Official Best Film submission for 2015 Academy Awards
When the healing power of art weakens violence in Colombia.
Mateo, 16, collects extortion money on behalf of his uncle and uses his pay to help out his mother, who grudgingly accepts the ill-gotten money out of need. They live by themselves in the poor, violent neighbourhoods alongside the Magdalena River valley in Colombia.
To prove his worth, Mateo agrees to infiltrate a local theatre group in order to uncover its members’ political activities. As he becomes enthralled with the free-flowing creative lifestyle of the troupe, his uncle escalates demands on him to produce incriminating information on the actors. Under pressure, Mateo must make difficult choices.
Throughout this story composed from real life experiences, Mateo and his mother find their dignity as they face the perils of doubting the established hierarchy of Colombia’s armed conflict.
Writers: Maria Gamboa & Adriana Arjona
Director: Maria Gamboa
Running Time: 86 minutes
Distributor: Alpha Violet
Language: Spanish w|English Subtitles
Starring: Carlos Humberto Hernandez, Felipe Botero, Myriam Gutierrez, Samuel Lazcano
FESTIVALS: Zlín International Film Festival for Children and Youth, Czech Republic; Montréal World Film Festival, Canada; USA: Latin Beat Film Festival, The Colombian Film Festival, NY, Palm Springs International Film Festival, AFI Latin American Film Festival, LA , Providence Latin American Film Festival, RI; Panama International Film Festival; Sydney Latin American Film Festival; Salé Film Festival, Morocco; Haifa Film Festival, Israel; Schlingel International Film Festival, Filmfest Osnabrück, Germany; CINEMAISSI, Finland; KINO SAGA, Lithuania; Las Palmas, Canarias, Seville Film Festival, Huelva Film Festival, Spain; Crime & Punishment Film Festival, Istanbul, Turkey; Eden Court Inverness Film Festival, Scotland; Hispanoscope, Belgium; Cork Film Festival, Ireland; Filmar en America Latina, Göteborg International Film Festival, Switzerland; Kerala Film Festival, Chennai International Film Festival, India
AWARDS: Miami International Film Festival Best First Feature & Screenplay; Austin’s Cine Las Americas, Best Feature Film; Cartagena, Colombia, Special Jury Award; Giffoni Film Festival, Italy, Best Feature Film