Luis Ospina and Carlos Mayolo: Caliwood, a review of the history of Colombian cinema

According to the historians of the national cinema, in Cali the first crank turn of a filming camera took place in 1899. Of the eleven films of the Colombian silent film period, it is reported that five were made in Bogotá, and the rest in the province. The famous Maria, in Buga, Under the Antioquia hill, in Medellín, provincial Soul, in Santander, in Manizales, Condor’s Nest, in Pereira, Kelif’s Loves, in Lebanon.
Luis Ospina, Caleño, 33, who has been ready since last year his feature film Pura sangre, believes that the possible existence of a group of filmmakers from Cali is a myth that was fermented from the existence of the Cali Cineclub and the magazine ” Eye to the cinema », in which his friend the late writer Andrés Caicedo had a lot to do. Anyway, both from the cineclubes caleños and from the publications specialized in cinema, many of those who are today the closest collaborators of Ospina and Carlos Mayolo have emerged.

Ospina, who studied cinema in Los Angeles, has made the assembly of most of Mayolo’s films; and in turn, Mayolo is the main protagonist in Pura sangre, of Ospina. This collaboration at work is twinned with an intimate friendship. It is not uncommon that when asked about Mayolo it is said that he is taking the breeze at five in the afternoon in the living room of Ospina’s apartment. Or that when it is found out by Ospina the signs of the aunt of Mayolo’s estate are given.

Ospina’s next project is to direct a feature film with Mayolo, whose. script are writing between the two, and in which the current problems to make a film in Colombia will be narrated. “It’s an almost autobiographical film, of the genre of black cinema, full of paranoia and murder,” explains Ospina.

Pure blood cost between 16 and 18 million pesos. It was made with one of the special loans granted by Focine. Ospina says that this credit modality is very good for filmmakers but that he does not see very clearly the possibility of recovering the investment made in a feature film. “It would take a global box office of 250 thousand spectators. And, for example, E. T, with all the advertising machinery that is accompanied, will reach about 2 million viewers. The millionaire taxi driver, the highest grossing national film, was watched by one million 600 thousand. people, of which, a million, were taken by fat Benjumea. In addition to this market problem, film producers are not very clear about the issues of distribution and exhibition of their films … «, analyzes Ospina.

Pure blood is based on a myth, “The monster of the mangones”, which moved the caleños several years ago. In the desolate lands of the city, naked bodies of boys appeared for a long time, presenting evidence of having been raped after their blood was spoken. According to popular imagination, a magnate from Cali suffered a strange disease that forced him to replace his corrupted blood with fresh blood. In order not to die, the millionaire had hired a band of antisocials that provided him with the vital liquid.

«Mayolo’s films and mine have to do with vampirism as a form of revelation of power. We see Cali rather as a game that inspires horror. Of course, we see the city fundamentally with a lot of love, but behind this trivial, everyday sensation, elements that generate horror are discovered. In addition, I am interested in the criminal underworld, its language, the drug … «, says Ospina.

Osplna is also an admirer of the cinematic genre of horror movies. But also among his favorite directors are some of the North American filmmakers of the 40s and 50s, such as Nicholas Ray, and Jaques Torneur, and the Spanish Luis Buñuel, who says Ospina “it is worth following his path, which reveals an original way of showing our reality. “

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