Cartagena Film Festival: Films, culture and magical sabrosura

Cartagena Film Festival

Cortesy of Luz Adriana Villa


The walled city of Cartagena is the warm and tropical setting of the International Cartagena Film Festival. This annual film festival presents the very best of regional and global cinema to audiences who soak up its sabrosura.

The International Cartagena Film Festival (Festival Internacional de Cine de Cartagena de Indias or FICCI in Spanish) comes to the streets of Colombia’s most romantic city as it celebrates the success of global cinema.

Audiences from across the world come together every March to watch and discuss the films showcased in the festival and enjoy a unique vacation in this warm and welcoming destination which is the perfect example of Colombian sabrosura.

Even though this international festival was founded to promote and support edgy and upcoming Colombian and Latin American films and short films, several Best Film awards have been won by movies from countries such as France, Italy, Japan, Portugal, the Netherlands and the United States of America.

Big screen devotees find themselves returning to Latin America’s longest-running film festival again and again and film buffs have declared Cartagena de Indias their firm favorite since 1960, when actress Rita Hayworth soaked up the atmosphere of the walled city’s flower-filled streets.

Since then, movie stars such as Jack Nicholson, Susan Sarandon and Bernardo Bertolucci have relaxed on Cartagena beaches and savored the city’s food and nightlife, while scouting the very best of Latin America’s talent.

Visitors to this world-renowned film festival delight in savoring everything this tropical gem of a city has to offer, from the warmth, friendliness and welcoming spirit of its people, to the fresh fish and regional delicacies that are key ingredients in its cuisine.

Cartagena’s beaches are the place to recharge and prepare for a night in town, when the great and good of world cinema converge on the colonial city’s streets, enjoying its glitzy bars and restaurants and learning about the history of this fascinating place.

Juries at the Cartagena Film Festival, which represent a wealth of experience with their diverse range of passions and interests, award prizes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in categories such as Fiction, Documentary, Short Films, New Creators, Gems and Colombian Cinema.

They are particularly keen to support the international reach of Colombian films and filmmakers, as well as their regional and international counterparts. Past winners have included Colombian filmmaker Víctor Gaviria, who won Cartagena de Indias’ Best Film prize for Additions and Subtractions in 2005.

As an international festival, Cartagena is the destination of choice for many filmmakers who wish to make it the scene of their movie’s world premiere too. Cartagena Film Festival audiences have enjoyed films such as José Luis Rugeles’ Alias María and Rubén Mendoza’s Miss Mariá: Skirting the Mountain when they were shared with the world for the first time.

Discovering new films and filmmakers with a bold vision for this much-loved genre is a great reason to attend the Cartagena Film Festival. But there are so many things to do in Cartagena, from strolling its fortress walls, feasting on its cuisine and absorbing its culture. This is why this tropical city is more magical than any movie.

For tickets, screenings and other information on the International Cartagena Film Festival visit