In an attempt to create an audience for Colombian cinema in Africa, the First Colombian Film Showcase in South Africa will take place at The Bioscope during the last week of April.
The festival aims to create a conducive environment for potential markets and to generate dialogue between filmmakers from both countries.
Some of the highlights of the festival, an initiative of SUR, an independent association promoting Colombian arts and culture in South Africa, include:
La Playa DC screens on the opening night on 24 April at 19h00. Directed by Juan Andres Arango in 2012, this 90-minute film is about an Afro-Colombian teenager named Tomas who faces the difficulties of growing up in a city of exclusion and racism after fleeing the country’s Pacific coast. In search of his younger brother and closest friend Jairo, Tomas has to face the past and find his own identity.
On 25 April at 18h00 Agarrando Pueblo (Vampires of Poverty), directed by Luis Ospina and Carlos Mayolo in 1978, screens. The 28-minute mockumentary features two independent Colombian filmmakers masquerading as a German TV channel making a film about poverty in Cali and Bogota, challenging the demeaning element often found in socio-political documentaries.
La Gente de la Universal (The People of the Universal) shows on 25 April at 20h00 and is a black comedy about three people running a detective agency, namely Diogenes, a former cop; his attractive wife Fabiola; and his nephew Clemente. Directed by Felipe Aljure in 1993 with a running time of 110 minutes, this is a tale of sexual and financial intrigue, gangsters and Margarita, a popular porn star.
In Apatia (Apathy) on 26 April at 16h00, director Arturo Ortegon’s road movie, filmed in 2012 and 93 minutes long, two friends meet and part to follow their own paths. On Palm Sunday the one is looking for a girl who left him after aborting their baby and the other is searching for a way out of his desperate existence.
Perro come Perro (Dog Eat Dog) shows on 26 April at 20h00 and is directed by Carlos Moreno. In this 106-minute film, El Orejon is a violent crime boss who suffers from agoraphobia. Surrounded by telescopes in his luxury apartment in the centre of Cali in Colombia, he asks a voodoo priestess to avenge the murder of his godson by casting a spell on the shooter, Eusebio. Victor, hired by El Orejon to collect money from a pair of twins, meets Eusobio in a downtown hotel room where they wait for instructions, not knowing what to expect.
A selection of short films screens on 27 April at 14h00, including En Agosto / In August by Andres Barrientos and Carlos Andres Reyes; Sin Decir Nada / Don’t say a Word directed by Diana Montenegro; the documentary Jende Ri Palenge o Gente de Palenque / People of Palenque by Santiago Posada; and Simon Mejia; and Magnolia, also directed by Montenegro.
For more information on other screenings during the festival visit www.thebioscope.co.za.