LOS ANGELES, CA September 2, 2015) Olvidados (Forgotten) has been running continuously in theatres in Bolivia since it premiered on July 31, 2014. Produced by Carla Ortiz, a Bolivian actress and humanitarian known for her roles in Los Andes no creen en Dios and The Man Who Shook The Hand of Vicente Hernandez, her first film is an epic, historical feature that tackles the dark past of Latin America under military dictatorships in the 70s. Directed by Mexico’s Carlos Bolado and starring Damián Alcázar, the film premiered at the International Film Festival of India, won four Maya Awards and was Bolivia’s Official Entry to the Foreign Language Film category for the 87th Academy Awards. The film will premiere in New York City on September 18th at the Village East Cinema followed by Los Angeles with a December 2015 HBO Latino broadcast premiere to follow.
Filmed in Chile, Bolivia, and New York, Olvidados is the biggest budget production to come out of Bolivia, a country with a nascent film industry. Renowned actors from five countries appear in this international production, the first film to specifically address the horrors perpetrated under Operation Condor, a CIA-backed plan introduced by Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, which was responsible for: 50,000 killed; 30,000 “disappeared”; and 400,000 arrested and imprisoned in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Philippe Diaz, founder of Cinema Libre Studio says, “Olvidados is a very powerful and very important film that all North Americans should see. We have to accept once and for all that the use of torture didn’t start in Iraq. It was always a tool of war used all over the world from South America to the Middle East and it is the price that we are paying now.”
After premiering at the International Film Festival of India, it has been programmed as a gala screening or as an official selection at festivals in Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and the U.S. It earned six Platino nominations and recently won 4 Maya Awards for Best Film, Best Actor (Christian Mercado), Best Actress (Carla Ortiz), and Best Philanthropic Work done by a Celebrity (Carla Ortiz).
Mexican actor Damián Alcázar, best known in the U.S. for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and El Narco, stars and plays the role of a man in his 40s and then later in his 80s. He is the recipient of 8 Ariels (Mexican Oscars) for acting.
SYNOPSIS: After suffering a heart attack, retired General José Mendieta (Damián Alcázar) is haunted by his dark past as an officer in Operation Condor, the CIA-backed campaign of political repression in Latin America that was responsible for executions, torture, and imprisonments in the 1970’s. It is estimated that over 400,000 people were imprisoned and 30,000 forcibly disappeared as a result of these government actions.
In a letter to his son Pablo (Bernardo Peña), Mendieta confesses the role he played in the abduction, persecution, and execution of countless men and women during his posting to Chile. Journalist Marco (Carlotto Cotta) and his pregnant wife Luciá (Carla Ortiz) are among those who were arrested, along with their activist friend Antonio (Tomás Fonzi) and revolutionary Andrea (Ana Calentano). They suffer terribly under Mendieta and his cohort Sanera (Rafael Ferro), which leads to a cascade of betrayals, secrets, and stolen lives that spans generations.
Mexican director Carlos Bolado has directed several feature films including Bajo California: El limite del tiempo (1999), Solo Dios Sabe (2006), and Colosio, El asesinato (2012). His first feature, Bajo California: El limite del tiempo, received numerous awards (including 9 Ariels). As co-director his documentary film Promises, was nominated for an Oscar ®. He is also an award-winning editor on films such as Solo Dios Sabe (Only God Knows), Como Agua para Chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate), Cronica de un Desayuno (A Breakfast Chronicle) and Novia que te vea (Bride to Be) and has been editing advisor for several films such as Amores Perros, The Sentimental Engine Slayer, and Instructions Not Included. He is a fellow of the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Olvidados (Forgotten) was developed from an original script and investigations by Mauricio D’Avis with the final screenplay credited to Elia Petridis and Ortiz. Frank Giustra, founder of Lionsgate, served as Executive Producer with additional financial support from the Bolivian Minister of Culture, the country’s five state governors, seven city mayors, as well as the Commander-In-Chief of the military.
It is the highest-grossing film in Bolivia, of the last seven years.