Lina Rodríguez
General Director

FICCI, the longest-running film festival in Latin America, celebrates its 58th edition this year. Over the decades it has undergone many transformations, but none more radical than those of the last decade, which has been characterized by a well-defined, long-term strategy focused on improving curatorship standards and the technical quality of screenings, making sure all communications are consistent, and financial management and relations with its partners and sponsors solid, all with the interests of the people of Cartagena and Bolívar at heart, and with the support of a loyal audience and a maturing film industry that has finally found in FICCI a professional forum for the advancement of the sector.

This year, our main challenge will be to continue to stand firm despite the complex political and economic circumstances facing the country in general and the city of Cartagena in particular, namely a lack of governability and continuity in public policies, which has placed extra pressure on the festival’s management and organization teams.

FICCI 58 is, then, a valiant effort to defend culture as a pillar of society, sustained by those who view cinema and, by extension, the festival, as a transformative experience that has a positive impact on the country and the region as a whole. To these like-minded allies our heartfelt thanks goes out.

Allies like the Ardila Lulle organization, which we would like to thank for its long-term commitment to Cartagena and Colombia. Convinced that culture has the power to build a more tolerant, creative and compassionate society, this organization remains one of our main partners and has helped establish FICCI as a major platform for the promotion of Colombian and Ibero-American cinema.

FICCI Móvil, our flagship project, will be touring the 46 municipalities and 36 districts of Bolívar for the second year in row, thanks to the commitment of Governor Dumek Turbay and Icultur to social and cultural initiatives with a community spirit. In 2018, we aim to reach 60,000 spectators in local communities, creating some 600 indirect jobs and swelling the audiovisual archives of the department’s 61 public libraries with quality material. We hope this alliance inspires other governors to join forces with Colombia’s 70-plus film festivals, with a view to generating a similar positive impact and shaping audiences.

Likewise, the Ministry of Culture continues to play a vital role in facilitating FICCI’s training, discussion and debate forums, specifically its Film Department and Proimágenes Colombia, with the backing of the AECID and the Spanish Cooperation’s Training Center (CFCE).  This year, Acción Cultural de España has pitched in with an ambitious program of Spanish cinema as part of the Foco Cultura España Colombia program for the promotion of Spanish culture in Colombia.

And for the second time at FICCI, the Gabo Scholarship will bring together reporters from all over the world to discuss the different genres that fall under the blanket of cultural journalism in what will be an invaluable opportunity to reflect on the dynamics of the audiovisual industry, its distribution channels, consumer logic and new legal scaffolding.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Cine Colombia, our official sponsor and host at 13 movie theaters in Cartagena, for decades of support and guidance, but above all, we would like to thank it for putting its world-class theater infrastructure at our disposal. Volkswagen will also be joining us again as an official sponsor for the sixth consecutive year, treating our guests to incredible experiences with its exclusive fleet.

This is a year of challenges, but it is also one of new ventures. Such is the case with “Bogotá Cinematográfica”, the protagonist of this year’s edition of Puerto FICCI, our industry forum that has enjoyed the backing of the Cultural and Creative Industries Cluster for the last four years and that recently garnered the support of Idartes, the District Film Library and Invest in Bogota.

Finally, to all the alliances, public institutions and agencies of the central and local government, participating embassies, contributors and the Cartagena hotel and restaurant sectors, a big THANK YOU for making this edition of FICCI possible.

Welcome to FICCI 58!