Latin America, Screen

Latin America’s oldest cinema festival

The International Cinema Festival of Cartagena de las Indias, Colombia (FICCI – in its Spanish initials), having recently reached its 50th anniversary last March 26th, is getting ready for its 51st edition, which will be celebrated between the 24th of February and the 3rd of March next year.

The festival was founded by businessman Víctor Nieto, born in Cartagena de las Indias and who died in 2008, and it acts as the main audiovisual trampoline in the Latin American arena in order to launch its films towards the international scene. Just in the second half of the last century, huge names within the world of cinema such as Roman Polanski, Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando have walked the red carpet at this festival.

Mónica Wagenberg is the current director of the FICCI, and the idea of this event is that it prioritises films that promote the cultural identity of Latin American countries, with the overall aim of supporting brotherhood between the people.

In the last edition, the Uruguayan film “Gigante”, by the director Adrián Biniez, was the most triumphant of the event, becoming the Best Feature Film in the Ibero-American Competition and for taking away the prize for Best Script and Best Lead Actor, played by Horacio Camandule. Alma Blanco in “La Yuma” (Nicaragua); and Teresa Ruiz in “Viaje Redondo” (Mexico) took away the prize in joint position for Best Lead Female Actress.

The 50th edition of the FICCI chose Spain as guest of honour and paid tribute to the Aragonese director Carlos Saura, writer of films such as “Llanto por un bandido”, “Carmen”, nominated Best Foreign Film in the 1983 Oscars and “¡Ay, Carmela!” which took away 13 prizes at the Goya awards in Spain, 1990.

TV’s turn

Until the 15th of December next year, up to 51 television channels and producers that wish to participate in the 27th Television Contest 2011 – a competition that is in keeping with the FICCI – will be able to put forward their work in order to contend. The next edition will award prizes for excellence, creativity, quality, public reception and originality, as well as to outstanding performances from actors working in Colombian television, set out in 29 different categories. Amongst these will be included documentaries, soap operas, programmes, series and artists.

The competition will reward the best Colombian television productions, made by national corporations and broadcast as much on national television as on television abroad. The time period set for this event is understood to be between the 1st of January and the 15th of December of the previous year leading up to the celebration of the competition.

National productions that have been publicly broadcast in the aforementioned period across a range of Colombian national, regional and local channels, as well as community and university systems, television operators using subscription, satellite television and IPTV, will also be able to take part in the contest. Programmes still running can be nominated or be awarded prizes as long as they have been broadcasted for at least two months.

Furthermore, the panel of judges will be made up of no less than three exceptionally well known people within the areas of culture, journalism, education, the arts, television-audiences and television production.

They will have no direct or indirect link with the producers, programmers or television channels that could be eligible for participating in the competition. The final nominees in each of the categories will meet each other at the beginning of February and the handover of the prizes will take place within the FICCI.

(Translated by  Piers Jarvis – piersjarvis@hotmail.com)

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