May 2023, where it received the Docs in Orbit Invitation Award. It also had its world premiere at the 46th Cinéma du Réel International Documentary Film Festival, where it won the Sacem Award for Best Original Score. In addition, the film was included in the official selection of the 63rd Cartagena de Indias International Film Festival (FICCI).

The first feature film in the series, Bicentenario (Bicentenary, 2020), questions the reasons for the national celebration by invoking the spirit of Bolívar through mediums. The film begins in Plaza de Bolívar, depicting the capture of the Palace of Justice, and moves to Socha, where the troops settled after crossing the Páramo de Pisba. This production participated in the Berlinale 2021, the MoMA Doc Fortnight, and the Viennale, among other international events. It also received a Jury Mention at the Punto de Vista Festival in the Best Film category of the official competition.

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Colombia at Cannes

Mi bestia (My Beast), Camila Beltrán's debut feature film and a beneficiary of the Film Development Fund (FDC), was part of the ACID section at Cannes. The film, notable for its strong female presence in key roles, had its world premiere in this section, which has presented the first films of many renowned filmmakers in recent years. Six productions participated in the Marché du Film, while Proimágenes Colombia was supporting the national delegation at booth 136.
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Three short films in Huesca

The Colombian productions Bogotá Story, Zombie, and Afuera el mundo cae sobre mi cuerpo (Outside the World Falls on My Body) are part of the Ibero-American Official Selection.