Development Cooperation Handbook/The video resources linked to this handbook/The Documentary Story/Colombia 1 – Preproduction

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Colombia 1 - Preproduction


Armadilla had strong contacts with an NGO in Nicaragua. But before deciding to go there I wanted to have a wider view of the context in Latina America. So I decided to go first to Colombia. I was not yet thinking that we would have covered stories also from Colombia.

My first impression of Bogota’ was not very good. Too vast. Too impersonal. Marco, the friend at whose house I was staying, was living near the airport, far away from the old city centre. When he took me around I just sow residential areas and shopping centers. It was only when I decided to rent a car and move alone in smaller towns that I started to get the flavor of country.

I always wanted to see South America. But my love for Asia had taken me always back there each time I could effort a journey. And my professional assignments kept me going again there, where I had more expertise. I had started renouncing to the Idea that South America would have ever been a part of my life, until this journey. As I started moving in the small towns of Central Colombia, and then again in and the narrow lanes of Candelaria in old Bogota’ I felt that that is the place that now has something to teach me; something that take that would have balanced my world understanding after so many years of learning and working in South Asia. And that we really needed to include that in the documentary story.

So I renewed my efforts to get in touch with the local authorities to cover social projects in Colombia. The response was formidable. Bibiana who was in charge of social projects at the Alcandia of Bogota’ opened for the door and her colleagues had been so kind and open that they won me over. I decided I would have tried my best to convince the Armadilla colleagues to cover stories from Colombia. Francesco was with me on that, but we still needed to convince the colleagues of Armadilla, who would have preferred to save money by cutting down one of the four planned locations.

I liked Nicaragua also, but not Managua. The people I met them were very friendly, but I did not get any story as powerful as those I could get in Colombia. I decided that anyway we will cover both the countries. But later on the additional time that I spent in Syria drowned the budget and I had to renounce to Nicaragua, where I still have an open appointment with myself. I will go there again as soon as the main editing of the documentary will be over. Hopefully with some money of the initial distribution of the documentary done. Or even without the money yet, just to try to see if a new project could start from there. It is a promise I made to return there that I hope I will be able to fulfill.


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