Bogota, Colombia — Sundance Institute will present FILM FORWARD: Advancing Cultural Dialogue in cities throughout the Republic of Colombia from July 9 to 14, 2012, in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Colombia, the Colombian/American Bi-national Center (BNC) and Proimágenes.
Colombia marks FILM FORWARD’s sixth stop as it travels around the globe promoting greater cultural awareness. Recent destinations have included China; Morocco; Imperial Valley, California and Mexico. FILM FORWARD is an international cultural exchange program designed to enhance cross-cultural understanding, collaboration and dialogue through film screenings, workshops, filmmaker appearances and the study of independent documentary and narrative film.
Buck producer and native Colombian Sofia Santana and On the Ice director Andrew Okpeaha MacLean will travel with FILM FORWARD to participate in Q&A’s, discussions, workshops and meet-and-greet events in the selected cities. The program is meant to engage university students, film industry professionals and community groups who do not have access to this type of programming.
Highlights of the trip include a screening of Buck (an award-winning film about an American horse whisperer) in Guatavita, a rural community near Bogata, where Santana will compare notes with a native Colombian horse whisperer who works with children. In Bogota, MacLean will meet with indigenous filmmakers to discuss his work and share strategies for aspiring artists. On May 14 in Cali, the filmmakers will discuss cross-cultural filmmaking and the use of film as a medium for community empowerment at Cinemateca Museo La Tertulia and Centro de Emprendimiento Cultural de la Comuna 13. Additionally, the initiative will travel to Neira outside of Manizales for a presentation to a coffee collective where a group of aspiring young entrepreneurs are working to provide sustainability of coffee production in this central Colombian town.
All public FILM FORWARD screenings and events in Colombia are free of charge. For a complete schedule, visit http://www.sundance.org/filmforward/destination/colombia-2012/.
FILM FORWARD is an initiative of Sundance Institute and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
“Sundance Institute, in collaboration with our colleagues at the U.S. Embassy, BNC and Proimágenes, is pleased to have the opportunity to travel with FILM FORWARD to the vibrant Republic of Colombia, “said Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute. “Colombia, with its rich cultural heritage will serve as an extraordinary destination for our program.”
“We are thrilled to collaborate with the FILM FORWARD initiative,” said María Catalina Prieto, the Program Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota. “The use of film as a medium to encourage community action and empowerment is becoming more prevalent and valuable in Colombia, and we are happy to host two filmmakers who embody this community-minded spirit.”
FILM FORWARD Associate Director Meredith Lavitt, Manager Jacqueline Carlson and Field Producer Jennifer Prediger will be in attendance. A consortium of local cultural and government organizations will support the FILM FORWARD initiative in Colombia including: Guatavita Community School, Cinemateca Distrital, Centro Atico de Bogotá y Cali, Casa de la Cultura de Ciudad Bolivar, Universidad de Caldas, Casa de las cultura San Jorge, Universidad del Valle, and Cali’s Cluster of Cinematography.
Buck and On the Ice represent a powerful exploration of universal themes and provide an avenue for greater cultural understanding. The films collectively illustrate the necessity of compassion and friendship in overcoming the adversity and obstacles that shape one’s life. Buck explores Buck Brannaman’s journey from his troubled childhood to becoming the legendary “horse whisperer” and On the Ice illustrates the fragility yet interminable nature of friendship of two boys after an accident leaves both of them reeling in guilt and confusion.
A total of 10 films and filmmakers from the U.S. and abroad were selected by Sundance Institute and the partners to participate in the 2012 FILM FORWARD program, traveling to four domestic U.S. and five international locations. The program serves to engage dialogue, foster appreciation of other viewpoints, and develop new audiences for independent film.
2012 FILM FORWARD Films
Another Earth / USA (Director: Mike Cahill) — After the discovery of a duplicate Earth, tragedy strikes, and the lives of these strangers become irrevocably intertwined. When one of them is presented with the opportunity to travel to the other Earth and embrace an alternative reality, which new life will they choose? Cast: Brit Marling (also a co-writer), William Mapother, Matthew-Lee Erlbach
Beginners / USA (Director: Mike Mills) — BEGINNERS imaginatively explores the hilarity, confusion, and surprises of love through the evolving consciousness of Oliver, whose life is rocked by two announcements from his elderly father: that he has terminal cancer, and that he has a young male lover. Cast: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Melanie Laurent
Bran Nue Dae / Australia (Director: Rachel Perkins) — This musical, set in the Summer of 1969, tells the story of a young man who flees the Catholic mission where he is studying to join the priesthood. He journeys across Australia on a life-changing journey that ultimately leads him back home. Cast: Rocky McKenzie, Jessica Mauboy, Geoffrey Rush
Buck / USA (Director: Cindy Meehl) — BUCK profiles famous “horse whisperer” Buck Brannaman, tracing his life from an abusive childhood to his career as a world-renowned horse handler and trainer. By teaching people to communicate with horses through instinct, not punishment, he frees the spirit of the horse and its human comrade.
Grbavica / Bosnia and Herzegovina (Director: Jasmila Zbanic) — GRBAVICA explores the painful long-term effects of war on a Bosnian woman and her daughter as they struggle to make a life in post-war Sarajevo. Removing the veil from the ultimate taboo of the war in the Balkans, the use of rape as a weapon, the film reveals that the post-war denial of this war crime is as devastating as the crime itself. Cast: Mirjana Karanovic, Luna Mijovic, Leon Lucev.
The Green Wave / Germany (Director: Ali Samadi Ahadi) — Ali Samadi Ahadi’s timely documentary reveals how Iranian civilians reacted to the 2009 Iranian Presidential elections. Using actual footage of the protests as well as interviews with Iranian bloggers and political leaders, Ahadi paints a compelling portrait of a nation on the brink of revolution.
On the Ice / USA (Director: Andrew Okpeaha MacLean) — Two Alaskan teenagers deal with guilt and a web of deceit after accidentally killing a friend in a fight that got out of control. With their future in the balance, the two boys are forced to explore the limits of friendship and honor. Cast: Frank Irelan, Adamina Kerr, John Miller
Senna / UK (Director: Asif Kapadia) — The story of Ayrton Senna, perhaps the greatest race car driver who ever lived, is an epic tale that literally twists at every turn. Facing titanic struggles, he conquered Formula One and became a global icon who was idolized in his home country.
Somewhere Between / USA (Director: Linda Goldstein Knowlton) — Somewhere Between tells the story of four teenage girls adjusting to life in the US after their Chinese birth parents are forced to part with them due to China’s “One-Child” policy. The film provides an intimate look into the lives of teenage adoptees as they come to terms with their unique identities.
Unfinished Spaces (Directors: Benjamin Murray, Alysa Nahmias) — Fidel Castro invites 3 exiled architects back to Cuba to finish work on art school they started 40 years ago. Featuring intimate footage of Fidel Castro, the documentary offers a remarkable view into Cuba’s past, present, and future.
Upcoming FILM FORWARD Tour Dates
Colombia: July 9 – 14
Oklahoma: September 6-8
Puerto Rico: September 19-22
Arizona – Feb 26-March 1
India – March 15-22
China – March 15-22
Imperial Valley: May 1-4
Morocco: May 6-12
U.S. Embassy Bogota
Colombian/American Bi-national Centers
The bi-national centers (BNCs) in Colombia are autonomous, non-profit cultural and educational institutions created during the Second World War to contribute to good relations between Colombia and the United States. Several BNCs were founded in 1942. Each month these Centers collectively host 32,500 students of English. In addition, they maintain a slate of cultural activities, a library and US educational advising programs. The BNCs liaison with the Embassy, under the auspices of the Public Affairs Section, in a wide array of mutually beneficial projects, but they do not depend economically on the U.S. government.
Currently, there are BNCs of different sizes in Armenia, Barranquilla, Bogota, Bucaramanga, Cali, Cartagena, Manizales, Medellin, and Pereira. Some have satellite branches in their cities. Each BNC is managed by a board of directors, generally comprised of Colombian and U.S. nationals resident in Colombia and some have U.S. citizen executive directors.
The educational advising offices offer information about U.S. university admissions processes, financial aid and scholarship programs, English institutes and testing, summers camps, and job internships.
The library in each BNC houses US/bilingual books, magazines, newspapers, videos, pamphlets, audio tapes and in some cases, microforms and computer access. The libraries function as U.S. public libraries, offering reference services, collections that include U.S. fiction, history, and tourist information, book loans, and outreach to schools and community centers.
COLOMBIA Proimágenes administers the Film Development Fund of Colombia. From a wide range of films, Proimágenes COLOMBIA has become the mediator of excellence of Colombian films in international and domestic markets. It also promotes the exchange of technology and human resources, research, training and coordinating meetings, exhibitions and festivals related to film. Since 2006. with the authorization of its board of directors, it develops all the steps to operate in Colombia’s Film Commission to serve as a means of brokering and facilitating contact to all film industries, tourism and other necessities with all those who are interested in co-producing with the country.
FILM FORWARD: Advancing Cultural Dialogue
FILM FORWARD: Advancing Cultural Dialogue is an international cultural exchange program designed to enhance cross-cultural understanding, collaboration and dialogue around the globe by engaging audiences through the exhibition of film and conversation with filmmakers. FILM FORWARD is an Initiative of Sundance Institute and The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) bridges the interests of American federal agencies and the private sector, supports special projects that increase participation and excellence in the arts and humanities, and helps incorporate these disciplines into White House objectives. First Lady Michelle Obama is the Honorary Chairman of the PCAH.
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education.
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), an independent federal agency, provides support for documentary films, digital media and other educational programs in the humanities through competitive grant programs. The NEH is the nation’s leading supporter of research, education, preservation and public programs in the humanities.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is an independent federal grant-making agency dedicated to creating strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The IMLS works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development.
Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a global, nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to nurturing artistic expression in film and theater, and to supporting intercultural dialogue between artists and audiences. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to unite, inform and inspire, regardless of geo-political, social, religious or cultural differences. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival and its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Son of Babylon, Amreeka, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
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US Embassy – Bogota, Colombia