Cuenca’s Orquidea film festival presents the world’s best independent movies

Nov 15, 2015 | 5 comments

The fifth edition of Cuenca’s Orquidea Film Festival kicked off yesterday with red carpet treatment for special guests at the University of Cuenca’s Carlos Cueva Tamariz Theater. The scene of a fire two weeks ago, the main auditorium of the theater was undamaged.

Opening night for the film festival at Carlos Cueva Theater.

Opening night for the film festival at Carlos Cueva Theater.

The festival, which continues through Saturday, November 21, will screen 50 films. In addition to the Cueva Theater, films will be shown in the Sucre Theater in El Centro and at Multicines, Milenium Plaza.

Saturday’s festival opening featured the Ecuadorian debut of the Colombian film El Abrazo de la Serpiente (The Embrace of the Serpent), winner of the Cinema Art Award at this year’s Cannes festival. The film, directed by Ciro Guerra, tells the story of first contact between an Amazonian shaman and two scientists who travel the Amazon in search of a sacred plant with powerful medicinal powers.

El Abrazo de la Serpiente has also won awards at other film festivals, most recently at the Phoenix Festival. It is expected to receive several nominations for the 2016 Oscars in Los Angeles.

According to Azuay Province Prefect Paul Carrasco, the festival’s mission it to bring the best international independent films to local audiences and to introduce directors to Cuenca film students. The week-long event includes a number of workshops and lectures on filmmaking.

Film festival programs are available at tourist offices, hotels, restaurants and at the three theaters hosting the festival. Information is also available online at


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