Colombian actress Margarita Rosa de Francisco has received the Best Actress award at the Venice Film Festival. She earned this recognition for her role in the Italian production “El paraiso” (The Paradise), a film directed by Enrico Maria Artale that portrays a love story between a mother and son and the nuances of their mood.
After nearly a decade away from the big screen, her return to the silver screen has earned her the Horizons Award for Best Actress at the 2023 Venice Film Festival.
Regarding the Italian production, the actress recently told the media that it represents “a vivid tragedy that immerses its heroes in the changing nuances of their most intimate emotional states, between delicacy and violence.”
A Colombian Immigrant in Italy
Margarita Rosa de Francisco portrays Magdalena Galván, a Colombian woman who arrives in Italy while pregnant. Her son is born there, and they both live in Italy for 40 years. It’s a world of prostitutes and drug traffickers, where family members run a small business and occasionally collaborate with a local drug trafficker.
Everything changes for Magdalena and her son, portrayed by Italian actor Edoardo Pesce, when a “mule” enters their environment to transport cocaine. The film has also been recognized with the Best Screenplay award. The movie is set to premiere in Colombian cinemas in 2024.
“I thank my country, which has given me everything, professionally and personally,” said the emotional actress from Cali upon receiving the award.
A Seasoned Actress
The Colombian actress is well-known in her homeland, where she began her acting career 42 years ago. Born in Cali, she currently resides in Miami, USA. She made her film debut in “Tacones” in 1981. In Colombia, she is best known for her roles in the TV series “Café con aroma de mujer” (1995) and “Correo de inocentes” (2012), among others.
In terms of awards, she has won the India Catalina award for film u four times, as well as four Simon Bolivar awards for Best Actress and Best Female Revelation in 1987.
Married for several years to the renowned Colombian artist Carlos Vives, she was a columnist for the country’s leading newspaper, El Tiempo, from 2016 to 2021 when she had to leave her column after a controversial article in which she questioned the honorability of Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo, the owner of the newspaper.
Her role as a political activist has marked her strongly in recent years. A staunch supporter of President Gustavo Petro, she has openly criticized the conservative opposition and is a regular participant in the political controversies of Colombian social media.