The power of Film Makers in Colombia- Young talents working for their community

Ana María Vásquez Valencia

Ana María Vásquez Valencia

Colombia is a latin american country that is increasingly being recognised for its world-renowned soccer players, singers, actors and models who have been able to demonstrate their talent and qualities across every single continent. However there is a great number of artists including poets, photographers and filmmakers that given the hardship of circumstances, lack the resources to flourish as artists and exploit their full potential.

Today I dedicated sometime to learn more about some ideas of film students looking for ways to use their capabilities to grow and help their community grow. And what a better way to start than with film contest finalist Ivan Rios and his project DIMENCINE. Rios is one of the 5 finalists of a nation-wide contest for university filmmakers across Colombia organised by Tecnotelevision.

Through DIMENCINE, Rios proposes a type of sensorial practice that combines different forms of art expression including theatre and audio-visual aids. His project is designed to bring closer the deaf community to the rest of society through a series of workshops based on writing, drawing and body expression. This type of ‘Psychosocial therapy’ as Rios calls it, has the purpose of building a cultural space to improve the communication and relationship between people with different levels of hearing difficulties and listeners. Rios makes use of different modes of self-expression that are not necessarily thought speaking, such as painting, literature, film, dance and juggling.

People with hearing problems benefit from taking part in these activities because they can improve their communication skills and boost their confidence to self-develop within their communities. Importantly, hearing people also benefit as they learn new ways of communicating that go outside the conventional ones, for instance if they travel to foreign countries where they don’t speak the local language.   Thirdly these practices strengthen the relationship between hearing and non-hearing individuals, for instance a hearing person will know how to give indications to a non-hearing person in the system of mass transport.

The workshops are developed on a three-day basis, where participants (both hearing and non-hearing individuals) develop a number of activities in a dark space dressed completely in black and wearing masks painted in fluorescent colours and designs. The fact that none of the participants can see each other’s faces but can only perceive each other’s expressions allows the formation of a code of communication between all participants.

One of the activities includes the positions of participants against each other in a mirror-like reflection, where both participants facing each other must learn to coordinate and reflect each other’s movements.

In one of the participant’s statements of her experience of this DIMENCINE, Paola Merchan states: “being in a dark room made me feel like taking part in a movie. I did not only feel myself, but I saw myself in a reflection. Seeing the other person doing the same signs as me, seeing Paola outside and feeling that person is who I am, and interact with that. I thought was very cool”.

Rios is an incredibly talented filmmaker that stands out as an active and resourceful citizen of his native city Bogotá, implementing new ways to build a vibrant civil community and reduce the gap between abled and disabled groups.

You can learn more about this project by watching this video (if you speak Spanish) on

You can vote for Dimencine to win the contest in this link,

You can also contact Ivan on for any questions or expressions of support.


Ana María Vásquez Valencia


Ana María Vásquez Valencia


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