FICCI Reaches Out to Wider Audience with Neighborhood Cinema Program

For the last 15 years, FICCI‘s Neighborhood Cinema initiative has been making the seventh art accessible to communities in Cartagena and the Department of Bolívar. This year, it hopes to attract an even wider audience with a program that includes five community film workshops, a tribute to writer and journalist Jorge García Usta and 22 screenings in 19 neighborhoods of Cartagena and in the municipality of Turbaco. The films that will be exhibited at this 16th edition of the program are brought to us by Imaginando Nuestra Imagen (INI), DOCTV Latin America, the community video workshop organized by FICCI and the Escuela Taller de Cartagena de Indias on Tierrabomba Island, ASIFA Colombia, the Ambulante documentary festival, BOGOSHORTS and FICCI, the Señal Colombia public network and the Sundance Channel Presents program. Audiences can also see a selection of indigenous films and short films from the Victims‘ Unit of the Bogota District Film Library and SENA.
The flagship program of FICCI's social endeavors, Neighborhood Cinema seeks to bring quality films to communities that would otherwise not be able to see them. Thanks to the support of the Government of Bolívar, the Mayor's Office of Cartagena and the Ganaya-Supergiros alliance, we have been able to extend the program throughout the remainder of the year with activities that encourage the public to fully connect with this art form, from the community work that goes into building the spaces where the films will be screened and their actual screening to the opportunity to talk to international directors and learn from their experiences.

During the festival, which runs from March 2-7, a total of 22 screenings will take place in 19 neighborhoods of Cartagena, such as Zaragocilla, Plazuela, Ciudadela 2000, Villa Olímpica and Olaya, as well as one in the municipality of Turbaco as part of the Neighborhood Cinema program. Audiences can enjoy El mundo de Carolina (Uruguay), Casa Blanca (Cuba, Mexico, Poland) and Paciente (Colombia), which will be competing in our Official Documentary section and Home–el país de la ilusión (Colombia, Portugal), which was selected for our Colombia Film Competition. Mate-me por favor (Brazil) was chosen from our Official Fiction Competition and from the festival's Cinema Under the Stars program, Ciro Guerra's El abrazo de la serpiente—the first Colombian film to be nominated for an Oscar—will be shown at the women's penitentiary.

To celebrate its tenth anniversary, DOCTV Latin America, the most important program for the production and television broadcasting of Latin-made documentaries, will be offering a special open-air screening of Ecuadoran director Iván Mora Manzano's La bisabuela tiene Alzheimer on Friday, March 4 at 9:00pm in Espíritu del Manglar Park with the support of all the other institutions participating in the Neighborhood Cinema circuit. Other films on the program include La maldición, el milagro y el burro by María Fernanda Céspedes and Ayoze O'Shanahan (Colombia), Las manos en la tierra by Virginia Martínez (Uruguay), Overava by Mauricio Rial Banti (Paraguay), Querido Camilo by Daniel Ross and Julio Molina (Costa Rica) and Una frontera todas las fronteras by David Pablos Sánchez (Mexico).

The Ambulante documentary festival will be presenting Emiliano Mazza De Lucca's Nueva Venecia and Anthony Wonke's Ronaldo, along with exclusive screenings of Marcela Lizcano's Aislados, Jorge Alí Triana's Bolívar soy yo and Rodrigo Obregón's La batalla de los Montes de María, in addition to a selection of short films from the Colombian Chapter of the Association of Animated Films (ASIFA), the Imaginando Nuestra Imagen (INI) program, the Bogotá Short Film Festival (BOGOSHORTS), the Señal Colombia public network, the community video workshops organized by FICCI and the Escuela Taller de Cartagena de Indias in four communities on Tierra Bomba Island, a selection of indigenous films and short films from the Victims' Unit of the Bogota District Film Library and SENA, as well as works by other community-based collectives and independent filmmakers.

At ten of these 22 screenings, members of the audience will have the chance to talk to the directors of the films in question. Joining Colombian directors Marcela Lizcano (Aislados), Jorge Caballero (Paciente) and Josephine Landertinger Forero (Home–el país de la ilusión) will be Britain's Anthony Wonke (Ronaldo), Uruguay's Emiliano Mazza De Lucca (Nueva Venecia), Brazilian director Anita Rocha Da Silveira (Mate-me por favor), Aleksandra Maciuszek of Poland (Casa Blanca), Uruguay's Mariana Viñoles (El mundo de Carolina) and Ecuador's Iván Mora Manzano (La bisabuela tiene Alzheimer).

Community workshops will be held in the neighborhoods of Ceballos, Nuevo Bosque, La Boquilla and Pasacaballos, at which participants will gain in-depth knowledge on the art of filmmaking and narrative techniques.

Tribute will also be paid to Jorge García Usta, the man who had to vision to found the Neighborhood Cinema program and who served as FICCI press officer from 1990 to 2005. The tribute marks the end of activities to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Usta's death and will take place on Sunday, March 6 at 2:00pm as part of the Salon FICCI program with a screening of the documentary Usta made for Telecaribe, Daniel Lemaitre: Crónica, canto y olor a corralito, after which director Gonzalo Restrepo, cultural promotor Orlando González, Neighborhood Cinema Coordinator Ángela Bueno and FICCI Director-General Lina Rodríguez will engage in a debate, with Neighborhood Cinema Programmer David Covo acting as moderator.

With the support of the Government of Bolívar, RCN Showcar, the Caribbean Film Library's mobile film unit (Cinemóvil) and Ganaya-Supergiros, the program will reach out to more neighborhoods in Cartagena and municipalities in Bolívar, including Magangué, San Juan Nepomuceno, San Jacinto and San Fernando, after the festival and throughout the remainder of the year, during which time we will give a total of 20 mega-screenings, each with an estimated turnout of some 1,200 spectators.