Special World Premieres, Sold-Out Theaters, Nearly 2500 Students Attend Films for Free, and Venezuelan Film ‘Mi tia Gilma’ Wins the Yellow Robin Award

Willemstad, April 15, 2024 – Last week, the tenth edition of the Curaçao International Film Festival took place. The five-day festival concluded successfully on Sunday, with the organizers reflecting on an extraordinary edition. The local and regional programming was exceptionally well-received by audiences and proved to be surprisingly diverse. With more than ten sold-out theaters within the ‘Caribbean Focus’ and six world premieres, this section of the festival was definitely a highlight. Additionally, the festival award, the Yellow Robin, went to a film from one of our neighboring countries, Venezuela. The Venezuelan film ‘Mi tia Gilma’ was declared the winner.

Some highlights of the festival:

This year, the Yellow Robin Award was presented to the extraordinary feature film debut of Alexandra Henao, ‘Mi tia Gilma’. Set on the brink of a revolution, the film intimately portrays the love and care between a girl and her aunt who is hospitalized due to domestic violence. “The film features two strong female roles and an impressive combination of staged and covertly shot footage,” the jury stated. They continued, “The magical realist elements add an extra dimension to the film, serving as a beautiful metaphor for a country that is itself on life support.” In addition to the award, ‘Mi tia Gilma’ received a cash prize of $5,000 and will also be showcased at the Morelia Film Festival in Mexico and Film by the Sea in the Netherlands.

Due to the high quality of the films nominated for the Yellow Robin Award, it was challenging to select a winner. Therefore, a special mention was given to ‘Memento Mori’ by Fernando Lopez Cardona. The jury, consisting of Jan Doense, director of Film by the Sea; Ailsa Anastatia, an established artist in Curaçao; and Sinuhe Oomen, a professional in culture and design and government counsel for the creative industry in Curaçao, was impressed by the film’s complex narrative structure that poetically interweaves various realities.

The documentary ‘Nomad in No Man’s Land’ about local artist Felix de Rooy had its world premiere at the festival. Hester Jonkhout explores the motivation behind the artist’s versatility, his dealing with the unpredictability of life, and the consequences of a stroke in 2021. The film had three screenings at the festival after two quickly sold-out showings and was received with a standing ovation.

The world premiere of the Curaçaoan production “Roba Alma” last Thursday at the festival was a special moment. The authentic Curaçao setting of Boca Sami served as the backdrop. The unique film work and production turned this short film into a true work of art. With both the production crew and actors present in the theater, visitors were given a unique insight into the making of the film, which was enthusiastically received.

Education Program:
For the tenth edition, nearly 2500 students (both elementary and high school) were able to attend free film screenings at The Movies in Otrobanda. Prior to the screenings, the corresponding educational program was discussed in schools.

Moments – Youth Program:
Over the past five months, Anja van Bergen, along with a group of students, produced a film for the festival, titled ‘Barbershop’. This production, made entirely with smartphones, is about the life of Shandra Lanoy, who also wrote the screenplay and story. The film was very well received, both in the educational program and in the main program of the festival.

The organizers look back on a special edition, fully produced by a local team, which more than ever involved the local community and showcased the thriving film industry in Curaçao. We thank all visitors for their attendance and look forward to the next festival in 2025, for which preparations have already started.


For more information about this press release, please contact:
Percy Pinedo via percy.pinedo@gmail.com.

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