New York University (NYU), located in the U.S. cultural capital, will host its first ever Colombian cinema festival, “Colombia Zoom In,” between May 23 and 26.
The university’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, a Spanish-language cultural center, will be the site of the festival, which will present five feature-length films, several shorts and one documentary, in a display of Colombian cinematographic creativity.
The festival was proposed by the center’s associate director, Laura Turegano. Regarding the decision to hold the festival, Turegano told Spanish news agency EFE, “We have a tradition of having festivals from various countries. Films from Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Spain have been presented, and following that tradition, we will now present Colombia.”
According to the center’s events website, the festival “aims to present a cinema that has grown to become a permanent and intriguing presence in film festival and international circuits around the world,” through presenting Colombian films from a variety of genres.
The festival’s commissioner, Colombian-born Diana Vargas, with respect to the film choices, said that “I wanted to show a variety of genres (…) some more known such as ‘La pasion de Gabriel,’ [by] Luis Alberto Restrepo, whose film has already been shown in U.S. festivals, or new ones like ‘Karen llora en un bus.”
“Karen llora en un bus” (Karen cries on the bus), by director Gabriel Rojas Vera, premiered recently in Colombia, after being shown at three major international festivals. The story revolves around the ups and downs faced by Karen, played by Angela Carrizosa, who struggles to break free from the monotony of her life.
The festival will also feature the documentary “Mama Choco,” a 2010 joint production by Diana Kuellar and Andres Giraldo, that follows the Colombian armed conflict and displacement issues, and won the Union Latina award for Best Documentary in a Uruguay international film festival.
The other full-length films to be presented in the festival include the 2009 production “Los viajes del viento,” the comedy “Chance” (2009), and the drama “Retratos en un mar de mentiras (2010).
The short films to be presented are, “El corazon de la mancha” (2010), “Eskwe quiere decir colibri” (2010), “El trompetista” (2011) and “Esto es un revolver” (2010). A short homage to the recently deceased Colombian poet Ricardo Leon Pena Villa, famous for forming a community of squatters with other Colombian artists in New York’s Lower East Side, will also be featured.
All of the films will be presented in Spanish with English subtitles.