ABC Colombia Offers Revealing Look at Children Living in a Rural Community Controlled by Paramilitary Forces and the Choices They Face

Film to premiere on Global Voices series on PBS WORLD channel Sunday, July 20 at 10pm

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(San Francisco, CA)—An intimate, emotional journey, ABC COLOMBIA explores the lives of children growing up amidst conflict and violence in an area in Colombia that is controlled by paramilitary and is host to extensive cocaine fields. Shown through the eyes of two boys, 12-year-old Miguel Angel and 17-year-old Huriday, the film follows the young protagonists in this problematic setting through an entire school year, exploring some of the realities that nurture and perpetuate the violence in their homeland. ABC COLOMBIAwill have its U.S. broadcast premiere on Sunday, July 20, 2008, at 10pm on Global Voices, a new series produced by ITVS International airing on the PBS WORLD digital channel (check local listings). 

Over the last 18 years, the film’s director, Enrica Colusso, has visited Colombia numerous times with her Colombian-born husband. ABC COLOMBIA is a portrayal of her relationship with this fascinating and complex country. 

“I was drawn to this reality and these characters because they have been part of my life for almost 10 years now. My husband and I own a small piece of land in the region, so this is a place and a community I know well. I have in fact known the youngest character since he was 3,” said Colusso. Colombia’s 50-year-old internal armed conflict has encouraged a growing culture of violence. For Colusso, ABC COLOMBIA is not a discourse on the state of Colombia, but an opportunity to represent the violence that is around these children, how it is perceived by them and how it affects the choices they make. 

“Some of these children I have seen grow up and, over the years, transform into hardened adolescents, which today provokes complex feelings within me. I wanted to explore what it means to grow up in an area of conflict—to show the difficult, and often violent, choices these children face.” 

ABC COLOMBIA is a co-production of GA&A Productions and ITVS International. 

Filmmaker Background 
Enrica Colusso, Director 
Enrica Colusso was born in Rome, where she studied film at university and where she began her filmmaking career. In 1988, she moved to Paris. She lived there for two years, attending documentary workshops at Varan, the Jean Rouch School of Documentary. In 1995, she graduated from the National Film and Television School (U.K.) after a three-year post-graduate course in documentary filmmaking. Since 1994, she has devoted a few months each year to teaching documentary filmmaking in England (Four Corners), Colombia (Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogotá) and Norway (Tromsø University, Faculty of Visual Anthropology). Since 1997, Colusso has been a company director at Radix Films, a U.K.-based independent production company specializing in documentaries. 

Gioia Avvantaggiato, Producer 
In 1990, Gioia Avvantaggiato created GA&A, now Italy’s leading independent television company dedicated to the production, domestic acquisition and international distribution of high-quality nonfiction programming. GA&A covers all genres and topics, from wildlife to social issues to science, from issue-driven to author-driven films. Avvantaggiato is president of the GA&A Group, is executive producer for GA&A Productions, and is actively involved with numerous Italian and international television industry associations. 

About Global Voices 
Global Voices is a new series produced by ITVS International to air on the PBS WORLD digital channel beginning Sunday, March 30, 2008, at 10pm (check local listings). The first original series to launch on PBS WORLD, the 26-week series will bring to a national audience internationally themed documentaries made by U.S.-based and international filmmakers. Global Voices will feature the U.S. premieres of five documentaries funded by ITVS International as well as encore broadcasts of other acclaimed ITVS programs. Encore presentations include the Academy Award nominee DAUGHTER FROM DANANG, the Emmy Award winner A LION’S TRAIL, and the Independent Spirit Award winner and Emmy nominee LOST BOYS OF SUDAN. In addition to the PBS WORLD broadcast, the series’ content will later be available via online distribution platforms, including Joost, YouTube, Bittorrent and Vuze. For more information about Global Voices, visit 

About ITVS International 
ITVS International is a division of Independent Television Service that promotes an international exchange of documentary films made by independent producers, bringing international voices to U.S. audiences and American stories to audiences abroad. Through a unique public-private partnership called the Global Perspectives Project, ITVS International administers the International Media Development Fund (IMDF) and True Stories: Life in the USA. The IMDF funds international producers and supports the American broadcast of their programs. The series True Stories: Life in the USA promotes selected American independent films to audiences around the world. ITVS created the Global Perspectives Project in 2005 with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the U.S. Department of State. For more information, visit . 

PBS WORLD is a recently launched channel featuring documentary and public affairs programming from public television’s award-winning signature series and acclaimed independent filmmakers. Produced and distributed by PBS, WGBH Boston and Thirteen/WNET New York, in association with American Public Television and the National Educational Telecommunications Association, PBS WORLD launched on 55 stations across the country, representing 24 licensees and reaching more than 27 percent of U.S. households. In most markets, PBS WORLD programming will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More information about PBS WORLD is available at 

About WGBH Boston 
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster, producing such celebrated national PBS series as Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur and more than a dozen other award-winning primetime, lifestyle and children’s series. WGBH is also Boston’s last remaining independent television station. Its local productions, which include Greater Boston, Basic Black and Maria Hinojosa One-on-One, focus on the region’s diverse community. WGBH 89.7 FM is Boston’s NPR Arts and Culture station, offering a rich menu of musical programming, including classical, jazz and blues, news programming, and more. In addition, WGBH is the leading producer of online content for—one of the most-visited dot-org sites on the Internet—and a major producer for public radio. It is also a pioneer in developing educational multimedia and new technologies that make media accessible for people with disabilities. For its efforts, WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors, including Oscars, Emmys, Peabodys and duPont-Columbia Journalism Awards. Visit WGBH on the Web at 


Voleine Amilcar, ITVS, 415-356-8383 x 244,
Mary Lugo, 770-623-8190,
Cara White, 843-881-1480,

Posted on July 14, 2008