Global Americans and the Canadian Council for the Americas presents “Two gringos with questions,”an interview series featuring political and cultural leaders from across the Americas. On the seventh episode, Chris and Ken talk to Laura Mora, an award-winning Colombian director and screenwriter.
Laura Mora grew up during the height of the drug trade violence in her native city, Medellin, Colombia. In 2002, when Mora was 22 years old, her father, a lawyer and professor, was assassinated. Several years afterward, while living in Australia, a dream she had led her to start writing what would eventually evolve into her feature-length film, Matar a Jesús. It tookMora ten years to write the script that centers around Paula, a 22-year-old photography student, who seeks her father’s killer, Jesús.
Matar a Jesús made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and has participated in more than 20 film festivals around the world. It was shortlisted to be the Colombian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards, and has won three dozen awards, including the prestigious EROSKI Youth Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival.
While living in Australia, Mora directed two award-winning shorts, West (2006) and Brotherhood (2008). After moving back to Colombia, she won the Colombian Film Fund prize for short film production for her project Salomé. Mora went on to co-direct episodes in the television series, Escobar, el patrón del mal, for Caracol TV, starring Carlos Moreno. Mora studied film direction and production at RMIT in Melbourne and received her master’s in script and directing at the Melbourne AFTRS center.
To discuss Matar a Jesús, Chris and Ken talk to Laura about her writing process, revenge and forgiveness, and the new wave of women directors coming out of Colombia.