Colombian filmmaker Jonathan Ceballos will attend the Cannes International Film Festival to show his short film “The Children of the Clouds” (Los Ahijiados de las Nubes), about a sponsorship program that changed the lives of children in a rural town in central Colombia.
The eight-minute documentary was shot in Guacamaya, a town in the municipality of Gutierrez in the Boyaca department and highlights the work of the Spiral Services Foundation (Fundacion La Espiral de Servicio), an NGO that monetarily supports children who drop out of school because they cannot afford to pay for lunch.
Ceballo decided to make the short film after hearing about the organization’s work and going into the field. “In 2008 I visited Gutierrez and other villages that just like Guacamaya, suffer from high dropout rates because parents have no way to pay for lunch for their children,” said Ceballo.
The filmmaker was inspired to document not only what the project has accomplished in terms of getting children back to school, but also the personal connections it creates. “The children taught me about the sentimental value of this initiative. Lunchtime is sacred and the children are constantly writing letters of appreciation to their sponsors. In the end it becomes a close relationship,” he said.
Although “The Children of the Clouds” was filmed in 2008, Ceballo only finished editing it in November with help from musician Carlos Calvo and sound engineer Angela White.
It will be presented in the short film corner of Cannes, where representatives from television outlets come to buy the best shorts of the year. This year more than 3000 works from 97 countries were submitted, of which only 432 were selected.
Now that the film will be shown at Cannes Film Festival, Ceballos plans to enter it in other festivals in hopes of earning distribution rights in Colombia.
The 65th annual Cannes International Film Festival will take place May 16-26 in Cannes, France.