In an unprecedented cinematic feat for Colombia, César Acevedo’s ‘Land and Shade’ (La Tierra y la sombra) received a Camera d’Or for Best First Film this month at the Cannes Film Festival. The successful participation of Colombia during the festival also included an award for Ciro Guerra’s soon to be released, Black and White feature entitled: ‘The embrace of the serpent’.

Acevedo’s first feature, ‘Land and Shade’ also took home two more awards, including the France 4 Visionary Award and the Prize of the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers. The movie presents a portrait of a rural family in Colombian holding on to what they have while the world around them goes up in flames.

According to the Colombia’s Minister of Culture, Mariana Garcés Córdoba, this well-deserved recognition of Colombian film talent is the result of a Film Act enacted a decade ago which has worked to promote the industry by financing projects and offering tax incentives to foreign-based film production companies looking to use this country as a location. “Since the Film Act came into effect a new and talented generation has been able to realize their projects,” stated Minister Garcés and referring to the vision of four talented directors, César Acevedo, Ciro Guerra, Franco Lolli and William Vega.

Created in 1978, the Camera d’Or has been awarded to directors Jim Jarmusch (Stranger Than Paradise), Tran Anh Hung (The Scent of Green Papaya), Naomi Kawaze (Suzaku), Pablo Giorgelli (Las Acacias) among many others. César Acevedo dedicated his award to Colombia’s farmers, who “are the real heroes in our country.”

Director Ciro Guerra, who in 2009 released his epic vallenato road trip movie ‘The Wind Journeys,’ presented to critical acclaim his latest cinematic venture, ‘The embrace of the serpent’ based upon the journals of explorers and anthropologists Theodor Koch-Grunberg and Richard Evan Schultes in the Colombian Amazonia. Guerra is currently preparing for his next production ‘Birds of Summer’.

In 2014, the ‘Leidi’ short film, directed by Colombian Simón Soto Mesa, received the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at Cannes. This production competed with nine other movies from 128 countries and was the first Colombian short to be nominated in the Official Selection.