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2021 Dale! Award goes to « Where the River Begins » by Juan Andrés Arango (Colombia)

The Dale! Award (previously called EFAD-CAACI co-development grant) was awarded on 22 September 2021 in San Sebastian to "Where the River Begins? " (“Donde Comienza el Río”), by Colombian-Canadian director Juan Andrés Arango. It will be produced with French and Canadian partners.

The film is the story of Yajaira, a young Emberá, her daughter María, and Jhon, a young white boy, member of one of the most-feared gangs in the centre of Bogotá, who set out on a long journey by land and sea from the capital to Río Andágueda in the forests of the Pacific. While Yajaira travels with the hope of returning to the place where she grew up to shake off the demons that follow her in her dreams, Jhon is fleeing from a terrifying reality in the city. On the way they must confront their realities. Only the jungle in its immense wisdom will guide their decisions.

The jury was composed of:

  • Mr Pablo Pérez de Lema, Head of Service, Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales (EFAD representative);
  •  Mr German Monje, Director General Adecine Bolivia (CAACI representative);
  • Ms Alexandra Lebret, Managing Director of the European Producers Club (San Sebastian Festival representative).

The jury was impressed by the quality of the 14 projects presented this year. After intense discussions and inspiring exchanges with the different projects' representatives, the jury unanimously agreed to give the award to this project for the link it shows between a hectic, modern city and the Amazon jungle, the consistency of the characters in this journey and the elements of magical realism.


This joint co-development grant is one of the concrete actions developed in the framework of the structured partnership launched by EFAD and CAACI (Conferencia de Autoridades Audiovisuales y Cinematográficas de Iberoamérica) in 2016. It is distributed in the framework of the San Sebastian International Film Festival. Previously, it was awarded:

  • in 2016 to Los Días Según Ellos, a project from Argentina directed by Juan Pablo Félix and produced by Utópica Cine, in coproduction with Spain and France);
  • in 2017 to El Agente Topo (The Mole Agent), a project from Chile produced by Marcela Santibañez from Micromundo Producciones in coproduction with France and the USA);
  • in 2018 to La Llorona, a project from Guatemala, directed by Jayro Bustamante;
  • in 2019 to La hija de todas las rabias, a project from Nicaragua, directed by Laura Baumeister;
  • in 2020 to Who Killed Narciso?, a project from Paraguay, directed by Marcelo Martinessi.

Enterprise number BE 0599.781.484 | EU Transparency Register number: 430805515370-85