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THE FIRST EDITION OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY FILM FESTIVAL HISTORIAS EN KILÓMETROS – SERRANÍA DEL PERIJÁ ARRIVES

Film festivals are plentiful, but today we’re discussing a different one. Let’s talk about a festival that embodies a commitment to peace processes, seeks to achieve intangible reparation through community cinema, and will promote reconciliation processes so that new generations can dream of a dignified future. The first edition of the International Community Film Festival HEK SERRANÍA DEL PERIJÁ (FICC-HEK SERRANÍA DEL PERIJÁ) is born from the collaborative efforts of the community cinema lab Historias en Kilómetros (HEK), the communications collective La Rotativa (based in Tierra Grata), and the EUNIC-Colombia cluster.
 
The project has been one of the eight winners of the European Spaces of Culture 2022 call, promoted by EUNIC Global (a network of National Institutes of Culture of the European Union). In Colombia, the cluster consists of 10 European embassies and cultural organizations, under the leadership since 2021 and presidency since 2022 of the Embassy of Spain, and it is the only selection from the entire American continent. 
 
This community cinema celebration will be held from November 11 to 13, 2023, at the former ETCR (Territorial Space for Training and Reincorporation) in the village of Tierra Grata, Cesar, 12 kilometers from Valledupar, at the foot of the Serranía del Perijá. The festival’s venue was one of the 24 ETCRs that emerged in Colombia after the signing of the Peace Agreement between the former FARC-EP and the State, conceived as spaces where the peace signatories arrived to lay down their arms and begin their process of reincorporation into civilian life.
 
Under the theme: “Three days. Three acts. Our utopia,” the program weaves a narrative about the past, present, and future of peacebuilding processes: what we were, what we are, and what we will be. The festival will feature workshops, panels, and an official competition of community short and feature films on both national and international levels. 
 
The curation process for the films included in the festival has called for community productions from around the world that highlight the voices of marginalized communities affected by various forms of violence and discrimination. The jury is composed of Colombians Yakelin Yajure (peace signatory and leader from Tierra Grata), Sarah Luna (peace signatory artist), and Alirio González (educator and artist with experience working with children), Spanish filmmaker Raquel Gómez-Rosado, and Italian filmmaker Flavia Montini. They are all filmmakers, social leaders, and artists.
 
The competition categories are:
  • Peace, Memory, and Reconciliation
    • Best National Short Film
    • Best National Feature Film
    • Best International Production
  • Beyond the Stigma
    • Best National and International Short Film
    • Best National and International Feature Film
  • Cinema-Memory for Girls and Boys
    • Best National and International Short Film
Additionally, the festival aims to boost the local economy by organizing a fair featuring artisanal and gastronomic enterprises led by women and coordinated by the Tierra Grata Gender Committee. “The festival will strengthen integration and reconciliation with many people, including us women, who work in different roles in peacebuilding. We have leadership capabilities, generate trust, resolve conflicts, and engage in community organization. This festival will be a space where we can meet and exchange experiences, but also discuss our struggle as women,” explains Yakelin Yajure, leader of Tierra Grata.
 
 
 
Day 1 / November 11 / What We Were
 
LThe first day will focus on peace processes, memory, and reconciliation in Colombia and around the world. It will feature film screenings, tours of the former ETCR in Tierra Grata, and the panel “Women in Peace Processes in Colombia and the World”, with participants including Senator and peace signatory Sandra Ramírez; peace signatory and Tierra Grata leader Yakelin Yajure; women’s rights activist and Northern Ireland peace process participant Bronagh Hinds; and moderated by Alejandra Miller, General Director of the Agency for Reincorporation and Normalization.
 
 
Day 2 / November 12 / What We Are
 
On the second day, we will explore how communities are built and how community cinema is produced. The day will include screenings of films that break stigmas and stereotypes, and workshops on community cinema production led by Spanish filmmaker Raquel Gómez-Rosado, Italian filmmaker Flavia Montini, and Austrian-Iranian filmmaker Arman T Riahi.
 
The day will also feature the launch of the documentary series Somos Historias, produced by HEK and the community production companies Marea Producciones (Tumaco, Nariño), Chaiñakova Producciones (Florencia, Caquetá), La Rotativa (Tierra Grata, Cesar), Cocosur (Ibagué, Tolima), Apua Producciones (Mitú, Vaupés), Milla 45 (San Martín, Cesar), and Sinú Audiovisual (Lorica, Córdoba). The series, which showcases cultural resistance to armed conflict, will be launched with representatives from these teams, who now carry on the legacy of the Truth Commission.
 
 
Day 3 / November 13 / What We Will Be
 
The third and final act will focus on new generations and the dream of a dignified home. The program will include screenings of community children’s films and a filmmaking workshop for children, led by educator and artist Alirio González. Additionally, the panel “Cultural Processes for Non-Repetition of Conflict” will take place, featuring Sarah Luna (peace signatory artist), Alirio González, Yaletson Ayala (educator), Cana Bilir-Meier (Turkish-German artist), and moderated by Vanessa Cuervo (impact production expert). 

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