The film Valley of Souls (2019), directed by Nicolás Rincón Gille and produced by Manuel Ruiz Montealegre and PICT core faculty member Hector Ulloque, was screened to positive reviews at the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea and the International Rome Film Festival in Italy.
Set in Colombia in 2002, during a time of heavy civil unrest, the film tells the story of fisherman José (Arley de Jesús Carvallido Lobo) who comes home one night to find that his two sons have been abducted and murdered by a paramilitary group. The film unfolds as José sets off on a journey downstream to recover their remains. In her review for Screen Daily, Wendy Ide described Valley of Souls as a “meditative study of grief” that “juxtaposes banality and beauty,” while Jessica Kiang, writing for Variety, called the film “an immersive, riveting, exceptional debut that builds to a powerful lament for the vanished victims of Colombia’s civil strife.”
In other news, the Film Commission of Colombia has awarded public funds to Cinescuela, a project developed by Hector Ulloque in collaboration with Medio de Contención Producciones. Cinescuela is an educational tool that offers a catalog of films organized by cycles and intended for restricted diffusion throughout the high schools and libraries of Colombia. Each film is accompanied by an interactive education sheet designed to facilitate the usage of the films in classrooms and courses. Cinescuela is currently used at 1,300 public libraries and 20 educational institutions in Colombia.