In the age of unlimited content, sensationalism, super heroes and fantasy, oftentimes stories about "real life" don't get the recognition they deserve. I have a passion and affinity for movies talking about real life experiences -- films without make-up, raw, real, showing everyday life through the characters. Recently, I had several "real life" movie experiences at the Colombian Film Festival. The first one that struck me came from Mateo produced by Maria Gamboa.
This film reveals the story of a brutal and unfair account of a child's challenge, without showing each detail frame to frame. It reveals the story of forgotten people without resorting to sensationalism. Mateo shows how a small town can judge and reach damaging conclusions casting its young citizens as criminals, but the same people through individuals that shape it are revealed and organize to combat violence with love, using art as a catalyst of pain and forgiveness, Mateo is a film that every Colombian should see. It is a healing film that exorcises the deepest sorrows and tells the story of thousands of unknown children like Mateo.
I see Mary Gamboa as authentic, versatile, original and very talented. I love to see unknown directors, those that are hidden, those that have expressed a powerful and professionally orchestrated message, but have not had the opportunity to get well-deserved recognition.
Another favorite of mine was "Default" by Simon Brand. Contradicting the conventions, which take hold of the least expected resources to tell a story in a language that validates the visual experience, Default features ordinary people in an intriguing and complex plot building into a complex crescendo. This Colombian-directed film takes the Colombian film industry from a hidden corner and puts it in a spotlight internationally.
Juan Zapata's movie Simone shows how movies go beyond geographies. In Brazil, the director has managed to find a place for his stories without barriers. Zapata uses the powerful aesthetic that recalls the famous film Hiroshima Mon Amour, made by the great director Alain Resnais who recently passed away.
I like directors that provide us all the opportunity to experience stories without discrimination -- directors with big dreams, a limited budget and unlimited aspirations. Those who dare to tell real and fictional stories about "real life" of all colors.