The first Colombian Film Festival in New York will take place from March 20–24, showcasing cinematography from the South American country in the famous Tribeca Cinemas.
Happening just before the illustrious Tribeca Film Festival and orchestrated by Juan Carlos Carvajal, filmmaker and critic, it will be a week of Colombian cinema featuring full length films, documentaries, shorts, forums, and special guests like director, producer and screenwriter Luis Ospina who will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Ministry of Culture.
The documentary section features “Lassoing Affections,” a film about Colombian cowboys that set out on their horses every year for 40 days over nearly 100,000 acres of land to round up cattle. The 400-year-old tradition is under threat due to modern developments in the region like road construction and fences. The motorbike is replacing the horse, who is “like your home, your brother, your relative,” according to the cowboys. The film shows a dying tradition set against the striking landscape of Colombia as the horsemen set off on early-morning round-ups.
“Pablo’s Hippos,” draws the comparisons between the life-journey of the animals and the dead drug baron Pablo Escobar, and the country’s struggle against them. The partially animated film shows a photo of the army standing over the dead bloated carcass of one of Pablo’s hippos, followed by the notorious photo of Escobar himself lying dead at the feet of Colombian police.
Selections from the short film section are “The Red Elephant,” about a young prostitute and an old man who pays to watch her sleep naked, and “Koko – Payasos o Mimos? (Clowns versus Mimes),” a futuristic film set in a world of dwindling resources where, yes, the clowns and the mimes battle it out.
The highly acclaimed “Choco” will star in the feature length section. The film, which has been shown at festivals around the world, follows Choco, a woman in poverty-stricken rural Colombia. Choco works in a gold mine on the San Juna river while her husband is a drunk. When her daughter turns seven, all Choco wants to do is buy her a birthday cake. A humble wish that could have life-changing consequences.