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Oscar Hopeful Short Documentary THE CROSSING Sheds Light on Venezuela's Humanitarian Crisis
- Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021
In February of 2019, people from all over the world met in Cúcuta, Colombia in an attempt to deliver humanitarian aid into Venezuela. Juliana Peñaranda-Loftus, director of the short documentary The Crossing, knew she had to be there as she felt she had the moral responsibility to tell this story. In two days, she assembled a crew and flew to her hometown of Cúcuta, hopeful of delivering aid to her Venezuelan neighbors. She never expected the chaos that would ensue.
The Crossing, produced by Hidden Village Films, pulls back the curtain on Venezuela's escalating humanitarian crisis as it reaches a fever pitch. It has been playing in select festivals across the US while amplifying the conversation about the Venezuelan humanitarian crisis by highlighting facts and voices that hopefully will inspire and create opportunities to drive change.
One of the expert voices featured in the documentary is that of exiled Venezuelan deputy, Gaby Arellano, who has lived in Bogotá since 2018; as she has an arrest warrant in her name for Conspiracy and Treason Against the Country. As a young member of Parliament, deputy Arellano, has been persecuted and forced into exile for having led peaceful protests in Venezuela that sought to achieve freedom, democracy and progress in the Venezuelan Republic.
The raw and intimate images of the film, as deputy Arellano relates, "helped me dismantle a lie that the Venezuelan dictatorial regime had been spreading through a number of pro-regime media outlets, which stated that on February 23, 2019 at the Francisco de Paula Santander Bridge, I gave the order to burn humanitarian aid and bring in weapons, when they actually contained food and medicine."
Moreover, she states that, "We set out to collect images of what had happened on February 23, 2019 and only weeks after Juliana appeared and showed me everything she had collected from that day, I saw images that I had never seen before. Those images have recently served to document before international courts the allegations of crimes against humanity and human rights violations."
In Juliana's words, "The Crossing is a film that inspires solidarity and generosity between countries; it is a story of brotherhood between citizens of different nations. This is the biggest refugee crisis in Latin American history, and I am committed to get my documentary to audiences to ensure that this issue remains at the top of the international human rights agenda."
The film is currently in contention for the best documentary short subject category at the 93rd Academy Awards.
Find more information about the film please visit https://www.thecrossingdoc.com