At the 69th edition of Cannes, the world’s most important film event, Colombia participated in the Official Short Film Competition with Madre (Mother) by Simón Mesa Soto, who won Colombia’s first Palme d’Or two years ago. Meanwhile, the Semaine de la Critique, in its special program 50+5, screened Los pasos del agua (Water Steps), the most recent short film by 2015 Caméra d’Or winner César Acevedo.
Simón Mesa Soto made history for Colombian cinema in 2014 when his short film Leidi won the Palme d’Or, the highest award given by the Cannes Film Festival. This year he returned to the Official Short Film Competition with his latest project Mother, a co-production by Momento Film of Sweden and Evidencia Films of Colombia, with David Herdies, Capucine Mahé, and Franco Lolli as producers. Mother was selected for the Official Competition out of more than 5,008 entries received from all corners of the globe.
This short tells the story of sixteen-year old Andrea, who leaves her working-class neighborhood of Medellin to take part in a pornography casting in the city center. Simón Mesa’s film encourages viewers to reflect on the consumption of pornographic images of teens and the market that these teenagers become involved in.
Meanwhile, the Semaine de la Critique, the parallel event organized by the French Association of Film Critics, celebrated its 55th anniversary this year and invited César Acevedo‘s Water Steps to take part in its special program 50+5, which was held to honor directors who have been discovered by the Semaine de la Critique over the past five years. The Semaine de la Critique was created with the goal of exhibiting films by young, little-known filmmakers, to help them to gain recognition and offer them a gateway into international cinema.
In 2015, Acevedo took part in the 54th edition of the Semaine de la Critique with his first feature film Land and Shade, which won the most important award ever received by a Colombian film, the Caméra d’Or. César Acevedo’s film also took home three more awards: the SACD (Society of Authors) Award, the France 4 Visionary Award, and Le Grand Rail D’Or (Audience Award).
Water Steps was produced by Paola Pérez, who was also producer of Land and Shade. The film tells the story of Tito and Colorado, two poor fishermen living in a forgotten village alongside the Cauca River who discover that a dead person has become entangled in their fishing net. Unable to inform the authorities, they decide to bury him in a place where only generous acts of humanity can deal with the tragedy of dying with no name and with no land.