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Periódico UNAL
A Quixote rides on campus

This noble figure gentleman, immortalized by classic literature wanders the UNal campus, through several sectors of Bogotá and Medellín, although not with his shining armor, with a white lab university professor coat, feeling hazy because of the Colombian conflict and more than once invisibilized by Sancho, his ever-present esquire, that turns into the main character of the story.
 

This is how UNal School of Cinema and Television Professor Libia Stella Gómez, conceives her motion picture, Un tal Alonso Quijano, the third film written and directed by herself with a team of close to 80 students that assumed several roles, from actors to technical staff.
 

It was of hard work to obtain at least part of the funds required for a production of this magnitude, besides installation, recording, the hustling of the shooting, and post-production.

 

Moments such as the death of Manuel José Sierra, the principal actor when some of the last recordings were still left, the resignation of another member of the team, burdened by the pressure of the work and even a police raid during the recording of an 80s narcotrafficking action, were part of this promising film and adventure headed by Gómez with her talented team of students.
 

UN Periódico Digital (UNPD): Why recreate again in film this classic literature story?
 

Libia Stella Gómez (LSG): Because of a professor who taught literature. He always entered class acting as the character of the book he would be presenting. He personified Don Quixote and that piqued my interest, I always wanted to make a film inspired by him.
 

UNPD: What is the most outstanding thing about this production?
 

LSG: That it is made entirely by UNal and Universidad Distrital“Francisco José de Caldas” Bogotá Arts Superior Academy (ASAB) Senior students, a hotbed providing the best and living the best practice of their emerging careers.
 

Read more: Santiago García, goodbye to a great playwright (in Spanish.)
 

UNPD: When did you begin filming this movie?
 

LSG: In 2017, Javier Olarte, a former director of the School invited us to present research projects. We won the bid and started recording this story on campus, where 60% of the story occurs, as it has the best locations. Any student watching the movie will feel the need to study at our institution.
 

UNPD: Where did you obtain funding?
 

LSG: The budget was Col $1,900 million. Most of it was with contributions from the crew (students and I). Also, as most locations were part of the university campus, they were not part of the real cost. However, as we needed funds in cash, we held several internal summonses at UNal and requested funds from the Academic Directorship, the Research Vice-Rectorship Office, the Welfare Division, and the Communication’s Media Unit (Unidad de Medios de Comunicación -Unimedios). Even so, it was still not enough, so we got an important contribution from Dago García Producciones and Caracol Televisión, essential for finishing the film.
 

UNPD: How do you summon students?
 

LSG: The first condition was to get students to assume production. We approached Senior Exler Felipe Puerta, who had production experience. With him and other students such as Diego Gama, who took on the role of cinematographer, and Sebastián Caballero, as executive producer, besides editor, and gaffer, among others, we created the Dream Team.
 

Read more: The Ciudad Universitaria source of architecture and urbanism in Colombia (in Spanish.).
 

UNPD: Was student training enough for them to play their roles?
 

LSG: As they did not have the required experience we designed a strategy that provided good results: we appointed each one a godfather to guide them through the whole process.

UNP: The Quixote on film is very Colombian…
 

LSG: Yes, he is a University professor, influenced by the conflict of the country and in love with a Dulcineia, a humble villager of the classic story, but really, a punk rocker who takes away the dreams of this man, and who decides to take on the lifestyle which makes him seem mad, although in reality, it is just a sophism of distraction to which he hangs on as a manner to evade the reality of violence, we as Colombians endure.
 

UNPD: How did you choose the supporting actors?
 

LSG: I always wanted to make a movie withManuel José Sierra, so I invited him to play the part of Don Quixote, for the role of Sancho (Santos Carrasco, an employee of the Faculty of Veterinarian Sciences) we chose Álvaro Rodríguez; for the rest of the characters we held casting sessions with ASAB students, where Brenda Quiñones, the actress that plays Dulcineia came from. We also invited renowned artists such as Humberto Dorado, Consuelo Luzardo, and Orlando Valenzuela.
 

UNPD: Are you going to hold a sneak preview?

 

LSG: With the coronavirus outbreak we had to postpone our plans, but we have confirmed a virtual preview for July 1st when everybody can watch the movie for free just by going to our social media accounts.
 

https://www.facebook.com/untalalonsoquijano/

https://www.instagram.com/untalalonsoquijano/

https://twitter.com/untalquijano


UNPD: What kind of viewing public are you expecting?
 

LSG: The movie was made for all types of public, but we especially want to reach the new generations, university and school students who can form as spectators of these types of motion pictures. We hope Colombian movies like this one can reach a lot of people; we want to break the low-attendance trend for Colombian movies …
 

This leaves an enormous sense of satisfaction of a high-quality film that will be distributed by   Doc:Co in commercial and experimental as well as University and School movie theaters, besides showing what we can do in Colombia in cinematography. We also want to attract new public and form a more critical viewer different from those that today go to watch commercial movies.

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