Diana Bustamante New Artistic Director of Cartagena Int’l Film Festival

Replaces Monika Wagenberg, who ran FICCI for four years

Diana Bustamante, one of Colombia’s most successful producers, is taking on the artistic helm of the Cartagena Int’l Film Festival (FICCI) next year, replacing Monika Wagenberg, who has ankled to devote more time to her young family.

Bustamante had already been closely involved with the production of the festival during the past two years, so the transition should be seamless.

“I plan to continue with what has already been successfully established, strengthen the industry space within the festival and widen its reach,” said Bustamante, who cites plans to include screenings in two multiplexes located in popular neighborhoods. Screenings remain free. She plans to add two new non-competitive sidebars, details of which are still to be disclosed.

Bustamante is well-known in the international festival circuit, having produced several films which have screened in various sections at the Cannes Film Festival, including: “Los viajes del viento” by Ciro Guerra, William Vega’s “La Sirga,” “La Playa D.C.” by Juan Andres Arango, which repped Colombia for the 2014 Oscars, and “Solecito” by Oscar Ruíz Navia.

Navia’s “El vuelco del cangrejo” participated in Toronto and won the FIPRESCI award at the 2010 Berlinale while his latest pic, “Los Hongos,“ won the Cinema of the Present Special Jury Prize at the Locarno Film Fest.

Bustamante’s production company Burning Blue is in post with the directorial debut of Jorge Forero, “Violencia,” and in production with family drama “La tierra y La sombra” by Cesar Acevedo, another newcomer.

“I like launching new talent,” said Bustamante.

The 55th Cartagena Int’l Festival, the longest-running film festival in Latin America, unspools from March 11 to 17 next year.

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