IDFA: Colombia’s Carmen Torres’ Talks IDFA Doc ‘Dawn’

Variety | 11/18/2018 | Jamie Lang
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First-time feature director Carmen Torres follows up the domestic premiere of her autobiographical documentary “Dawn” at this year’s Cartagena Intl. Film Festival in Colombia (FICCI) with a European premiere at the 2018 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA).

Addressing head on the question of nature versus nature, Torres tracks down her biological mother to ask why she gave her up for adoption, and reflects on the relationship she had with her adoptive mother before her untimely death when Torres was only 13 years old. Across oceans and continents, Torres looks to answer deeply personal questions that turn out to be entirely universal: Questions of family, history and identity.

Film - Co-production - Señal - Colombia - Spain

The film is a co-production between Señal Colombia and Spain’s Playtime Audiovisuales, and was selected as this year’s best Colombian film at Cartagena.

Torres talked with Variety ahead of IDFA about sharing her story, meeting her biological mother and confronting the truth that was hidden from her most of her life.

Point - Search - Filming

At what point in your search did you decide to start filming?

I’ve been filming what’s happening to me for years. It’s like I take notes of what catches my attention, trying to keep it with me. When I first decided to go and look for Jacinta, I took some photos and filmed moments that seemed important to me at that moment. The next time I went I brought a video camera, but the filming was really an excuse to be there. Then, I needed a year before seeing what I had filmed, because that second meeting with Jacinta provoked mixed feelings. It was in that viewing that I realized I wanted to make the film relating the encounter to the images I collected over the ten years prior.

Benefit - Hindsight - Film - Mean

With the benefit of hindsight, what does this film mean to you now?

I went to look for my...
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