Colombian Short Film Wins Palme d'Or at Cannes

Leidi by Colombian director Simón Mesa Soto (pictured with jury president Abbas Kiarostami) was the winner of the Palme d'Or for Best Short film at the 67th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, setting a benchmark for Colombia at the influential French festival.

Starring Alejandro Montoya and Héctor Orrego, the film tells the story of Leidi, who lives with her mom and her baby. Her boyfriend, Alexis, hasn't shown up in days. That sunny morning, after she bathed her baby, Leidi was sent to buy plantains. Outiside, a guy tells her he has seen Alexis with another girl. Leidi won’t return home until she finds the father of her child.

The previous Latin American director to win the Palme d'Or for Best Short Film was Elisa Miller from Mexico with Ver llover in 2007. The 28 year-old Mesa Sota was born in Medellín and he studied Communications at the Universidad de Antioquia and at the London Film School where he developed Leidi as his thesis project, which is presented as a Colombian-British co-production film. 

Even though most of the feature Latin American films participating at the festival received great critical acclaim, the filmmakers from the region received received few awards this year. Brazilian director Julian Ribeiro Salgado, along with German director Wim Wenders, received a Special Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section for their documentary film Salt of the Earth, a tribute to his father, the famed photographer Sebastião Salgado. Lisandro Alonso's Jauja, one of the best reviewed films at Cannes this year and a top contender at the Un Certain Regard, had to settle with one of the ecumenical Critics Prize.

The 67th edition of the Cannes Film Festival took place May 14-25 in the French Riviera.