Ciro´s Angel, María E. Martínez next to Ciro Guerra the night of the screening of El Abrazo de la Serpiente (The Embrace of the Serpent) in the women's prison of San Diego. Cartagena. Ficci 2016.
She´s beautiful and her name is María E. She has worked for the Cartagena Film Festival (Ficci) four years in a row. This year she was given an important (and enviable) task: to be Ciro´s Angel, which means to be his -and his family´s- personal attendant.
"Being Ciro´s Angel this year was a big responsabily because I was his direct contact to the Cartagena Film Festival. I´m the first person he sees when he arrives. I´m who gives him his reception. Who´s encharge of making sure that he fulfill the scheduled of activities and meetings assigned by the Festival. I must be there when needed" (María E. Martínez)
Coming soon, Ciro Guerra Part II:The Story behind María and Ciro´s picture... (Próximaente, Ciro Guerra Part II: la historia detrás de la foto de María y Ciro)
Ciro Guerra´s Photo Gallery of his visit to the women´s prison of San Diego for the screening of the Oscar Nominee Movie: El Abrazo de la Serpiente (The Embrace of the Serpent). Cartagena, Ficci 2016.
Introducing someone for being the first to do this or the first to do that, could be annoying. “The first, the best, the best-know”, all harmless but irritating describers that I tend to use. Maybe, what this “first” adjective really means is “the beginning of something”. The movie The Truce (La Tregua), for example, became the first Argentine film to get an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in 1975. Now in Colombia we have Ciro Guerra - born in a cute small town not far from Colombia's Caribbean coast (sounds familiar?)- who has this big recognition and you can still see him walking through Cartagena´s Walled City during The Hay Festival as if nothing had happened. I bumped into him several times. The first in a much crowed street in Cartagena. I was walking with a friend on very narrow sidewalks in the heat of the midday sun and I was particularly stressed out that day. Ciro asked me for directions which I answered with the most frustrating response one can get during a trip in an unfamiliar city: I don´t know! (By the way, the only place in the world you´ll never get that answer is in is in my adoptive home town Buenos Aires, people will come up with something in order not to say that they don't know) Well…In my case I said the truth. But maybe I just didn’t make the effort as my fellow citizens. Eight minutes later, my friend and I found ourselves lost as Ciro was, but I bumped into him again, actually, the entire time he had kept near us walking toward – or trying to find- the same place. The place was La Tadeo Lozano University, in which Ciro was expected to give a talk about the Oscar nominee for his last movie The Embrace of The Serpent (El abrazo de la serpiente). So this time I asked him if he knew where “La Calle de la Chichería” was, he couldn’t help but to let out a small smile. “I don´t know”, he answered followed with a clueless gesture. That's when he realized the girl who had ignored him eight minutes before, in fact, was going to see him at The University and hadn't even recognized him. Finally, we managed to get to La Tadeo University but it was already overcrowded. “We´ll take Ciro´s picture with the Borges book tomorrow”, we said. Well, as The Beatles song goes: Tomorrow Never Knows. The next morning I was given an important task in "The Hay Joven" and I wasn’t able to go to meet with Ciro - officially speaking- in his talk with Sandro Romero at the UNIBAC. I had to delegate the mission to my friend Juan, whom I didn’t trust would make it, by the way. During the talk I received a text message from Juan: “Sorry”, he said, “it was impossible to talk to Ciro, he was surrounded by so many people. He got overwhelmed and left”. “I knew he wouldn’t have the guts”, I thought. But I had totally underestimated Juan. It turns out that he was teasing me, he had gotten the picture (don´t know how), and there it was: the man with the dark glasses and the low profile, the one that will always be The First to be nominated in Colombia, the artist who depicted beautifully the Accordion and the Vallenato music tradition in his previously Film: The Wind Journeys (Los viajes del viento). There he is holding the little Borges book for all eyes to see. His nomination reminded me of the day a scientist once showed me I photomontage of himself in which he had inserted his face in the body of one of John Singer Sargent's Four Doctors. Students of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine used to make these kind of photomontages and keep them as a souvenir when finished school. He told me the story of these four founding physicians identified as “The Big Four” and what he considered was the hierarchy between them. “Would you like to know why I put my face in the body of my least favorite doctor?” he asked. “Purely and simply because I prefer to appear surrounded by whom I believe are the most distinguished ones”. Therefore, getting back to what it means to be The first to do something, Sergio Renán´s first Argentine film nomination for The Truce was, in fact, historic in itself not only for what it meant, but also because the main Oscar opponent was Federico Fellini who end up wining for Amarcord. A lot of people feel the contenders are the real point of it all. In a way, it´s like the 'photoshopping' exercise on one's own dream into the body of another to keep the picture of yourself against Federico Fellini forever. I remember when the Argentine Juan José Campanella won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2010 for The Secret in Their Eyes (El secreto de sus ojos). He immediately thank the Academy for letting them spend six days in the company of incredible Filmmakers. I say it again “Company"- being associated with a group-, is what makes competition so valuable. So Ciro, I wanted to say on behalf of all of us: we are so very proud of the opponents you’re going to have to compete against, and of course, for the six whole days in the company of such incredible Filmmakers. Have fun at the Oscars! With much affection, Chabela.
"The most important thing this country needs is to have a temperature in which people can dream" "Lo más importante es que el país tenga una temperatura en la que la gente pueda soñar"
Ciro Guerra, Hay Festival Cartagena 2016
Foto fija del cortometraje "El Cáñamo". Córdoba (Colombia). Film Still of the set of the short film "El Cáñamo". Córdoba (Colombia).
Speaking of which, Is there such a thing as "Cine Costeño"? You´ll find out after I write about my meeting in Bogotá with Colombian Film-director and screenwriter, Rafael Loayza.