Colombia Selects Gamboa’s “Mateo” as the Country’s Representative in the Foreign Language Category for the 2015 Oscars

Maria Gamboa could possibly have a date with Oscar in the near future…

The Colombian filmmaker’s Mateo will be Colombia’s bet for a nomination in the Foreign Language category at the 2015 Academy Awards. The news was announced this week by the Colombian Film Academy on its Facebook account and confirmed by the film’s press agency LBV.

Maria Gamboa's Mateo

A winner of screenplay and first feature awards at the Miami Film Festival this year, Mateo was one of the three finalists to represent Colombia at the Oscars, together with Oscar Ruiz Navia‘s Los hongos  winner of a special jury prize in Locarno this year — and Ruben Mendoza‘s Dust on the Tongue, which topped Colombia’s main film event, the Cartagena Film Festival. The 378 members of the academy participated in the voting of the final slate, preselected by its board of directors.

“Both the crew and the people from Magdalena Medio who participated in this project, we all feel honored and happy to be able to represent Colombia,” Gamboa said in a statement. “We’re thrilled that there’s a recognition to Mateo’s story of peace and reconciliation, which offers a more human and truthful vision, so different from the way this crucial topic is usually presented.”

A Colombia/France co-production starring Carlos Hernandez and Felipe Botero, Mateo tells the story of a 16-year-old boy who faces a dilemma about the direction his life will take when his corrupt uncle asks him to infiltrate a local Barrancabermeja theater group to uncover its members’ political activities.

No local films have ever been picked for an Oscar nomination. But the recently reborn Colombian film industry has been expanding in number and size ever since the passing of the first film law in 2003 which poured funds into film production, the new Bogota Audiovisual Market and new co-production and shooting incentives.

Coimbra’s “A Wolf at the Door” Wins Big at the Miami Film Fest

Fernando Coimbra is the Wolf of Miami…

The Brazilian filmmaker’s A Wolf at the Door was the big winner at the Miami Film Fest’s awards night ceremony held over the weekend.

Fernando Coimbra's A Wolf at the Door

The Brazilian film, a dark thriller that premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year, took home the fest’s Knight Competition, with Grand Jury prizes for Best Film and Best Director for Coimbra.

The film is being distributed by Paul Hudson‘s Outsider Pictures, which is aiming for a July release date in the U.S.

Spanish actress Nora Navas picked the Grand Jury Best Performance for her work in Mar Coll’s We All Want What’s Best For Her (Spain).

The Jordan Alexander Ressler Screenwriting Award went to Maria Gamboa’s Mateo (Colombia/France).

The festival, which closed Sunday, screened 141 films from 39 countries.

“We are humbled by the community’s overwhelming response to this year’s film festival,” said Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, president of the Miami Dade College, which runs the event. “It serves to strengthen the college’s commitment to providing quality cultural arts programming for all to enjoy.”

Here’s the full awards list:

KNIGHT COMPETITION ($40,000 in prizes courtesy of James L. & John S. Knight Foundation)


Knight Grand Jury Prize: A Wolf at the Door (Brazil, directed by Fernando Coimbra).

Grand Jury Best Performance: Nora Navas, for We All Want What’s Best For Her (Spain, directed by Mar Coll).

Grand Jury Best DirectorFernando Coimbra, forA Wolf at the Door (Brazil).

Jordan Alexander Ressler Screenwriting Award:Mateo, written by Maria Gamboa (Colombia/France).


Enrique Lopez Lavigne- Producer, Apaches Entertainment

Augustine Chiarino- Producer, Control Z Films

Alejandro Brugues – Director, Juan of the Dead


Knight Grand Jury Prize (ex aequo):

Finding Vivian Maier, directed by Charlie Siskel and John Maloof (USA); and

The Overnighters, directed by Jesse Moss (USA).


Ross Kaufman – Filmmaker, Red Light Films (USA)

Adrian Bausch – Filmmaker (USA)

Laura Kim – Founder, Inside Job


Winner: Mateo directed by Maria Gamboa (Colombia/France)

Honorable Mention:We are Mari Pepa, directed by Samuel Kishi Leopo (Mexico).


Best Short Film: A Big Deal, directed by Yoyo Yao (China)

Honorable Mention:Skin directed by Cédric Prévost (France).

MIAMI ENCUENTROS presented by Moviecity

Aurora (Chile, produced by Florencia Larrea, directed by Rodrigo Sepulveda)


To Kill A Man (Chile / France, directed by Alejandro Fernández Almendras).


Winner: ‘Around the Lake’ (“Autour Du Lac”) directed by Noémie Marsily & Carl Roosens of Belgium. The music video was performed by Carl et les hommes-boîtes.


Belle, directed by Amma Asante, “for its multi-layered depiction of the challenges to the value of human life and dignity wherever a profit-driven system makes commodification of persons acceptable. Masterly crafted, the film lifts up a variety of issues of conscience which still confront us today.”