Los Nadie to Open FICCI 56

This year the Cartagena International Film Festival (FICCI) celebrates the history and accomplishments of Colombian cinema following a very successful year on the international festival circuit. For the sixth consecutive year, FICCI has chosen a Colombian production to kick off the longest-running film festival in Latin America. Rebellious yet rooted in tradition, Los Nadie, a first film by the Antioquia-born director Juan Sebastián Mesa, is a touching story about the build-up to a trip, bursting with music, youth and experimentation
Among other influences, Los Nadie draws on the personal experience of its writer and director Juan Sebastián Mesa. Like the protagonists in his film, one day Juan Sebastián decided to leave the safety of the world he knew and venture into the unknown in search of new meaning. In Los Nadie, five young people living on the streets of a hostile Medellín share a lust to see more of the world. As the days pass, they find a refuge and an outlet for their frustrations in street art and music. In short, a film about a generation of dreamers battling amid love, hate, hope and broken promises to make the world a more livable place.

The last five editions of FICCI have opened with Colombian productions—Alias María (2015) by José Luis Rugeles, Chus Gutiérrez' Ciudad Delirio (2014), Andrés Baiz' Roa (2013), Chocó (2012) by Jhonny Hendrix Hinestroza and Los colores de la montaña by Carlos César Arbeláez (2011)—, marking the beginning of successful careers for their directors. This year, in its choice of opening film, FICCI once again acknowledges the fresh, innovative perspective of the country's young filmmakers and shows its unwavering support for a Colombian cinema that has discovered in Cartagena a gateway to the world at large.

Like other Colombian films, such as Víctor Gaviria's Rodrigo D. No futuro, Apocalipsur by Javier Mejía and Los hongos by Óscar Ruiz Navia, Los Nadie attempts to take the pulse of a generation. Yet there is an exceptional gentleness and humanity in the way Juan Sebastián uses suggestive black and white images to depict the unsung epic of the lives of Camilo, Mechas, Manu, Ana and Pipa before they set out to explore South America in search of experiences that will make them feel alive again. The city that is the only home they know is inviting, but at the same time, they feel hemmed in by its invisible, hermetic borders, intensifying in them the desire to see what lies beyond them. Each of the characters has different motivations, but in the end, they all long for the same thing.

This is the first feature film to be produced by Monociclo Cine, a collective formed by Audiovisual Communication and Multimedia graduates from the University of Antioquia, who made a name for themselves with the short film Kalashnikov (2013), which participated in the Short Film Corner at Cannes in 2013. It was written, directed and edited by Juan Sebastián Mesa and produced by Alexander Arbeláez and José Manuel Duque, with David Correa Franco as director of photography and Mary Luz Cardona as art director. Alejandro Escobar was on sound and Isabel Otálvaro takes credit for the montage. The soundtrack is by O.D.I.O. and the five protagonists are played by María Angélica Puerta, Luis Felipe Alzate, María Camila Castrillón, Alejandro Pérez Ceferino and Esteban Alcaraz.

In 2015, Los Nadie received a feature film postproduction grant from Colombia's Film Development Fund (FDC). It was also awarded at the Work in Progress section of the 2015 Santiago Festival of Independent Film (SANFIC) and was chosen for the Official Selection of the 27th edition of Cine en Construcción as part of the Toulouse Latin America Film Festival.