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"La Chambre d’ombres" by Camilo Restrepo to particulate in the Works-in-Progress section at Cinéma du réel

The project, which was developed at Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola, comprises a publication and a feature film that is currently in postproduction. The two productions trace a pathway through works of art, films, books and photographs that aims to question the impact of representation on reality.

Image from "La Chambre d'ombres"

The International Documentary Film Festival Cinéma du réel will be premièring La Chambre d’ombres (The Room of Shadows), a project by the Colombian director Camilo Restrepo (Medellin, 1975) that was developed in response to an invitation by Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola.

The session in which the film will be screened will take place on 27 March at the Pompidou Centre (Paris) and will be attended by schedulers from festivals, streaming platforms and TV networks, sales agents, distributors and exhibitors. It will be located in the framework of the ParisDOC Works-in-Progress section of the festival, which aims to provide filmmakers with support and guidance during the final development and distribution of their works.

One of the six works due to participate in the 2024 festival programme will win a postproduction grant to help with sound mixing or colour grading. La Chambre d’ombres was produced by 5à7 Films with support from Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola.

A film and a publication

La Chambre d’ombres is a unique project that comprises a publication and a film of the same name. The idea stems from a seminar given by Camilo Restrepo to EQZE students during the 2019-2020 Academic Year. After the end of the seminar, the filmmaker was invited by the school to produce a work linked to the theme of the workshop, which was to question the context in which an image, representation or outlook on the world arises and how these things impact reality.

The project traces a pathway through numerous works of art, films, books and photographs that illustrate the use of different artistic manifestations with a multitude of different purposes, including establishing the economic, ideological and strategic interests of colonisation, and exercising all kinds of social and cultural discrimination. These works highlight the mechanics of domination, but also indicate possible tools for emancipation. Francis Alÿs, Fernando Botero, Bertolt Brecht, Guy Debord, Paul Klee, Alexander Kluge, Milan Kundera, Chris Marker, Susan Meiselas, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Sophie Ristelhueber, Martha Rosler, Deborah Stratman, Kidlat Tahimik, René Vautier and Robert Walser are just some of the artists cited and referenced in La Chambre d’ombres.

Both the publication and the film (a mise en scène of the 26 texts that make up the book) explore narrative forms such as essay and fiction and make use of visual elements such as drawings, photographs, film and the moving image. Both versions of the project are due to come out during the second half of 2024.

Camilo Restrepo has lived and worked in Paris since 1999. A plastic artist and director, his films have been selected by festivals such as the Cannes Directors' Fortnight, the Toronto International Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and the San Sebastián International Film Festival. He has twice been awarded the Pardino d’Argento at the Locarno Festival and his first feature film, Los Conductos, was selected for the international Encounters Competition at the Berlinale, winning the Best First Feature Award in 2020.