Colombian film La tierra y la sombra / Land and Shade by César Augusto Acevedo was awarded with the Caméra d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, which is presented to the Best First Film featured in the festival’s Official Selection (Competition, Out of Competition and Un Certain Regard), in Critics’ Week or Directors’ Fortnight. Land and Shade premiered at the Critics’ Week and was awarded with three prizes in that category.
The film tells the story of Alfonso, an old farmer who has returned home to tend to his son, who is gravely ill. He rediscovers his old house, where the woman who was once his wife still lives, with his daughter-in-law and grandson. The landscape that awaits him resembles a wasteland. Vast sugar cane plantations surround the house, producing perpetual clouds of ash. 17 years after abandoning them, Alfonso tries to fit back in and save his family.
In his acceptance speech Acevedo said: "It's an immense honor. I would like to thank the jury and all those who make this festival possible. I also wish to thank the Critics’ Week for its love of film. My thanks also go to the entire cast and crew of the film, which made this dream possible. Finally, I would like to dedicate this prize to all Colombian farmers. It is they who are the heroes of this country. I want them to know that they're not alone".
Land and Shade becomes the first Colombian film to ever win the prize in its 36 years of existence, and it becomes the fourth Latin American film to win the award after Fina Torres’ Oriana from Venezuela in 1985, Michael Rowe’s Año bisiesto / Leap Year from Mexico in 2010, and more recently Pablo Giorgelli’s Las Acacias from Argentina in 2011. Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas received a Special Jury Mention in 2002 for his debut feature Japón.
The 68th edition of the Cannes Film Festival took place May 13-24 in France.