Colombia: “Ojo al Sancocho” Community Film Festival

The International Film and Alternative and Community Video Festival called “Ojo al Sancocho [es]” was recently organized by the company Sueños Film Colombia (Dream Films) and its second edition took place September 18-25, 2009 in Ciudad Bolívar in Southern Bogotá. During the week, Colombian audiovisual projects gathered to talk about topics, such as Latin American and local identity, and Web 2.0, as a way to create practical communities.

Sancocho is a traditional soup that can be found throughout Colombia and made with many ingredients. Festival organizers used the analogy of the soup to show how the week attracted many different individuals and organizations all contributing their own ideas to the event.

Photo of Festival workshop by Yuliana Paniagua of Convergentes and used with permission.

Photo of Festival workshop by Yuliana Paniagua of Convergentes and used with permission.

Cuba was the special invited guest, and representatives from the Festival of Cine Pobre [es] in Cuba spoke with admiration about the activities taking place in Colombia. There was also reflection on different topics, aesthetics, and creativity. Community and alternative groups also displayed their productions with the shared objective to create images that differ from those shown by traditional media. The festival's official blog [es] has additional information about the presenters, as well as the calendar of activities throughout the week.

The blog from Tal TV [es] writes that this community initiative was created from “the need to democratize the audiovisual culture in Colombia” and summarizes the philosophy behind the Festival that attracted participants from Colombia, as well as Spain, Cuba, and Argentina:

El festival Ojo al Sancocho, promueve nuevos realizadores y productores audiovisuales de Ciudad Bolívar, de Bogotá, de Colombia y de Latinoamérica, comprometidos con un audiovisual educativo-cultural, informativo y estimulante, que promuevan la identidad latinoamericana, pluriculturalidad y los valores de libertad, solidaridad, paz y justicia.

The Ojo al Sancocho Festival promotes new directors and audiovisual producers from Ciudad Bolívar, Bogotá, Colombia, and from Latin America, committed to an educational-cultural, informative, and stimulating audiovisual work, which promotes Latin American identity, pluriculturality, and the values of freedom, solidarity, peace, and justice.

The blog Idealistas [es] writes about the background of the company Sueños Films Colombia, the event organizer:

Sueños Films ha editado alrededor de 40 documentales y 4 largometrajes, entre los que se encuentran “Corazón de Ciudad Bolívar” de Felipe Ávila, ganador del premio al Mejor Argumental Local 2008, emitido por Caracol Televisión, y “El Alma de los Sueños”, producido por los niños que integran los talleres de EKO, la escuela audiovisual de la fundación.

Sueños Films has edited around 40 documentaries and 4 feature-length films, among them “Corazón de Ciudad Bolívar” (Heart of Ciudad Bolívar) by Felipe Ávila, winner of the prize for the Best Local Short Film 2008, awarded by Caracol Television and “El Alma de los Sueños” (The Heart of Dreams) produced by the children who take part in the EKO workshops, the foundation's audio-visual school.

Participants in the Ojo al Sancocho festival took part in a wide variety of programming and were well-received by the residents of Ciudad Bolívar. After the final activity, the basic conclusion revolved around the need to construct a solid network in which all of the local initiatives that are being created converge in order to strengthen the audiovisual processes that are taking place around the country.

Translation by Eduardo Ávila

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