What at times can be challenging to express in words, film director Tora Mårtens manages to convey through her films. With an ability to document the depth of regular people beautifully- in all their profundity, complexity, defects and flaws – Mårtens succeeds to produce yet another feature documentary that engages and touches the viewer on so many emotional levels. Colombianos is her latest production, and is a story of two brothers’ journey and attempt for a better life.

Sthlm-based film director Tora Mårtens, is Sweden’s’ most promising filmmaker to keep an eye on right now. She’s directed and produced a slew of documentaries from around the globe, commonly known for documentaries such as Till Maria (2010), Dirty Diaries (2009) and Martha & Niki (2012). Previously awarded the Interfilm Berlin ZDF Award for her renowned work on Bye Bye C’est Fini (2009) and the winner of Best LGBT Film at the 47th Ann Arbor Film for Tommy (2007). She’s currently nominated for the Tempo Documentary Award for Colombianos, which is Sweden’s biggest contest for swedish long-film documentaries (minimum of 50 minutes) arranged in collaboration with the Swedish Film Institute (Svenska Filminstitutet) and Stockholms stad.

What’s Colombianos about?

It’s about how much one could do to help a person in need, how much you could help a member of the family who’s in need, and also how to find one’s own way in life. But, it mainly focuses on how much you actually could help a person to become drug-free, which is a very difficult matter. The story portrays three different characters, with different perspectives regarding Fernando’s fate. It’s an eternal triangle drama covering three separate points of view- there’s Pablo, Fernando and their mother Olga. All telling their side of the story, equally important to the plot. I’ve followed them separately and together. Fernando, wants to find his own way, and doesn’t necessarily want anybody to show him ‘the right’ way. Pablo- who’s always been a bit of a father to him, is in charge and gives Fernando directions. For e.g, Pablo wanted Fernando to follow a schedule and act firmly. At first, Fernando followed his advice, but later he just had enough. It’s the contrast of that conflict that the film displays, but also the matter of becoming an adult, to try to find your own path in life, and to make it there single-handedly.

How did the idea for Colombianos come about?

Pablo, one of my best friends, had moved to Colombia to become a doctor, he decided that his younger brother Fernando should visit him and stay with him, and to basically save him from all the shit he was involved in back in Sweden- the drug abuse and addiction to pills. The idea came from how they are with each other- brothers that have each others’ backs. There’s just something very powerful about that. That brotherly love is very profound and limitless, and highly expressed when experiencing a meltdown. My vision when making the film was very much about their close relationship. The relationship they have, and the way they interact- it’s so inspirational to me, and that’s basically the core of the film. So, I began to document and follow their journey. We shot in both Stockholm, Sweden and Medellín, Colombia, in total the film took 4 years to complete.

What do you hope people take away from this film?

How people actually fight for each other, it’s important that that comes across to the viewers, and hopefully that it also inspires. There are also more profound themes in the film that I want to convey, but I want people to make their own interpretations.

So, finally what awaits after the Tempo Festival?

Our coming goal for Colombianos is to have a cinema release, and to send the film to various film festivals worldwide. Because, it’s an international film, not necessarily bound only to Sweden, it’s a topic that’s global, and concerns everyone. The film portrays family relations that are applicable to everyone.

Colombianos (2012) is showing at the 13th Tempo Documentary Festival in Stockholm, this coming Friday at 18:00  at Victoria 1. Including thedirector’s visit.

Tora Mårtens will also be featured in Show & Tell tonight, to talk about Colombianos.

Thursday 8th of March at Pet Sounds Bar 18:30 until 20:30

Click here for more details on the event




PRODRODUCER: Antonio Russo Merenda


EDITOR: Tora Mårtens


MUSIC: Andreas Unge

SOUND DESIGN: Micke Nyström


PRODUCTION: Hysteria Film

With the support of:
Swedish Film Institute.
SVT (Sweden).
YLE (Finland).
Film Stockholm/Filmbasen (Sweden).
The Swedish Arts Grants Committee.
Finnish Film Foundation.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Finland).
Nordic Film & TV Fund (Norway).

In co-production with:

Made Oy (Finland),

Ulla Simonen

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