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La Jauría competes this weekend with films such as Argentina, 1985 and Utama in the Best Ibero-American Film category at the Spanish Goya Awards. Photo: ©Valiente Gracia.
'La Jauría' competes with the films 'Argentina, 1985' and 'Utama' in the Best Ibero-American Film category at the Spanish Goya Awards. Photo: ©Valiente Gracia.

Hope revived in Ibagué

The Colombian film exposes an acute relationship between adolescence and the father figure. It's nominated at the upcoming Goya Awards.

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Andrés Ramírez Pulido did not choose the department of Tolima to shoot his first feature film. Tolima chose him. That is how the mountainous, naturally seductive and wild-sounding area, nestled in the center-west of Colombia, became the setting for La Jauría.

In the 86-minute film, the director fills a pressing need to portray a generation of young people stalked by violence in Ibagué, the capital of the Colombian region. To do so, he tells the story of Eliú, played by Jhojan Estiven Jiménez, a young man who, besieged by desolation and resentment, decides to murder his own father. But he makes a mistake that takes the life of another man.

The crime gets him sentenced to an experimental rehabilitation center located in the middle of the jungle. Surrounded by other teenagers that committed similar crimes, Eliú tries to escape the ghosts of the past, although his journey is cut short by the unexpected arrival of an old acquaintance: El Mono (Maicol Andrés Jiménez), his best friend and accomplice.

“Making the previous short films (El Edén and Damiana) that I have and the feature film, I have discovered that one of my personal concerns as director is how the father figure influences us as children and adolescents, how he marks our lives, whether it is his love or abandonment, his violence or protection. And before making La Jauría, in the process of making short films, I met boys in prison for different reasons: one of them is for their consumption of psychoactive substances, others for minor crimes, and so I realised that many of them are men who have conflictive relationships with their fathers, who don’t want to know anything, who treat them badly. In that moment, I began to explore why and where this common denominator comes from. By living with them in those spaces and with that question, La Jauría begins the process,” the director told AL DÍA.

Making history at Cannes

Shot in late 2021, and going through a marathon post-production process, the Colombian film debuted in 2022 at one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world at Cannes. The premiere was better than expected — the production won the Grand Prize at the Semaine de la Critique, making Ramírez Pulido the first Colombian director to win the award. At the same festival, La Jauría won the Prix SACD, awarded by the Society of French Authors.

“I think that making a strong film that I was passionate about and taking risky decisions led us to stand out at Cannes,” said the director, still surprised by the great reception of his debut feature in France.

Conquering Spanish cinema

After screening in Melbourne, Jerusalem, Biarritz, San Sebastian and Toronto, the film has been nominated for the Best Ibero-American Film prize at the Goya Awards, presented by the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Colombian feature film will compete against 1976, from Chile; Argentina, 1985, from Argentina; Noche de fuego, from Mexico; and Utama, from Bolivia. The winner will be announced at a gala on Saturday, Feb. 11, in the Spanish city of Seville.

La Jauría is expected to drop in U.S. commercial cinemas and on streaming platforms soon.

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