‘Tabu’ Tops Colombia’s Cartagena Fest

Toonpic 'Anina' wins local showcase

MEXICO CITY — Paul Schrader and fellow jury members Raoul Peck and U.S. distributor Nancy Gerstman named Miguel Gomes’ “Tabu” best pic at Colombia’s 53rd Cartagena Festival, which wrapped its seven-day run on Wednesday.

Bowing at Berlin this month, “Tabu’s” colonial love tale is told with a mix of formats, periods, acting styles, framing ratios, color plus black and white footage.

Kudo comes with a $15,000 Cine Colombia cash prize.

Jury’s other prizes suggested there were no major new discoveries in Cartagena’s Ibero-American Competition but there were a bevy of known, high-quality titles. Actor honors went to the cast of Cannes Critics’ Week winner “Aqui y Alla”; San Sebastian Films in Progress winner “7 Boxes” nabbed director for Juan Maneglia and Tana Schembori, plus screenplay for Maneglia and Tito Chamorro; a special jury prize for unique cinematographic vision went to “Blancanieves,” which picked up best director for Pablo Berger at Spain’s San Sebastian.

Coming-of-age tale “So Much Water,” from Uruguayan first-timers Ana Guevara and Leticia Jorge, won the Fipresci prize, further recognition for a Berlin player sold be Alpha Violet.

Cartagena’s biggest lures for the international industry are its domestic showcase — called Colombia al 100% — and the country’s up to 40% rebates for international shoots.

“The festival continues to serve as the launch-pad of Colombian cinema. Its production boom has benefited us: For the first time, we had to reject titles,” said fest director Monika Wagenberg.

Colombia al 100%’s major winner was the winsomely drawn animated feature “Anina,” seen in Berlin’s Generation K, which nabbed best film and director for Uruguay’s Alfredo Soderguit. Turning on a feisty if guilt-ridden 10-year-old girl, toon was co-produced by Colombia’s Antorcha Films.

Miguel Courtois’ “Operation E,” starring Luis Tosar as a Colombian coca cultivator falsely accused of kidnapping the baby of FARC hostage Clara Rojas, also played to applause, despite attempts by Rojas to halt its release there. Pic bows Friday in Colombia.

The Colombian industry is increasingly linked to the U.S.

Fest opened with the UDI-sold true-facts inspired “Roa,” a political assassination drama helmed by Andi Baiz and produced by Colombia’s Dynamo, one of the partners in Participant PanAmerica, announced at Berlin.

Recipients of Colombia’s first international rebates, to be revealed later this year, will most likely include U.S. movies.

(Anna Marie de la Fuente in Los Angeles and Emiliano de Pablos in Madrid contributed to this report).

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