Dec 09

Film on the Move: Colombia’s Wandering Cinema

Living in a major city, you don’t really think twice about going to the flicks now and then. Generally, Colombian cinemas are of fairly amazeballs quality, pretty much all with digital projection, with a dangerously delicious variety of caramel popcorn in bountiful supply. Still, a staggering 96% of Colombian towns don’t have a cinema of their own, so, once leaving the big smoke, people haven’t really had much of a chance to do something people like us in big, bad Bogota take for granted.

Wouldn’t it be awesome, then, if cinemas could move around the rest of Colombia?

Well, it’s starting to happen, actually.


Taking cinema to the streets.
Taking cinema to the streets.


The Wandering Cinema has been heading around our beloved adopted country for two years now. Starting as a dream to bring the knowledge, passion, and inspiration crystalised into the form called cinema to people that generally have no opportunity to experience such things, it’s quickly picking up steam to bring new, transient cultural spaces to the streets of places like La Dorada, a small town in Caldas, where people have never seen anything like it.

After last year’s Wandering Cinema Tour, Laura Silva, the brains and heart behind it, returned to her home in Medellín and a new weekly project was set up in Manrique, a Medellín community that seemed to have been largely ignored by the City of Eternal Spring’s recent transformations. Bringing Wes Anderson movies, or documentaries like the amazing Man on Wire to these proud but troubled people, it proved so important to the community there that this activity translated into them setting up their own simple, permanent cinema. This may just be the start of a new phase of the project; with the wandering cinema planting little refuges of film in places it lands.


The cinema project in Manrique, with Medellin's bright lights below.
The cinema project in Manrique, with Medellin’s bright lights below.


Right now, there are plans to run this simple but brilliant idea on solar power, and artists are being called to envision how this idea will look on paper, part of a new crowd funding campaign to bring smart, meaningful and beautiful films outside of their usual domain here. The next tour is of Boyaca towns, including that beautifully time-trapped city of Villa de Leyva, in January; bringing a documentary – about the bizarre and important issue of the American seeds Colombian farmers are being obliged to buy – to these very farmers themselves. It’s in such ways as this that film can actually help bring about meaningful, positive change here in Colombia; something we haven’t seen Hollywood do too often otherwise…


Paul G

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