As the Hollywood bombast of the Oscars dies down and the sultry sophistication of the Cartagena Film Festival fades into distant memory, Colombia turns to the quiet dramas, wry comedies and artistic flair of Old World cinema.

The Eurocine Festival 2013 announced its return to Colombia last Friday with a screening of Dutch film The Girl and Death, highlighting the Netherlands as the special guest country for the 19th edition of the film festival. This year’s edition, which opens in Bogotá on April 17, will include more than 60 films from around Europe.

Appropriately enough for a festival that will travel in its entirety to Cali and Medellín in May and bring a selection of films to 10 other Colombian cities, Eurocine 2013 focuses on the “road movie.” Five films from different nations, including The Trip to Nowhere (Spain), Rabat (Netherlands), All That Remains (Switzerland), Road North (Finland) and The Ride (Czech Republic) comprise the special section inspired by the philosophy that “all travel is a search and a discovery through which we can walk down our own darkest trails.”

Chosen to help promote this year's festival, Dutch film The Girl and Death follows the tragic love of a doctor and courtesan.

Chosen to help promote this year’s festival, Dutch film The Girl and Death follows the tragic love of a doctor and courtesan.

Given that selections participating in Eurocine tend to focus on the more artistic side of cinema, rarely making it into multiplex halls in Colombia, the festival provides a unique opportunity for people around the country to experience a diverse offering of films from a variety of genres and nationalities.

As this year’s special guest country, the Netherlands will participate with six films in the Official Section and eight others in various categories. Prolific producer Jan van der Zanden, who has helped create more than 40 films through his Waterland Films production house, will make an appearance at the festival. Additionally, a special seven-film retrospective will pay homage to Dutch actress Monic Hendrickx.

While in Bogotá, multiple bastions of arthouse and independent film will host the festival including Cinema Paraiso in Usaquén, InVitro in Chapinero, La Puerta Grande in the Parque de la 93 and downtown’s Cinemateca Distrital, among others.

In addition to the Official Section, documentaries are highlighted in the “En Foco” (In Focus) category as well as a selection of art films, classics that have withstood the test of time and a variety of short films. Entering its fourth year, the Eurocine Community program ensures that everyone has access to the best of European film with free screenings in community centers and public spaces throughout the country.

Whether intimately familiar with the subtleties of European film or a complete stranger, the festival offers an opportunity to leave the Americas behind on a cinematic journey across a varied and culturally diverse continent. So, before the rush of summer blockbusters fills movie theaters, make sure to catch the 19th Eurocine Festival as it arrives in Colombia next month.