One hundred and seventy films and countless academic and cultural activities made up the Festival Internacional de Cine de Cartagena de Indias (FICCI), which took place from March 11-17. World-renowned directors like Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream), Ki Duk Kim, Pablo Trapero, Raymond Depardon and the Colombian Rodrigo Garcia graced the event with their presence.
This festival is known not only for its rich history but also for being the perfect meeting place for filmmakers, actors and other industry types. With more than five decades under its belt, FICCI has positioned itself as the oldest cinema festival in Latin America, underscoring Colombia’s status as a filmmaking epicenter.
This year saw the 55th festival, and the award for Best Official Fiction Film went to Guatemalan Jayro Bustamante for Ixcanul, which tells the story of an indigenous woman who is forced to marry as demanded by the tradition of her community.
Meanwhile, Hector Galvez won Best Director for his work on the Colombian-Peruvian coproduction NN.
Brazilian Adirley Quieros received the FIPRESCI International Critics’ Best Picture award for his film Branco sai, preto fica, which portrays the life of a paralyzed musician who transmits his art through an online radio station.
In the Official Competition for Colombian Cinema, the title for Best Picture went to El Silencio del Rio by Carlos Tribiño, which takes a subtle but poignant look at the silent victims of violence, juxtaposing the stories with beautiful Colombian landscapes. Roberto Flores won Best Director for Ruido Rosa. In the Official Documentary category, the award went to the Chilean Maite Alberdi’s La Once, co-produced in the US.
In addition to the previous titles, the attendants of FICCI 2015 were able to enjoy films such as Gabriel Ripstein’s 600 Millas (Mexico, USA), Sergio Castro’s La Mujer De Barro (Chile), Raul Perrone’s Ragazzi (Argentina), Pedro Costa’s Cavalo Dinheiro (Portugal), and Franco Lolli’s Gente de Bien (Colombia, France), among others.
One important guest at the festival was Rodrigo Garcia Barcha, son of the Colombian Nobel Prize-winner, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who closed the event with his film Last Days in the Desert, which portrays the director’s take on the temptation of Jesus of Nazareth.
Among the fruits planted at this year’s FICCI was the nomination of Las Últimas Vacaciones (Boys of Buenaventura) to the Toulouse Latin Film Festival, which takes place between March 19 and 29. The film was directed by Manuel Contreras and produced by Don Mister and Ojo de Pez in co-production with Señal Colombia, and represents Colombia on the international stage.
By Alejandra Chipatecua