JARDIN, ANTIOQUIA, JULY 22 – The Jardin film had its third successful run this weekend, starting on Friday 19 and ending Sunday 22. The town was visited by Antioquian Governor Luis Pérez Gutiérrez, who attended to announce various infrastructure projects. He wishes to further develop the municipality, and support indigenous communities in the region.
Organized by international film director Victor Gaviria, the festival was visited by around 10,000 tourists. Jardin, the second municipality in Colombia to be certified as a tourist center in 2016, was full of film-goers from all over the world. The themes of this year’s event were aimed at self-criticizing democracy in Colombia, while educating locals about the ideology.
“We have to learn once more what democracy is. After the National Front, drug trafficking, paramilitaries and the guerrilla, the concept of being a citizen has practically disappeared,” said Gaviria in an interview with El Colombiano.
The town, which boasts colorful houses and stunning mountain views, had screenings peppered throughout its streets. Other films and documentaries were projected inside the culture house, with Q&A sessions which followed with the producers.
Violeta Álvarez, a local hostel-owner, said that “the topic of this festival is important. People need to be able to self-criticize and understand the faults in our democracy, and the violence which sometimes comes as a result. Corruption is everywhere, and we need to raise awareness.”
Memoria De Los Silenciados: El Baile Rojo was a documentary, about the genocide of almost every member of La Union Patriotica, a left-wing group of socialists. The director, Bogotá national Yezid Campos, expressed the relevance of the 2003 documentary even in today’s events. This is in regards to the recent murders of social leaders in Colombia.
William Enrique Rendon Agudelo, mayor of Jardin, is looking to tourism to help make the town’s economy more dynamic and to create a sustainable industry. “The entire town opens its doors to accommodate tourists in these high seasons,” he said, “This gives nourishment to the economy of Jardin, helping it become more sustainable and permanent.”
Antioquian Governor Luis Pérez Gutiérrez’s helicopter landed in the municipality on Saturday morning, and he showed his support for the indigenous community by announcing the funding of multiple projects, one of which is the construction of more paved roads.
“The times of governors standing on balconies and saluting the people are over,” said Governor Gutiérrez, “we need governors who are close to the town, and who know the problems of the people.”
The governor had previously approved 500 million pesos for the construction of the main park, of which he called “one of the most beautiful parks in the country,” and confirmed the approval of an extra 400 million to complete the project.
With a growing tourist market, 45 percent of which is foreign, Jardin is becoming one of the top destinations in Antioquia. Mayor Agudelo emphasized the major infrastructural developments that Governor Gutiérrez aided with in recent years. El Puente De Serranías, a bridge that connects two valleys and facilitates the transportation is among the completed works. The most recent project is a fully restored theatre a few blocks from the town center, due for completion in October 2018.
Reporting by Luca Tofan.