Colombian Representation at Cannes

Pantalla Colombia No.: 122
abril 16 - mayo 31 / 2023

Colombia had a strong presence at the 76th edition of the Cannes Festival with two notable entries. The animated short film La perra (The dog), directed by Carla Melo, competed in the Official Competition, while the restored version of Amor, mujeres y flores,(Love, Women, and Flowers) by Marta Rodríguez and Jorge Silva, was featured in Cannes Classics. Proimágenes Colombia accompanied the Colombian delegation, and the Colombian stand received the Coup de Cœur Award at the third edition of the Pavilion Design Award in the Marché du Film.


In co-production with Arte France, La perra is brought to life by Evidencia Films and June Films. The talented team behind the film includes Andrea Muñoz for animation and inking, Julián Arias, Gabriela Otálora, Sergio Román, and Paola Cuéllar for color and inking, Santiago Guevara and Pablo Quiroga for artistic research, Juan Camilo Fonnegra for compositing, Juan Sebastián Quebrada for editing, Juan Andrés Urueña for assistant directing, Juan Camilo González González for assistant directing, and Ana Winograd for production direction, among others.

Out of 4,288 films, the short film was selected as one of the 11 short films competing for the prestigious Golden Palm for Best Short Film, a coveted symbol of the festival awarded to the finest films in various categories of the Official Competition. Colombia only achieved this honor once with the short film Leidi by Simón Mesa Soto in 2014.

La perra received support from the Fondo para el Desarrollo Cinematográfico - FDC in the Short Filmmaking category. It also obtained the Animation Short Film Creation Grant from the Instituto Distrital de las Artes - Idartes and the Aide avant réalisation from the Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée (CNC) of France.

Cannes Classics, a section within the Official Selection dedicated to tributes, restorations, and special screenings, showcased the restored version of the 1989 documentary Amor¸ mujeres y flores, directed by Marta Rodríguez and Jorge Silva. This section is divided into two categories: Tribute, which focuses on films and film personalities, and Restorations, which presents restored copies of documentaries and films from the international film heritage. The Colombian film was featured under the Restorations category.

During the 1980s, Colombia's flower farming industry experienced significant growth and gained international recognition. However, the reality was far from ideal behind the facade of abundance. The documentary sheds light on the use of pesticides in the flower fields of the Colombian savannah, as well as the working conditions faced by the predominantly female workforce. With an anthropological approach, the film captures the workers' testimonies over five years and depicts their daily lives. It is a pioneering film exploring emancipation, dignity, and environmental activism.

The film underwent a restoration and digitization process following the production style of the New Latin American Cinema. This low-budget approach finds its strength in solidarity and dedication despite economic challenges. Through a cultural exchange with the National Cinematheque of Ecuador, the film was digitized in 2K format. In 2022, Felipe Colmenares handled the restoration process in 16mm, including image and color restoration.

Notably, the film garnered several awards, including the Special Jury Mention at the Aurillac International Film Festival in France, the Golden Gate Award and Honorable Mention in Sociology at the 33rd San Francisco International Film Festival, and a Jury Mention at the Sundance Film Festival in the USA. It also received the Award for Documentary Showing the Problems of the Working Class at the Manhein Festival in Germany, the Ecology Award at the Okomedia International Ecology Festival in Freiburg, Germany, and the Ecological Documentary Award at the Festival de Cine por la Vida, la Paz y la Ecología in Bogota.

The world premiere of this restored version took place on Sunday, May 21, at the Buñuel Theater. Following the screening, a thought-provoking discussion on the role of women in the working world, particularly in the film industry, unfolded with the participation of feminist organizations Collectif 50/50 and Femmes à la caméra.

Colombia's stand at the Marché du Film (132, Village International) received the Coup de Cœur award in the third edition of the Pavilion Design Award. The award recognized the user experience generated in promoting the country and the design of the space to connect with the world. The jury for this year's award included Iris Knobloch, president of the Cannes Film Festival; Rita Goegebeur, training director of Flanders Image; Marilyne Letertre, a journalist at Madame Figaro; and Rosalie Varda, CEO of Ciné-Tamaris.

Colombia's stand served as a vital point of connection with industry professionals from all over the world who attended the festival for business purposes. It was also the meeting place for all the national representatives who participated in the event. The stand allowed Colombian authorities to meet with counterparts from other countries, including Brazil and Italy, to establish long-term co-production relationships that would benefit Colombian productions. Additionally, a Colombian-French co-production guide, developed by master's degree students from the Université Paul Valéry de Montpelier, was presented at the event, enabling French and international professionals to get a comprehensive understanding of Colombia's film and audiovisual panorama.

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