Ciro Guerra

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Ciro Guerra
Master Class by Ciro Guerra (1) (cropped).jpg
Guerra in 2017
Born (1981-02-06) 6 February 1981 (age 40)
Río de Oro, Colombia
OccupationFilm director
Years active1998-present

Ciro Guerra (born 6 February 1981) is a Colombian film director and screenwriter. He is best known for his 2015 film Embrace of the Serpent, the film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards.


He made his first film Wandering Shadows in 2004 at the age of 23. The film was selected as Colombian submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 78th Academy Awards, however it was not nominated. His next film The Wind Journeys competed in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival[1] and was selected as Colombian submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 82nd Academy Awards; it also was not selected.

His 2015 film Embrace of the Serpent was screened in the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival,[2][3] where it won the C.I.C.A.E. Award. It won the Best Film award in the International Film Festivals of Odessa and Lima, where it also received a special prize by the Critics Jury. The film was also among the nominees for Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards, being the first Colombian film ever to be nominated.[4]

On 22 November 2017, Netflix ordered the limited series Green Frontier to production. Green Frontier is based on an original idea from Diego Ramírez Schrempp and Jenny Ceballos of Dynamo Producciones.[5][6][7] Guerra is credited as an executive producer of the series, alongside, Diego Ramírez Schrempp, Andrés Calderón, Jorge Dorado and Cristian Conti. The series was directed by Guerra, Laura Mora Ortega and Jacques Toulemonde Vidal and written by Mauricio Leiva-Cock, Antón Goenechea, Camila Brugrés, Gibrán Portela, Javier Peñalosa, María Camila Arias, Natalia Santa and Nicolás Serrano.[8][9] The miniseries premiered on Netflix on 16 August 2019.[10]

In 2018, Guerra released his fourth feature film, Birds of Passage. Filmed in La Guajira Desert, Colombia, Guerra states that it is "like a gangster film, but something completely different from any gangster film that you have ever seen".[11][12]

Guerra has also directed an adaptation of J. M. Coetzee's novel Waiting for the Barbarians, starring Mark Rylance, Johnny Depp, Robert Pattinson, Gana Bayarsaikhan, and Greta Scacchi. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival on 6 September 2019, and was released on 7 August 2020, by Samuel Goldwyn Films.[13]

He was the jury president of the International Critics' Week section of the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.[14]

Personal life

Guerra was married to his longtime producer Cristina Gallego. The couple divorced during the filming of Birds of Passage which they co-directed.[15]

Sexual misconduct accusations

In 2020, Latin American feminist periodical Volcánicas published an in-depth investigation with 8 women in the film industry accusing Guerra of sexual harassment and rape.[16] The accusations covered a period of 6 years. Guerra denied the accusations and vowed to pursue legal action against those who had made them.[17]


Year Film Credited as
Director Writer Notes
1998 Silence Yes Short.
1999 Documental siniestro: Jairo Pinilla, cineasta Yes Documentary.
2000 Alma Yes Yes Short.
2001 Intento Yes Yes Animated short film.
2004 Wandering Shadows Yes Yes
2009 The Wind Journeys Yes Yes
2015 Embrace of the Serpent Yes Yes
2018 Birds of Passage Yes Co-directed with Cristina Gallego.
2019 Green Frontier Yes Netflix mini-series. Executive producer.
2020 Waiting for the Barbarians Yes

Awards and nominations

Year Association Nominated work Category Result
2003 San Sebastián International Film Festival Wandering Shadows Films in Progress Award Won
2009 Cannes Film Festival The Wind Journeys Award of the City of Rome Won
Un Certain Regard Award Nominated
2015 Mar del Plata International Film Festival Embrace of the Serpent Golden Ástor Won
2016 Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
2016 Durban International Film Festival Best Direction Won
2016 Independent Spirit Awards Best International Film Nominated
2016 Platino Awards Best Director Won
Best Screenplay Nominated



  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Wind Journeys". Retrieved 17 May 2009.
  2. ^ "The Directors' Fortnight 2015 selection!". Quinzaine des Réalisateurs. Archived from the original on 23 April 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  3. ^ Justin Chang (21 April 2015). "Cannes: Directors' Fortnight Unveils 2015 Lineup". Variety. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  4. ^ Ford, Rebecca (14 January 2016). "Oscar Nominations: The Complete List". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  5. ^ Marie de la Fuente, Anna (22 November 2017). "Netflix to Make its First Original Colombian Series". Variety. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Netflix continues to invest in Colombia with upcoming slate of six diverse original productions". Netflix Media Center. 8 October 2018. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  7. ^ Mango, Agustin (4 November 2018). "Inside the Growth in 5 Key Latin American Markets". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  8. ^ "These are the three original series that Colombia produces for Netflix". El Espectador (in Spanish). 9 March 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  9. ^ "This is "Frontera Verde", the Ciro Guerra and Laura Mora series for Netflix". El Espectador (in Spanish). 29 July 2018. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Netflix reveals some details of the Colombian series 'Frontera Verde'". Colombia (in Spanish). 29 July 2019. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Ciro Guerra Interview - Embrace of the Serpent; director reveals his next movie will be 'like a gangster film'". Flickreel. 10 June 2016. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  12. ^ de la Fuente, Anne Marie. "Colombia's Caracol TV Boards Ciro Guerra's 'Birds of a Passage'". Variety.
  13. ^ Busch, Anita. "Mark Rylance & Ciro Guerra To Bring J.M. Coetzee's 'Waiting For The Barbarians' To Big Screen". Deadline.
  14. ^ "Jurys 2019 | La Semaine de la Critique of Festival de Cannes". Semaine de la Critique du Festival de Cannes. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  15. ^ Kohn, Eric. "'Birds of Passage' Directors Got Divorced While Shooting — and Still Made a Masterpiece". Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  16. ^ Ruiz-Navarro, Catalina; de los Milagros Londoño, Matilde. "OCHO DENUNCIAS DE ACOSO Y ABUSO SEXUAL CONTRA CIRO GUERRA". Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  17. ^ "Eight women accuse Colombian director Ciro Guerra of sexual harassment, assault: Report". Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  18. ^ "Martin Scorsese, Istvan Szabo to be honoured at Iffi 2021". Times of India. 23 October 2021. Retrieved 31 October 2021.

External links

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