Colombian film makes US Oscar award history

World Today

This year’s Academy Awards in the U.S. are making history even before the envelopes have been opened. For the first time, Colombia has a film nominated for an Oscar.

“Embrace of the Serpent” wears the ‘Made in Colombia’ tag proudly, with not only its director from Colombia, but also the movie was based and filmed in Colombia.

CCTV America’s Michelle Begue reports from Colombia.

Colombian film makes US Oscar award history

This year's Academy Awards in the U.S. are making history even before the envelopes have been opened. For the first time, Colombia has a film nominated for an Oscar."Embrace of the Serpent" wears the 'Made in Colombia' tag proudly, with not only its director from Colombia, but also the movie was based and filmed in Colombia. CCTV America's Michelle Begue reports from Colombia.Set in the Amazon jungle, "Embrace of the Serpent", tells the story of an Amazonian shaman or indigenous spiritual healer, and his relationship with two scientists from Europe over the course of 40 years. Together, they search the Amazon for a sacred plant. The film by 34-year-old Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra is inspired by real life accounts of ethno-botanist Richard Evans Schultes, one of the first to study how indigenous tribes used hallucinogenic plants, such as Ayahuasca. Through the black and white film, Guerra pays tribute to the cultures and civilizations of the Amazon rain forest. Shot in Colombia's Amazon rain forest with native actors, Guerra spent three months teaching them about acting and movie making before shooting the scenes. He acknowledges he learned much more from them. This is Ciro Guerra's third film, and it has already won international praise, including the top honor at the Cannes Film Festival, with the Directors' Fortnight Prize. If Embrace of the Serpent wins the Foreign Film Oscar, it will be the first Colombian film ever to do so.

Set in the Amazon jungle, “Embrace of the Serpent”, tells the story of an Amazonian shaman or indigenous spiritual healer, and his relationship with two scientists from Europe over the course of 40 years.
Together, they search the Amazon for a sacred plant.

The film by 34-year-old Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra is inspired by real life accounts of ethno-botanist Richard Evans Schultes, one of the first to study how indigenous tribes used hallucinogenic plants, such as Ayahuasca.
Through the black and white film, Guerra pays tribute to the cultures and civilizations of the Amazon rain forest.

Shot in Colombia’s Amazon rain forest with native actors, Guerra spent three months teaching them about acting and movie making before shooting the scenes. He acknowledges he learned much more from them.

This is Ciro Guerra’s third film, and it has already won international praise, including the top honor at the Cannes Film Festival, with the Directors’ Fortnight Prize.

If Embrace of the Serpent wins the Foreign Film Oscar, it will be the first Colombian film ever to do so.