“Amparo” Competes at Cannes Film Festival 2021

Amparo, the 2021 feature film directed by Simón Mesa Soto and co-executive produced by PICT core faculty member Hector Ulloque, will have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival 2021. The film will be competing for the Grand Prize of the International Critics’ Week and for the Caméra d’Or.

Set in Colombia in 1998, Amparo tells the story of a single mother who goes up against corruption, violence, and a patriarchal society to rescue her teenage son, drafted into the army and assigned to a war zone. “It was very common in the 90s,” the director comments on the story. “If you didn’t fulfil your military duties, you could be kidnapped by the army at any time. It was very scary to walk the streets.”

The International Critics’ Week (La Semaine de la Critique) is a section of the Cannes Film Festival organized by the French Union of Film Critics with the aim of discovering and supporting young cinematic talent from around the world. The section focuses exclusively on first and second films, with past laureates including Gaspar Noé, Agnieszka Holland, and Wong Kar-Wai.

Simón Mesa Soto’s past work includes Leidi, winner of the Palme d’Or for best short film at the Cannes Film Festival 2014, and Madre, a competitor for the short film Palme d’Or in 2016. Amparo is the director’s debut feature film. Hector Ulloque’s recent production work includes Tantas Almas (Valley of Souls, 2019), winner of the Étoile d’Or at the 18th Marrakech International Film Festival, and Io Sono Il Sole (I Am the Sun, 2020), winner of the “Humans in Focus” award at the 5th Ibiza International Film Festival.

Click here for more information about Amparo, including its screening schedule at Cannes.