Rubén Mendoza / 90’ / 2017 / Colombia

Direction: Rubén Mendoza
Production: Amanda Sarmiento, Rubén Mendoza
Script: Rubén Mendoza
Editing: Gustavo Vasco, Juan David Soto, Rubén Mendoza
Cinematography: Rubén Mendoza
Sound: Isabel Torres, Rubén Mendoza

Boavita is a peasant town, conservative and Catholic, embedded in the Andes and frozen in time: María Luisa lives among the foothills of its mountains. She is 45 years old and was born as a boy. What seemed to be just another life submerged in the conflicts of gender and identity, hides a bitter and unimaginable family history, steeped in hatred from its deepest roots, whose scapegoat has been María Luisa, since before she even came into the world. But her strength comes from those same forces and from that of the animals and the mountain. There has been no darkness capable of causing her to fall or be hidden. From the cradle, from the womb, all the horror of the countryside and the morality of Colombia have only multiplied the strength of a solitary and secluded being. In her secrets, in her love for animals, in the labyrinth of her faith, she has found ways to cope in a world that has done nothing but despise her for reasons that have nothing to do with her, but which nevertheless claim her as their first victim. But María Luisa is as strong as an ear of wheat: the earthquakes do not trouble her and although she has experienced the full range of sadness, none of it has the strength to exhaust her tears or take away her smile

RUBÉN MENDOZA, representative of the camera. He has filmed more than 8 short films, as a scriptwriter and director. He was the editor of Luis Ospina’s two penultimate films. Luis Ospina in turn collaborated in the editing of La sociedad del semáforo / The stoplight society, the first feature film that Rubén Mendoza wrote and directed. In 2014 he released two new fiction feature films, Tierra en la lengua / Dust on the tongue and Memorias del calavero / Memories of a vagabond. In 2015 he released the documentary El valle sin sombras (The shadowless valley). His short and feature-length films have been in the Official Selection and won prizes and funds in more than 40 festivals worldwide, including Cannes, Cartagena, Berlin, Clermont-Ferrand, Toulouse, Huelva, Huesca, Beijing, Havana, Mar del Plata, and his scripts and films have also won him prizes, scholarships and funds from festivals such as Cannes, Berlin, FonSud (from the Ministry of Culture of France), together with other renowned film bursaries. His three new projects have been awarded production and editing prizes in Colombia and abroad. At the very start of 2017, a 6-year process was completed with the release of the documentary Señorita María, la falda de la montaña. His project Niña errante / Wandering girl won the Estímulo Integral, the highest public prize awarded in Colombia for the making of a film. It is currently a work in progress.