Colombian Celluloid

Ta-da! Colombian movies are here -- for two weekends only.

If you thought smuggling cocaine from Colombia was difficult, try importing 14 films on old-school 35mm reels. "I am still struggling with the transportation of 400 pounds of film from Bogotá to Fort Lauderdale," Luis Duno-Gottberg, an assistant professor in the department of languages and linguistics at Florida Atlantic University, told us recently. "I was able to negotiate so I don't have to cover the cost of sending the film back!"

By seeing Colombia through the eyes of Colombian filmmakers during Duno-Gottberg's Colombian Film Festival, you'll learn that the country isn't all about drug deals, prostitutes, and gunfire... although that is a big part of it. But you'll be surprised. For example, when director Víctor Gaviria did research for his film Sumas y Restas (Additions and Subtractions), he found that dealers spent more time pushing calculator buttons than pushing the actual dope. Sumas y Restas is set in Medellín in the 1980s, when Pablo Escobar's drug cartel was at the height of its power. Using handheld cameras, high-speed montages, and nonactors (like a real-life taxi driver) playing many roles, Gaviria shows us how the deals really went down (hint: The cops in pursuit did not go sockless and wear pink blazers, à la Crockett and Tubbs). Three films by Gaviria will be shown on Saturday -- Rodrigo D. No Futuro (1988) at 4 p.m., La Vendedora de Rosas (1998) at 6, and Sumas y Restas (2004) at 8. The director will be present for a discussion after the screenings.

Other films on tap are Bajo el Cielo Antioqueño (Under the Antiquarian Sky, a 1925 silent film), showing at 8 p.m. Friday; Cóndores No Se Entierran Todos los Días (A Man of Principle, 1984), which screens at 4 p.m. Sunday and will be introduced by a video letter sent by author Gustavo Alvarez Gardeázabal; and La Primera Noche (The First Night, 2003) at 6 p.m. Sunday. The festival continues next weekend too.


The Colombian Film Festival

Cinema Paradiso, 503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale

Thursday, March 17, through Sunday, March 20, and Thursday, March 24, through Sunday, March 27. Visit, or call 954-525-FILM.

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