Cartagena Film Festival Unveils Competition Lineup

Courtesy of Berlin International Film Festival
Sergio Castro's 'The Mud Woman'

The 55th edition will feature a program of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's favorite films.

Latin America's longest running film festival, the Cartagena Film Fest (FICCI), unveiled its competition line up in a press conference in Bogota on Thursday.  

The announcement was made by FICCI's organizing committee, comprised of Salvo Basile (FICCI board president), Lina Rodríguez (FICCI manager), Diana Bustamante (FICCI artistic director), Adelfa Martínez (head of the Ministry of Culture's Film Area) and Silvia Echeverri (head of Colombia's Film Commission and Proimagenes).

A total of 12 films have been selected for the Official Fiction Competition, with 10 in the Official Documentary Competition, 12 in the Official Colombian Film Competition and 19 in the Official Short Film Competition, all of which will be competing for India Catalina statues and over $100,000 in prize money, according to FICCI's official release.

"It's not every day you turn 55. This brought us to our central theme of memory and remembering, which implies introspection, rethinking and taking stock of the past. We wouldn't be here talking about the last 55 years if it weren't for the wonderful people who have made this possible over the years, and that is how memories are created," said Bustamante, one of Colombia's top film producers, recently appointed to FICCI after previous director Monika Wagenberg's exit last year.

"The concept of memory impregnates every aspect of the program we have put together in a titanic effort that brings a wonderful saying to mind: 'We are what we come from.' We are part of the past, part of the seed that has germinated into this festival, and this is precisely what we want to celebrate: every FICCI moment, seen through fresh eyes and seasoned ones alike," added Bustamante, who is expanding the festival's industry arm with Puerto FICCI.

The Official Fiction Competition will feature four Latin American premieres —Gabriel Ripstein's 600 Miles (Mexico, United States), Jayro Bustamante's Ixcanul Volcano (Guatemala), Sergio Castro's The Mud Woman (Chile) and Raúl Perrone's Ragazzi (Argentina), the first three of which are currently making their world premieres at the Berlin Film Festival — while Héctor Gálvez' NN (Peru, Colombia, Germany, France) will be making its international premiere. The list continues with Adirley Queirós' White Out, Black In (Brazil), Pedro Costa's Horse Money (Portugal), which picked up best director at the Locarno Film Festival last year, Israel Cárdenas and Laura Amelia Guzmán's Sand Dollars (Mexico, Dominican Republic), winner of best actor at the Chicago Film Festival, Franco Lolli's Gente de bien (Colombia, France), which made its world premiere at Cannes Directors' Fortnight, Lisandro Alonso's Jauja (Argentina, United States, Holland, France, Mexico, Denmark, Germany, Brazil), which took home the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes, Gust Van Den Berghe's Lucifer (Mexico, Belgium) and Santiago Cendejas' Sexennial Plan (Mexico).

In the Official Documentary Competition, Alejandro Naranjo's La selva inflada (Colombia) will be making its world premiere, as will Carlos Hagerman's El patio de mi casa (Mexico), Manuel Cañibe's El silencio de la princesa (Mexico) and Maite Alberdi's La once (Chile, United States). Celebrating its Latin American premiere will be Lupe Pérez García's Antígona despierta (Spain). Other titles competing in this section include Facundo Marguery's A 60 km/h (Uruguay), Nicolás Echevarría's Eco de la montaña (Mexico), Invasión by Abner Benaim (Panama, Argentina), No todo es vigilia by Hermes Paralluelo (Spain, Colombia), which made its world premiere at the 62nd edition of the San Sebastián Film Festival, and Tu y yo (Dominican Republic) by Oriol Estrada and Natalia Cabral.

The Official Colombian Film Competition features world premieres of Laura Mora's Antes del fuego, Pablo GonzálezCord (Colombia, Germany, France), Carlos Tribiño's El silencio del río (Colombia, Uruguay, France), Juan Felipe Cano's La semilla del silencio, Alexander Giraldo's Tiempo perdido and Tres escapularios by Felipe Aljure. In addition to these feature films, the documentaries Carta a una sombra by Miguel Salazar and Daniela AbadHombres solos by Francisco Schmitt García and La selva inflada by Alejandro Naranjo will all be making their world premieres. Also competing in this section will be Héctor Gálvez's NN , Franco Lolli's Good People and Ruido rosa by Roberto Flores Prieto.

The festival had previously announced several other programs, including tributes to the late Nobel prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a retrospective featuring some of the fest's landmark screenings called 5+5 FICCI, a focus on Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai and a spaghetti western program. 

The 55th Cartagena de Indias Film Festival runs March 11 to 17.