The Contestant

El Concursante

DIRECTOR(S): Carlos Osuna   COUNTRY: Colombia   YEAR: 2017   LANGUAGE(S): Spanish   SUBTITLES: English   RUNNING TIME: 82 min

SECTION: International Forum 2019

Friday, 04.10., 10.15 pm, kommkino
Tuesday, 08.10., 6.15 pm, kommkino


Sometimes there are days like this in Bogota. Cristóbal’s mother drags him out of bed angrily, so that he can get hold of one of the pressure cookers a TV chef has promised viewers for a few stock-cube coupons. When Cristóbal arrives at the point of distribution, there is already an endless queue of different disadvantaged members of society. They grow closer together as they meet and the film ends as it should – with a revolt of the pressure cookers.

Representing different social strata, the people in the queue are at first suspicious of each other but soon they form a sense of unity, holding each other’s place in the queue or ganging up on those who attempt to cheat. Solidarity and friendships develop, while racism and police violence flare up and reveal the limitations of peaceful co-existence. This fast-paced film depicts a microcosm of Colombian society. In long shots, the camera takes in the queue and painting-like scenes that are full of comedy. Cristóbal is not the only character the viewer will fall for.


Carlos Osuna’s first feature film Fat, Bald, Short Man was presented on major film festivals such as San Sebastian, Chicago, BAFICI, Warsaw, La Habana, Goa, among many others. His second feature film With the Lips Closed was presented on festivals such as Stockholm Film Festival, FICCI, Brazilia International Film Festival and received the award to the best Colombian feature film granted by the Cinematheque Bogota. The Contestant, his third feature film, was premiered at the official competition of the Tallin Black Nights Film Festival and was part of the Atelier at Cannes Film Festival. 


Gordo, Calvo y Bajito (2011), With the Lips Closed (2015), The Contestant (2017)

SCRIPT: Carlos Osuna, Juan Mauricio Ruiz, Alejandro Quintero   PRODUCER: Juan Mauricio Ruiz   CAMERA: Rodrigo García   EDITOR: Carlos Osuna   MUSIC: Carlos Osuna   CAST: Ronaldo Tejedor, Elena Diaz, Kissinger Miranda, Sunami Rodriguez