Land and Shade

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    Land and Shade

    La tierra y la sombra

    Directed by

    Colombia, France, Netherlands, Chile, Brazil

    2015

    97 min

    • Spanish

    Drama

    Alfonso is 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.

    Awards

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    • Caméra d'Or - Cannes IFF
    • France 4 Visionary Award, SACD Award - La Semaine de la Critique
    • Best Cinematography (Mateo Guzmán) - Lima FF
    • Spanish Cooperation Award - San Sebastián IFF
    • Bronze Camera 300 Award - Manaki Brothers IFF
    • Best Director - Tofifest
    • Special Jury Mention - Mumbai FF
    • New Auteurs Grand Jury Award - AFI Fest
    • Special Jury Award - Silver Alexander, Fischer Audience Award, Human Values Award - Thessaloniki IFF
    • FIPRESCI Award - Bratislava IFF

    Festivals

    Labels & Line Ups

    Credits

    Cast
    Haimer Leal
    Hilda Ruiz
    Edison Raigosa
    Marleyda Soto
    José Felipe Cárdenas
    Screenplay
    César Augusto Acevedo
    Cinematography
    Mateo Guzmán
    Editing
    Miguel Schverdfinger

    Director's Statement

    The idea for this film was born of personal pain. At the time I began writing the screenplay my mother was dead, my father was a ghost, and given my inability to generate memories, they seemed completely lost to me. Thus arose my need to make a film that would allow me to recover the two most important people in my life, using the language of film. This led to my decision to create a microcosm consisting of a small house and a tree, where I could somehow be reunited with those I loved most.

    My origins are in Colombia’s Valle del Cauca region, whose economy depends mainly on the sugar industry. My intention from the start was to speak of a people devastated by a paradoxical idea of progress, which has generated numerous social problems that have remained invisible to the eyes of history.

    As the conflict focused on the family drama, the most important thing was to convey the distance between the characters' bodies and emotions. I needed a device that would force the characters to share the same space and time, despite the lack of communication between them. This discomfort caused the gradual revelation of these passions and emotions as each of the characters was forced to confront the others, and the space they all inhabit. That’s why the use of sequence shots is essential. They not only rendered the characters' enclosure in the physical and emotional space more palpable, but also served to motivate their actions in the frame. We wanted shots that would allow us to experience time, so that the viewer would also have a chance to feel what they were seeing without being confined to what was happening on the screen.

    Sales
    PYRAMIDE INTERNATIONAL
    Production
    BURNING BLUE

    Press

    A beautifully crafted, leisurely paced portrait.

    Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

    A haunting allegory through painterly compositions.

    Peter Debruge, Variety

    A climax that will have many sniffling in their seats.

    Thomas Humphrey, Cineuropa

    César Acevedo

    César Acevedo

    Colombia

    César Augusto Acevedo (1987, Colombia) graduated from the School of Social Communication of the Universidad del Valle (Cali, Colombia). Since 2006, he has dedicated himself to audiovisual arts, working on various films with the production companies Contravia Films and Burning Blue. He is the co-writer of the script for the feature-length film LOS HONGOS, with Oscar Ruiz Navia. His graduation script for LA ULTIMA SOMBRA DE LOS AGUACATES received a screenwriting and a feature production grant from Colombia's Film Development Fund (FDC) in 2009 and 2013, respectively; the 2013 Cartagena IFF's Encuentros Cartagena prize, the Hubert Bals and Hubert Bals Plus Funds, and Honorable Mention at the II Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum at the San Sebastián Film Festival. This script became his first feature film as a director, LAND AND SHADE, awarded Caméra d'Or at the 2015 Cannes IFF. It was followed by the short WATER STEPS (2016), world premiere at the Cannes' Semaine de la Critique.

    Selected Filmography