The 51st Cartagena Film Festival opened last night with the open-air screening of a Colombian movie, a late night party and a V.I.P ceremony attended by Cartagena mayor Judith Pinedo Flórez and Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos.

Hollywood Foreign Press member Mike Goodridge is on the jury of the festival, the oldest in Latin America, which will be screening 102 films from Colombia, South America and around the world.

The opening night film, watched by hundreds in the plaza outside the city’s Centro de Convenciones, was Los Colores de Montana, a moving portrait of the conflict in Colombia seen through the eyes of three children.


In 2008 she hit the Berlin Film Festival with “Filth And Wisdom,” her first attempt behind the camera, which landed her no applause.

This time Madonna wooed the audience. Unfortunately, only 200 Berlinale buyers were invited to this highly anticipated and exclusive event, which caused a frenzy on Saturday night in Berlin.

Although Madonna only showed a 20-minute footage of her second directorial effort “W.E.” and was not part of the festival competition, she was the talk of the town.

The film, which took over 3 years to make, tells the parallel stories of the love affair between King Edward VIII and American divorcee Wallis Simpson, which led to the royal’s abdication, and a contemporary romance between a married woman and a Russian security guard.

“I read everything available on this topic,” Madonna told her audience. What fascinated her? “A man who gave up the throne and power for the love of a woman.”

The film stars Abbie Cornish, Natalie Dormer, Andrea Riseborough and James D’Arcy and is also co-written by Madonna who stayed in a suite at the trendy Soho House during her Berlin visit.

For her screening, she wore a classic pencil skirt and fitted plaid jacket, resembling an English Land-Lady rather than a pop star.

What do you think about Madonna’s directorial efforts?

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