The 2nd annual Colombian Film Festival will return to New York City this March, with hopes of recreating the success of last year’s festival by showcasing the creative minds and talents of Latin America’s cinema industry.
The five-day event will feature 20 films, 18 short films, and 5 documentaries – the official selection will be announced February 11 in a press meeting at Americans Society in New York City.
In anticipation of the festival, several pre-events are scheduled starting Saturday, February 1 featuring an exhibition of classic Colombian film posters at the Colombian Consulate in New York and free screenings at La Guardia Community College and Queens Boulevard Theater.
The initial idea to host a Colombian festival in the U.S. developed during a meeting between Colombian filmmaker, Juan Carvajal and Colombian Consulate Official, Adriana Aristizabal. Carvajal aspired to create a platform to promote the current and uprising talents of Colombia. “He had this extraordinary idea and we started working on it,” the festival’s Co-founder and President Aristizabal told Colombia Reports.
The duo pitched the idea to U.S. and Colombian channels, and soon after received the support of Colombia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Colombian Embassy in Washington and the Colombian Consulate in New York City.
“In the beginning it was to promote the Colombian film industry in the United States and create a bridge between the Colombian film industry and the U.S. film industry,” Aristizabal said.
Following the success of the first festival, the two made the decision to expand the festival to include works and talents from across Latin America.
“These people need the opportunity to be exposed internationally, this is the mission that we have…My partner and I are passionate people from our country and this is our opportunity to show how amazing Colombia is – the people, our beautiful places, we want to expose our culture to Americans,” the festivals president said.
“We are the baby of the Tribeca Film Festivals, [but] the cinemas are being so supportive with this project and are providing us with a lot of advice about the process we are dealing with,” Aristizabal told Colombia Reports.
Nonetheless, the festival had an extraordinary turnout this year, receiving 2,500 submissions, including 1,900 short films.
An impressive list of personalities will also be attending the event, including Twilight star Peter Facinelli, Colombian actor John Leguizamo, and Oscar-winners Geoffrey Fletcher and Christopher Newman.
The Colombian cinema industry has grown tremendously in the last few years and it is slowly but surely placing itself on the international map. “The film industry in Colombia is a new big industry that has the full support of the government and other agencies. We have…amazing and extraordinary talent,” Aristizabal said.
“Three American movies will world premiere at the festival,” the president of the festival said, unwilling to reveal the opening film. “It’s a surprise,” she added.
The festival will take place on March 25 and go through the 30 at the Tribeca Cinemas in New York City.
For more information on the Colombian Film Festival visit the website here.
- Interview with Adriana Aristizabal