Angélica Restrepo is a Colombian filmmaker who graduated from the School of Film and Television of the National University of Colombia. Her work oscillates between new media and art direction. Her most recent work. “All my Scars Vanish in the Wind,” had its world premiere in competition at the Annecy International Animation Festival and won a Jury Special Mention at the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma Montréal. She was also part of the Art Department of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s film “Memoria.”
Carlos Velandia is a film programmer and filmmaker whose work focuses on the cultural impact of hegemonic audiovisual language. He has been invited as a curator and jury member at events such as the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma (Montreal, Canada) and the Bogotá International Film Festival; he has been selected as an Emerging Latin American Film Programmer by the Locarno Film Festival (Industry Academy International – 2020) and by Talents Buenos Aires (2021). His work as a filmmaker has been showcased in festivals such as Annecy International Animation Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, Vienna Shorts and has won the Silver Lynx Experimental Award at FEST – New Directors | New Films.
At this year’s Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, Tara Karajica talks to Angélica Restrepo and Carlos Velandia about their short film “All My Scars Vanish in the Wind,” that screened in the International Competition of the festival, their opinion of the short form what they are up to next.
What made you want to become filmmakers?
Carlos Velandia & Angélica Restrepo: What made us want to become filmmakers was, in the case of Angélica, to find a discipline in which she could combine creative writing processes with photography; in the case of Carlos, it was to recognize in cinema the possibility to share sensations and emotions with others, to inhabit feelings collectively.
How did All My Scars Vanish in the Wind come about?
C.V. & A.R.: This film was born from daily conversations between Angélica and her mother and from Angélica’s need to honor many of the memories that her mother told her. From this, we carried out a research-creation process on how to represent memory, within the framework of Angélica’s undergraduate thesis, and the idea of condensing all of this into a short film was conceived.
Can you talk about the title of the film?
C.V. & A.R.: On a personal note, we are fans of long and poetic titles, so we were in search of a title that would capture both the idea of wounds from the past that are healed and the visual universe of the piece. We spent a long time, almost until the end of post-production, without a definitive title.
While editing the film’s background sound, we found the presence of the wind as a driving force of the short film and recognized in it a poetic element that connects the sensorial experience of the work with the feelings that inhabit the stories and spaces we witness in the film. So at this point, several ideas connected and we decided to name the film “All my Scars Vanish in the Wind.”
The film explores our inner rests of traumas, childhood as well as our care to overcome them, heal and maybe even accept the scars, a sort of self-care, especially relevant today and in the day and age we live in. It is almost poetic. Isn’t it? Can you comment on that? And how the title suggests the reset button?
C.V. & A.R.: We had two key ideas in the development of the film: on the one hand, the notion that there are wounds from the past, mainly from our own childhood, that we carry throughout our lives and, on the other, the idea that by healing oneself one is also healing wounds from one’s entire family tree.
We think that beyond suggesting a “reset button,” we understand the title as a way to recognize the wounds that are still open and to be able to choose what to do with them. Healing does not necessarily mean starting over, it can also mean moving forward by slightly changing course.
Can you talk about the film’s aesthetic?
C.V. & A.R.: The main axis of the film’s aesthetic exploration is to evoke the experience of remembering. We understand memory as a diffuse territory in which we abstract the spaces we once inhabited and in which it is possible to get lost and also find ourselves. In order to work with this territory, we decided to work with 3D scans of real spaces, which we used as a base to program particle systems in the Unity video game engine, where we allowed ourselves to explore artistic possibilities with color, animation and camera work. Likewise, these notions of the diffuse and ambiguous nature of memory are also present in elements such as text and sound, which do not seek to give narrative clarity, but to evoke a latent universe about to disappear.
Can you talk about your collaboration and working together? What inspires your films?
C.V. & A.R.: We collaborate in a horizontal way in which we are both co-directors and co-producers of our works, which go beyond film production and include installations and expanded audiovisuals. Today, we are united by an interest in finding our own production workflow that adapts to our filmmaking conditions in Colombia, the country where we reside, and also an interest in themes such as intersectional feminism, ecology and anti-colonial thought.
How do you see the short form today? How is it in Colombia?
C.V. & A.R.: Many of the most interesting things in filmmaking are happening in short films. The economic and creative freedom that inhabits this art form allows for greater risks in all directions, from live action fiction to experimental animated documentaries.
Colombia has had, especially in recent decades, great names of short fiction filmmakers who have gone on to direct successful feature films. In recent years, we believe that a new generation of young filmmakers has been consolidating short films that are much riskier conceptually and technically and are working in the fields of non-fiction, experimental cinema and performance and are renewing the country’s cinematographic discourse one short film at a time.
What are your next projects?
C.V. & A.R.: We are currently working on expanded audiovisual projects, such as computer applications, virtual reality and dome experiences with an ecological and anti-colonial perspective. This year, we have already had the premiere of one of these works at the Cinemateca de Bogotá and we hope to be able to launch all the others during the next year.