Colombian film is enjoying a moment in the international spotlight. On Saturday, “Between Sea and Land” (“La Cienaga Entre el Mar y la Tierra”) won the Audience Award and a Special Jury Award for Acting in the World Cinema Dramatic category at the Sundance Film Festival.
“Between Sea and Land” tells the story of a young man named Alberto who lives on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Suffering from a neurological disorder that keeps him on bed rest, Alberto longs to explore the sea that lies just beyond his home.
The film is written and produced by Bogotá-born actor Manolo Cruz, who also stars as Alberto. Carlos del Castillo directed, and Vicky Hernández stars as Alberto’s mother, who works to help Alberto live as normal a life as possible.
Hernández and Cruz shared the Jury Award for Acting.
“Between Sea and Land” is the first feature from Cruz, who is best known for his roles on Colombian television. The film had its world premiere at Sundance and is expected to open in Colombian theaters in April.
The biggest winner at Sundance this year was “The Birth of a Nation,” the story of a 19th century slave revolt in Virginia. The film took home the festival’s top prizes along with a record distribution deal with Fox Searchlight films for $17.5 million dollars.
Israeli film “Sand Storm” won the Jury Award in the international category.
Sundance, which was founded in 1978 and is held annually in Park City, Utah, is the largest independent film festival in the United States. A strong showing at the festival can launch a film to international renown as has been the case with award-winners like “Whiplash,” “Precious,” and “Reservoir Dogs.”
Earlier this month, Colombia’s “Embrace of the Serpent” by director Ciro Guerra became the country’s first nominee in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards.
The 88th annual “Oscars” will be presented February 28.