Latin America’s oldest film festival, the International Film Festival of Cartagena, is set to begin on February 21, combining original stories and documentaries from across the world.
The 53-year-old festival is not only a magnet for tourism, but also a proving ground for directors and producers as 19 prestigious awards are up for grabs.
Two of the most highly regarded prizes are for best original fiction film as well as the best documentary. Of the latter section, three of the 12 nominations are reserved for Colombian-made documentaries. One of this year’s nominees is “The Journey of the Accordion” — a story about the birth of vallenato music starting with the genre’s roots in Germany.
The week-long festival generally favors a program of Latin American films. The selected movies tend to gravitate towards expressions of everyday social life for purposes of promoting a sense of cultural brotherhood throughout South and Central America.
Cartagena is a tourist hotspot on Colombia’s Caribbean coast as well as the main Colombian port of call for cruise ships. The town itself has been the subject of numerous books and films such as “Love in the time of Cholera,” based on the book written by Colombian literary giant and Nobel Prize Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The film, “Romancing the Stone” also premiered there. Quality of the movie aside, gringo actor Michael Douglas mispronounced the town’s name which subsequently was adopted by tourists, much to the dismay of the locals.
BACKGROUND: Official website