Three Latin American films -from Colombia, Peru, and Argentina- were awarded prizes at the 2016 edition of the Sundance Film Festival, it was announced this evening at the closing night ceremony.
The Colombian film Between Sea and Land / La ciénaga entre el mar y la tierra by Carlos del Castillo was the winner of the Audience Award and the Special Jury Award for Acting for leading actor Vicky Hernández and Manolo Cruz in the World Cinema Dramatic competition.
The Peruvian film When Two World Collide by Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel was the winner of the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Best Debut Feature. The Argentinean film Mi Amiga del Parque by Ana Katz was awarded the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Screenwriting. And, as it was previously announced, Ciro Guerra’s Embrace of the Serpent / El abrazo de la serpiente from Colombia was the winner of the Alfred B. Sloan Feature Science-in-Film Prize with a cash prize of $20,000.
In Between Sea and Land, 28-year-old Alberto lives on a swampy marsh adjacent to the Caribbean Sea, which he dreams of one day visiting. But Alberto is afflicted with a neurological disorder that confines him to his bed, and his mother, Rosa, lovingly protects and takes care of him. Alberto’s wry humor and creativity help them muster the strength to endure, and he enjoys the company of his neighbor Giselle, who showers Alberto with affection. But the life he imagines with his would-be sweetheart feels just as close-yet-out-of-reach as the sea he looks upon. As he slips into anguish, Rosa confronts her past in order to lift her son’s burden and make his dreams attainable.
Manolo Cruz (who also wrote the film) gives a tremendous performance as Alberto, inhabiting a young man trapped by physical hardship but unbound by spirit. Cruz and Carlos del Castillo directed together for this indelible first feature, which portrays the extraordinary resilience and grace of characters caught in between the margins of a beautiful place.
The 2016 edition of the Sundance Film Festival took place January 21-31 in Park City, Utah.