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Mompox Independent Cinema Festival: In August Colombia’s Original Colonial Town Hosts Film Festival

In an attempt to recreate and re-establish Mompox as one of the principal cultural centres alongside Cartagena, on the Colombian Caribbean coast, a young and driven team has chosen this town with its UNESCO recognised colonial centre to be the seat of a new independent film festival.

The Mompox Independent Cinema Festival is a cinematic project with high designs and according to the creators such as Juan Ensuncho Barcena, one with far reaching connotations spanning from the social, political and democratic. Since its conception in 2008 it is safe to say that the Festival has already gained something of a cult following.

Founded in 2008 this cinematic project aims to combine social, political and democratic themes and encourages directors and cinephiles from America and Europe to submit or attend this unique festival.

Mompox, Tierra de Dios

Mompox (often spelt Mompos), founded in 1540 along the banks of the Magdalena River is central to the Garciamarquian heartbeat of Colombia, the history of Bolivar and the cultural identity of Colombia as a whole. Simon Bolivar, the liberator of Northern South America, raised an army of 400 Momposinos to accompany him on the siege of Caracas, and it was the town of Mompox that was the first place in Colombia in 1810 to declare absolute independence from Spain. In contemporary times Mompox, with the alterations in the river and subsequent isolation of the town has gained a certain fame amongst literary enthusiasts for perhaps representing the Macondo of Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Mompox Independent Cinema Festival

For the aforementioned reasons of former glories as a centre for cultural appreciation and learning, Juan Ensuncho Barcena, Director of the Festival de Cine Independiente de Mompox (Mompox Independent Film Festival) chose this town as the seat for this cultural event.

“In our first year (2008) we estimate that some 5000 people attended the various functions and screenings that were set up in Mompox and since the town is so iconic, it provides us with so much potential for a festival of this type, one which is free and held in the open air amongst the architectural wonders of the colonial town.

“The very symbol of the Festival de Cine Independiente de Mompox,” says Barcena, “is the symbol of freedom, of, La Libertad. After all, it was here that the first statue of liberty was placed in the Americas, 12 years before that in New York, and this is the spirit we are trying to evoke.”

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