5 Things we Learnt from FICCI Film Festival

Posted: 08 Mar, 2016

1. Colombian Cinema is Having a Moment 

El abrazo de la serpienteColombia has officially become a key player in the international film circuit, and not just as a location to fetishize Pablo Escobar. We blushed with pride when El Abrazo de la Serpiente ( Embrace of the Serpent) was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars, and whooped with joy when FICCI, gave tribute to the legendary Colombian director, Luis Ospina. It was a year of firsts for the country. May there be many more to come.


2. Susan Sarandon Slayed 

ficci_56_susan_sarandom (1)Susan Sarandon not only illuminated the festival with A-list glitter (and a nice bit of PR for the festival), but delighted die-hard fans with an enlightened masterclass that touched upon cinema, feminism and politics. Bow down people!


3. Things Got Political 

ficci (1)This year’s FICCI was humming with political activity, and it seemed there was no theme off limits. Documentary, Paciente (Patient) by Jorge Caballero was a reality bites study on how the Colombian health system fails to protect its own citzens. There was unexpected profoundness in the short film, La Impresión de una Guerra (The Impression of a War) by Camilo Restrepo, which exposed the spoils of drug cartel wars in warts-and-all technicolor. Off screen and around town, university students took to the streets demanding education reform.


4. We Got a Little Hot Under the Collar 

luis ospinaControversial films that you wouldn´t take your grandmother to were plastered on the big screen during Ficci’s Midnight Screening Programme. The climax was Sunday night’s premier of LOVE, Gasper Noé’s  artsy porno flick that tackled frisky themes of sex, relationships and game playing. In action, Luis Ospina coupled Sex, Drugs and Cinema with a loud t-shirt choice, and no-filter Susan Sarahdon likened the film industry to masturbating. Risque!


5. FICCI Went Under the Radar

cine_en_los_barriosLos Nadie (the nobodies), a coming-of-age film about  disenfranchised Colombian youths trying to find personal meaning in their city, Medellin ,dominated this year’s festival. Meanwhile, Ficci’s own admirable project, Cine en Los Barrios continued their mission in democratizing cinema by bringing screenings to the unprivileged dwelling in the city margins.


Until next year FICCI!

Written by: Clementyne Chambers
Photography by:
Other credits: Photos courtesy of Ficci, Festival International de Cine de Cartagena de Indias
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