In the 2000s, two workshops are set up and led to the creation of Varan Colombia.
In 2000, an initial experience took place at Bogotá’s National University, with the support of the «Fondo Mixto de Cinematografia», the Ministry of Culture and the Bogotá City Council. The 12 participants, who all came from different social and cultural backgrounds, drew the composite portrait of a highly compartmentalised city. Some of these films were nominated in a number of international festivals. In 2002, an advanced course took place with the same participants which resulted in the production of 4 films and the setting up of Varan Colombia, an association still active today.
These two training courses took place in a country torn apart by civil war, with a cinema industry still in its infancy for which there were as yet few sources of funding for producing feature films and almost none at all for documentaries, apart from that coming from national television. At the time what was needed were images other than those to be seen on the national media but also to be able to tell stories that were not necessarily what was wanted by international show-cases, where the main financiers of Colombian films were to be found and who had an often caricatural vision of the country and the conflict it was undergoing.
In 2013, the Univalle University of Cali created a Varan workshop for the 5th edition of their Master in Documentary Film Writing. We organised a training course lasting 7 weeks with 10 trainees and a common subject: the body. Several films were selected to take part in festivals and all the trainees are still involved in making films in a city that has become a centre for filmmaking with Colombian cinema booming.
The documentary in your own home
Find out about new films by sifting through our media library to find all the films made in our workshops since 1978.