During the making of my documentary, A Journey to Colombia, I’ve always tried to update people on the progress of the film. It has been a long process and in my eyes, I still have a long way to go. In an effort to inform those that may be seeing this for the first time or to bring you up to speed, I’ve compiled some of the questions I’m often asked about the film.
What is this documentary film about?
I was born in the US and both my parents are Colombian. The first and last time I was in Colombia, I was two and a half years old and it was 1973. I’ve never been back. Even though I’ve only been there that one time, I’ve always felt a strong connection to the country. My goal is to educate people about the beauty of Colombia and the Colombian people while contradicting Hollywood-stereotypes by displaying the country’s diverse culture, economic advances and the resilience of the people. I want to give the audience insight into my search for understanding my identity, family history and Colombian heritage.
The film highlights those themes through stories from various family members, notable Colombians and Colombian Americans spanning back to the 1930’s. I believe that our film can help change people’s perspectives about Colombia by presenting this beautiful country & people before a broad, international audience. While this is a compelling human interest story, the film has the potential to start a positive, new narrative for Colombia.
Whether that is finding their roots, rediscovering or visiting their country, this is one of those films that can be make people think about their own lives and what they are doing to preserve their culture and beliefs as well as how they pass that on to the younger generations and their children.
What parts, cities of Colombia will you show in the film?
I’ll be filming in Barranquilla, Cartagena, Sincelejo, Tolú and Bogotá. My family is from la Costa Norte, so we’ll be up there and then in Bogotá since it’s the capital. I tell people that the family story is what drives the film but you’ll see interviews of not only family members but of other people along my journey. Right now we have Colombian recording artists Lisandro Meza, Juan Jose Meza and Duey Meza, a Colombian historian, a well-known news media anchor and others speaking about various themes in the film like the economy, travel and tourism and Colombian culture.
What are you currently doing /filming?
Currently I’m preparing for my next road trip in the US. This May I’ll be traveling back to Miami, the place where I grew up. This will be a special trip as I will be filming an interview session for the documentary with my grandmother. I’m also trying to schedule other interviews on this trip and will probably shoot some B-roll footage. Besides that I’m writing proposals and applying for film grants and funds to help with the production cost of this project. In April I will start the process of gaining dual citizenship, US and Colombian. I hope to have more details about that here in future articles and discuss that whole process.
When and where can I see the documentary?
At this point in time it’s hard to say. It all depends when I can reschedule our travel and production dates in Colombia. That is where the main chunk of the story takes place. After that I can then move into post-production/editing which will last several months. Once it is complete, I’m planning to submit the film or a short version to film festivals here in the states and in Colombia. At film festivals is where a project can grow and be picked up for distribution. Sometime after that it will be available as a download and on DVD. A good way to secure a copy right now is through a donation that will go towards helping with production cost.
How can people donate or help with getting this film made?
We did a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo last year to help us with the production cost of the film. While we didn’t meet our goal amount, we did have a great increase of growth in awareness and opportunities that came out of that process.
In February of 2013, our documentary became a fiscally sponsored project through Fractured Atlas. This opportunity is unique for our film since projects fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas are able to give donors the incentive of a charitable deduction for income tax purposes, a service individual filmmakers could not otherwise offer. It also enables filmmakers the ability to access foundation and government grant funding that may only be accessible to non-profit organizations or fiscally sponsored projects.
You can contribute by picking a perk category for which you will receive certain items in exchange for your donation. You get to enjoy some pretty amazing perks by helping to support our film, plus donations are tax-deductible via our 501c3 fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas. To donate, please visit our page here.
Another great way to help is by spreading the word about this project. The more people, family , friends and Colombians that know that there is a film being made that will be talking and showing POSITIVE things about the country, something that is rarely seen in films or on TV, the more it will help with accomplishing our goal. We have a presence on all the major social media platforms and our website to give people more information about the film.
Luis Eduardo Villamizar
Get in touch with Luis at A Journey to Colombia using the following links: