Film Forward in Guatavita, Rural Colombia!!


It was an amazing experience to host a session of Sundance Institute Film Forward: Advancing Cultural Dialogue in Guatavita, Colombia. We had the amazing opportunity to screen the film Buck, followed by a discussion with the movie makers and the people of Sundance Institute!!

Cinético is an itinerant rural cinema project we are developing in Guatavita and other Colombian regions. It focuses on providing healthy entertainment and spaces for community transformation in regions for which these are not available. Cinético also generates discussions addressing sustainability, urban and rural relationships, and the connection between earth and nature, which, among other topics, are enormously enriched by a screening like this one!!

Sofia Santana chats with Felipe Spath, host at La Juanita Finca Verde during lunch

We first held a luncheon at La Juanita Finca Verde, a rural project that provides a platform for rural transformation, innovates in the region with eco-ethnic sustainable tourism, and realizes social projects like ConectArte (personal development for children) and Cinético. We exchanged views about the film and the activities that composed the program of the day. We then went to El Impulso, a neighboring farm in which the TAAC Foundation  develops an equine therapy project for children of the region with special needs. It was a great space to exchange views about and experiences around the equine world and its relationship with therapy.

Andres Villa, from TAAC foundation talks with Sofia Santana about equine therapy

We then went to Guatavita where the movie was screened at the municipal theater!! It was an amazing experience and the first time an event like this one was held in the town. It is extremely important to generate these kinds of exchanges in rural areas, and we are very grateful that Sundance Institute and Film Forward provided this space. Topics like domestic violence are rarely addressed publicly, yet exist widely in these areas; therefore, a space where they can surface greatly contributes toward their transformation. A different view of the world in which people relate to nature and can together build a better existence plants a seed for change.

Sofia Santana shares Buck’s film story with the audience

Providing cultural activities where people can enrich their lives contributes to the formation of vibrant rural communities. If this is accompanied by alternative education models that fulfill personal needs and economic opportunities for the rural youth, we can greatly reduce the trend of massive migration to the cities for a supposedly better life, which in the end actually leads to the opposite.

Audience exchanging thoughts after the screening

Initiatives like Film Forward greatly contribute to this transformation!! As Meredith Lavitt from the Sundance Institute explained at the screening, advancing cultural dialogue gives the opportunity to share our distinct difficulties, appreciate our cultural differences, and contribute with inspiration toward overcoming them!!