We are extremely proud of Ciro Guerra’s incredible Amazonian odyssey, the Academy Award® nominated EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT. The film is Colombia’s first ever Academy Award® nominee, and competed against such notable films as SON OF SAUL (Hungary) and MUSTANG (France).
At once blistering and poetic, the ravages of colonialism cast a dark shadow over the South American landscape in EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT, the first film shot in the Amazonian rainforest in over 30 years. Filmed in stunning black-and-white, the film centers on Karamakate (portrayed in various stages by Nilbio Torres and Antonio Bolívar Salvado), an Amazonian shaman and the last survivor of his people, and the two scientists (Evan and Theo, portrayed by Brionne Davis and Jan Bijvoet) who, over the course of 40 years, build a friendship with him. The film was inspired by the real-life journals of two explorers (Theodor Koch-Grünberg and Richard Evans Schultes) who traveled through the Colombian Amazon during the last century in search of the sacred and difficult-to-find psychedelic Yakruna plant.
EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight section of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, where it was awarded the top prize, the CIACE Art Cinema Award, and also played at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, AFI Fest 2015 and the 2016 Palm Springs International Film Festival. The film also screened in the Spotlight section of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, where it was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Prize. EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT was awarded the Golden Astor at the 2015 Mar Del Plata International Film Festival, and is nominated for the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Award for Best International Film. In addition, it recently won eight Macondo awards, Colombia’s equivalent of the Academy Awards®, including Best Film and Best Director, and filmmaker Ciro Guerra was named by Variety as one of Ten Directors to Watch in 2016.