Colombian documentary filmmaker and cinematographer Ricardo Restrepo died yesterday at the age of 54 in Bogotá. A renowned documentarian in the South American country, Restrepo also had a prolific career as a cinematographer working in numerous international productions.
Born December, 1962 in Bogotá, Restrepo studied Communications at the Universidad Externado de Colombia and later received a Fulbright grant to study a Masters in Cinematography at Ohio University in the U.S. He also studied a Masters in Documentary Filmmaking in Paris and did studies on New Technologies in Montreal, Canada. He was director of the Latin American Association of Documentary Filmmakers (ALADOS) Colombia, and for over 15 years he served as director of the International Documentary Showcase, the pioneering non-fiction film festival in Colombia.
He directed the video work Momento (1980), Colombia 5. Colombia 0 (1985) and María. Toma dos (1991). In 2009, he directed the film The Water Project: Colombia, part of a quartet of international documentaries financed by ITVS designed to bring awareness and attention to the worldwide water crisis. Restrepo's 2014 short Cesó la noche horrible / End of the Horrible Night, based on historical found film stock by his grandfather, went to play in numerous international film festivals.
He co-founded with Patricia Ayala the independent production company Pathos Audiovisual, which produced the films Don Ca (2013) and A Matter of Land / Un asunto de tierras (2015), directed by Ayala, and co-produced and shot by Restrepo. Both documentary features participated in numerous film festivals including Cinema du Réel, Visions du Réel, Havana Film Festival, FIDOCS, and DocsDF.
Restrepo and Ayala were currently working on A recomponer (To Recompose), a film project following a couple of former guerrilla fighters that as part of Colombia's peace process try to find a new profession as musicians.
Restrepo served as a jury member for the Emmy Awards, DokFest Munich, DocsDF México, and DocTV Iberoamérica, among others. He also worked as the Colombian correspondent of Radio France International. As a cinematographer he worked in numerous television and film projects including for Austrian ORF network, Germany's ZDF, Spain's Canal Plus, France's Uno Productions y TV5, Canada's Multi-Monde, and the U.S. Skylight Pictures. He served as DP of Emiliano Mazza de Luca's 2015 documentary film Nueva Venecia.