A Danish filmmaker is turning to Kickstarter to raise funds for the final production stages of his latest documentary on Colombia.
The 2010 presidential campaign of former Bogota Mayor Antanas Mockus serves as the focal point of the project, which director Andreas Dalsgaard sees as an alternative political narrative emphasizing change, rather than the standard trope of violence and corruption that has come to characterize depictions of the South American country.
“I believe that Colombia deserves that the world sees another face of the country, [one] which can inspire politicians around the world,” said Dalsgaard, in an interview with Colombia Reports.
Known for his work on the award-wining “Cities on Speed – Bogotá Change,” which has premiered in more than 20 countries worldwide, and “Afghan Muscles,” which won the American Film Institute Grand Prix, Dalsgaard has teamed up with the Final Cut for Real production company to bring his newest documentary to the screen after five years of development.
“Democrazy” tells the story of Antanas Mockus, whose ambitious 2010 run at the presidency on a Green Party platform of political reform is considered one of the pivotal moments in the gestation of a new generation of Colombian activism. Mockus, who enjoyed wide and unprecedented support from traditionally marginal elements, such as environmentalists and, particularly, university students, was known for his innovative use of political messaging and focus on engaging Colombia’s youth.
“We want to tell the world a different story about Colombia,” explained Dalsgaard, “This is a story about positive change, and a story of unique politicians who use creative means to fight for peace and legality.”
Much of the film is seen through the eyes of Katherin Miranda, a young activist whose father was killed by drug cartels. Miranda becomes increasingly involved in the Mockus movement, eventually taking on a role at the forefront of his campaign.
Framed as something of a retrospective, the film also explores the aftermath of Mockus’ loss, in which both the candidate and Miranda struggle to come to grips with the meaning of an ostensibly failed movement. Mockus in particular falls into a state of depression, sensing that his efforts were wasted.
Ultimately, though, said Dalsgaard, the film seeks to show the subtle and lasting ways the politician’s message resonated in Colombian society and succeeded in changing the political culture.
“This is the story of the tipping point of Colombia: a country that is rejecting its culturally ingrained violence and corruption. But how did we get there?” Dalsgaard said.
The film is expected to be finished this summer but is currently attempting to raise the funds it needs to finalize the project. The production team launched a fundraising campaign on the Kickstarter crowdsourcing site last week, hoping to raise $60,000 by the end of the month. With 20 days still to go, some 240 backers have donated over $9,000 toward the goal.
- Interview with Andreas Dalsgaard