'Birds of Passage': Colombia Selects Cannes Breakout as Foreign Language Film Submission â" Exclusive
The Colombian Academy of Cinematography Arts and Sciences has picked Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerraâs ââ as Colombiaâs Official Entry in the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar category. Billed as âa sprawling epic about the erosion of tradition in pursuit of material wealth,â the film premiered as the Opening Night selection of the Directorsâ Fortnight section of the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. It will next screen at TIFF.
The film is the second effort by Guerra and Gallego to serve as Colombiaâs Oscar submission â" their previous film, âEmbrace of the Serpent,â which Guerra directed and Gallego produced, earned the countryâs first ever Oscar nomination in 2015. The film marks Gallegoâs directorial debut, who also produces the film alongside Katrin Pors and takes a Story By credit. It is the fourth feature film for co-direc tor Guerra, who is set to helm the upcoming film adaptation of Nobel laureate J.M. Coetzeeâs classic novel âWaiting for the Barbariansâ starring Robert Pattinson, Mark Rylance, and Johnny Depp.
âWe are incredibly humbled and honored to again be the Colombian selection for entry to the Academy Awards, especially with a film that is so personal to our countryâs history and narrative,â said Gallego and Guerra in an official statement. âWe are very grateful to La Academia Colombiana de Artes y Ciencias Cinematorgraficas, who have supported us throughout our careers. It is with great pride that we bring this film to a global audience.â
Per the filmâs official synopsis, ââBirds of Passageâ charts the origins of the Colombian drug trade, through the epic story of an indigenous Wayuu family that becomes involved in the booming business of selling marijuana to American youth in the 1970s. When greed, passion and honor colli de, a fratricidal war breaks out that will put their lives, their culture and their ancestral traditions at stake.â
In his Cannes review, IndieWireâs Eric Kohn wrote, âWhile it never reaches the psychedelic heights of Guerraâs previous effort and relies on a more conventional pattern of events, âBirds of Passageâ delivers another fascinating tone poem about Colombiaâs fractured identity.â
âWe were thrilled to hear the good news that âBirds of Passageâ has been selected as Colombiaâs official entry for the Academy Awards,â said Paul Davidson, EVP of Film & TV at the Orchard, in an official statement. âThereâs no question that Cristina and Ciroâs film is a stirring, epic masterpiece â" but its dramatic retelling of the origins of the drug trade and its impact, which is still felt today, is particularly timely and meaningful. We are proud that audiences will get to experience such a singular vision on its path to release.â
The Orchard will release âBirds of Passageâ in New York and Los Angeles on February 13, with a national rollout to follow.
Check out IndieWireâs exclusive âBirds of Passageâ poster below.
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