Colombian film-makers Ruben Mendoza and Oscar Ruiz Navia have been selected to take part in the Residence program by the jury at the Cannes Film Festival, El Espectador reports.
The prestigious program, created in 2000, offers a dozen young directors a five-month residential program in Paris to work on their second feature film. Whilst there, the candidates receive personal assistance from industry professionals, free access to the city’s cinemas, optional language classes and a monthly allowance of €800.
Mendoza and Ruiz were selected out of 180 candidates alongside film-makers from Chile, Nigeria, Afghanistan and China. Applicants are judged on their motivation, the quality of their debut feature films and their plans for future projects.
Fellow Colombian Franco Lolli, who is currently taking part on the first session of the program, was the first Colombian to be selected for the residence program for his short film “Like Everybody Else” (“Como todo el mundo”). The Cannes jury has also invited Cesar-born Ciro Guerra to take part in its Atelier program, which invites directors to the festival to assist with the financing and completion of their latest projects. His film “The Wind Journeys” (“Los viajes de viento,”) was chosen for the 2009 official selection.
Mendoza’s debut “The Stoplight Society” (“La sociedad de semaforo”), released later this year, is about a man obsessed with controlling traffic lights to gain acceptance from street vendors who ply their trade at the intersections of big cities. It was accepted for the Atelier initiative in 2008.
Mendoza said his next project is the story of an old man looking for his grandchildren to try and convince them to kill him. “He wants to die by the hands of his own flesh and blood.” The director explained.
Ruiz Navia’s first film “Crab Trap” (“El vuelco Del cangrejo”) explored social and racial relations in Colombia’s isolated Pacific coast. It won awards at both the Berlin and Havana Film Festivals.
Speaking about how he intends to spend the time in Paris, Ruiz Navia said “my new proposal has to do with young people who paint on ruined street walls and what happened to my family in Cali, all that has gone on, the changes that have opened a hole in my stomach.”