When the Guns Go Silent will open the FICCI‘s 57th edition

The documentary feature When the Guns Go Silent will take us on a journey into the complexity of humankind in its most extreme form. Throughout an extraordinary period of time, two enemies decide to put an end to a war and find the arguments, the language and the gestures they need to sit down face to face and start a political negotiation

For the seventh year in a row, a Colombian production will open the Cartagena de Indias International Film Festival (FICCI). For its 57th edition, the documentary feature When the Guns Go Silent will take us on a journey into the complexity of humankind in its most extreme form. Throughout an extraordinary period of time, two enemies decide to put an end to a war and find the arguments, the language and the gestures they need to sit down face to face and start a political negotiation.

In When the Guns Go Silent, journalist and filmmaker Natalia Orozco portrays both parties throughout a peace process that may allow the transition of the world's oldest guerrilla group into democracy. For four years, Orozco followed very closely, both in Colombia and in Havana, the difficulties, the fears, the obstacles and the dreams of the negotiating teams of both the Colombian government and the FARC. This documentary reveals the numerous challenges of the process that remain in spite of the signature of the agreement.

"Having been selected as the opening film is more than I can ever dream of, and it maybe goes to prove that despite the enormous disagreements that we may have about the peace process and the challenges ahead, the country is changing thanks to the bold and courageous decisions that were made, just like the one FICCI made when they chose our documentary. When the Guns Go Silent could not have been screened in a better place, nor at a better time", said director and screenwriter Natalia Orozco about her participation in FICCI 57. "When I submitted the documentary to the festival, I did so very timidly. I am aware of the brilliant documentaries and fiction films that others are doing, and the limits that I had to face in terms of access and shooting left me a little frustrated from a technical point of view. But I tried my luck anyhow and I was dreaming of being selected in one of the categories".

The main question asked in When the Guns Go Silent is "what is there beyond war?" The documentary builds a long-term perspective that not only shows the negotiation cycle but also an eye-opening set of audiovisual archives about the effects of the war on Colombian society, thus invoking memory and hope for change. Orozco talked to leaders of the government and the guerrilla, to the political and military strategists and to the spokespeople on both sides, and uncovered unknown tensions and key characters of the process. Following her journalistic intuition and her responsibility as a citizen, Orozco questions and reflects on what she sees and feels, without giving up her rigor and independence. When the Guns Go Silent is, at times, a fascinating political thriller with characters that transform as they become aware of the historic role they play, whether by fate or by choice.

Filmmaker and journalist Natalia Orozco is a two-time winner of the Simon Bolivar National Journalism Award (2010 and 2012) and the co-founder of the online news portal @las2orillas. She used to be a correspondent in Washington D.C. and covered various conflicts throughout the world. When the Guns Go Silent is a unique testimony of this historic moment, through which she defends the public function of film and journalism, while suggesting that, in the new future that is opening ahead of us, no Colombian should be considered expendable ever again.