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Management for the digitization and dissemination of "the Colombian oil company" by Leopoldo Pinzón

10 years ago our entity was awarded by the Ministry of Culture with an audiovisual management project for various film elements in danger of deterioration,  so that this action resulted in the creation of a specialized information center that has been gathering various hemerographic, bibliographic, photographic and audiovisual materials that today are part of the memory of the region and delve into the protection of documentary resources of images in movement of Santander, as well as its dissemination and circulation.


During this tour we have strengthened processes, human talent and physical and technological capital in order to train and value a group of filmmakers, critics, historians and social science researchers in audiovisual preservation in the city of Bucaramanga.


50 years ago, “Colombian Effort, Everyone’s Company” premiered.  by Leopoldo Pinzón, initially labeled "The Colombian Petroleum Company" and was part of the advance that our team made in Barrancabermeja in 2015. Some movie theaters were closed there, in this case, the Miramar Theater.  We knew nothing of the work on that tape that Orlando Rueda so lovingly gave us, one of the port's remaining projectionists, like two other unemployed colleagues in the world.


The management was authorized by the club's directives, however, attending the closing of a movie theater was for us a journey towards the unreal,  a wager on mere worth  theater morality. The duel against social customs that would disappear forever, along with the emptiness of their faithful audiences. In short, this gesture of the projectionist was perhaps,  the image of a bottle released into the sea in the middle of a shipwreck.


Later, in the vault inside the building with a declaration of heritage interest, the Cultural Center of the East, where this preserved film is located, our group was encouraged to review that disturbing film that Orlando recommended to us. We knew nothing about its author, what he represented or what he could bring in the aesthetic, documentary, identity and symbolic fields.


Always hand in hand with Atanacio "Tato" Martínez, to whom we told this novelty first-hand, we feel that by structuring an appropriate strategy and collaborative action with the various professionals and allied entities in this cause,  we were going to be able to relive that 1970 in front of the then directives of the company, the achieved  image of business cohesion, after 19 years of Ecopetrol being created in Barrancabermeja.


The film refigured from its essence, what constituted for this country  that colossal presence in full color, the wealth of oil.


Leopoldo, as he likes to be named, disregarded  of his work and like many of his artistic creations, he did not keep any copies of this jewel. He had incredibly forgotten this rigorous demonstration  of his cinematographic preparation.


Our team, thanks to the Stimulus Program of the Ministry of Culture,  The National Cinematheque of Ecuador, Ulises Estrella, the Citizen Observatory and all those who contributed to this digitization celebrate with honor the 50th anniversary of the screening of the documentary "Effort of Colombians" by Leopoldo Pinzón Moncaleano.


Colombian Oil Company presents:

Effort of Colombians, Everyone's Company (1970)

43 min. 35mm Colour.


Direction, editing and texts: Leopoldo Pinzón

Production: Colombian Cinematographic Industrial Advertising

Sound: Yesid Guerrero

Lab: Warrior Field

Color: Cast Monochrome

Narrator: Julio Eduardo Pinzon

Photography: Alfredo Corchuelo


He was born on December 25, 1939 in Guasca, Cundinamarca. Very early his father, Carlos Pinzón Sánchez dies. Leopold  studies at the Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada School,  growing up in a home where culture was privileged, hence he and his brothers stood out in various fields of writing, radio and the media.

At the age of 15, he had to abandon his studies due to an economic crisis. In 1944 he writes anonymously in the newspaper El Tiempo, texts that he called sonnets and charades. With the help of his brother Germán, the young Leopoldo wins the Marco Fidel Suárez prize in the name of Economic News, awarded by the Colegio Mayor de Periodistas in 1961, where he is rewarded with a trip to the USSR. He entered the Polytechna Institute of Arts in Prague in 1962, where he obtained a Mention of Excellence in Film Direction and Photography in 1964.


1960 Writes “Farándula”. He himself considered it a stereotypical and pink-tinted film.


1965-1969 Makes the documentary for the Colombian Oil Company "Effort of Colombians, Everyone's Company", in Barrancabermeja and commissioned by the Colombian Cinematography. It had an exhibition in 1969 and premiered in 1970.


1985 Writes with his brother Germán the script “El Número Uno”. He directs the film "Pisingaña" which was premiered in Moscow that year, obtaining the top prize at the Moscow Film Festival.


1985-1986 Receives the award for best screenplay and best soundtrack at the  Bogota International Film Festival.


1985 Receives the Medal of Merit in Communications, Manuel Murillo Toro from the Ministry of Communications.


1986 Writes “The Constitution in Bed” and “In Praise of a Shadow”.


1988, 1991, 1999 He is invited to teach a film directing workshop at the International School of San Antonio de los Baños, in Cuba (EICTV).

1998 Writes and films “Un Mayor Se Bajas los Pantalones”, writing the script, photography, editing and directing.


1999 Writes and films the movie “From the Window”.


2005 He joins Edmundo Aray, former director of the International School of San Antonio de los Baños, in Mérida, Venezuela, where he participates in the edition of the film “José Martí, That's Me”.


2007 Adviser in the creation of the National Film School, commissioned by the National Autonomous Council of Cinematography of the Ministry of Culture of Venezuela (CNAC).


2009 He is president of the jury of the XXVI Bogotá International Film Festival.


2010 Since then he has been a cinematographic advisor to the presidency of the (CNAC). He currently lives in the city of Honda, Tolima and collaborates with local cultural and educational entities such as Banco de La Republica and Sena, in audiovisual training for the community.

Colombian Audiovisual Heritage Management Scholarship

This regional experience involved a great challenge, given that there are a series of requirements for the technical intervention of this type of records, dictated by the Ministry of National Culture, hence the institutional traceability that accompanied this process, nearly 5 years, and until today that the scholarship is completed, it is information that can be used at the time of valuation and social appropriation of assets.


The action is framed in one of the urgent needs facing the nation; and that leads to the exercise of rethinking memory, not only because the documentary "Effort of Colombians: Company of All", directly encloses a form of construction of regional identity, but because it invites us to build new stories about what we understand as identities. regional.


Barrancabermeja is located in the east of Colombia, in the department of Santander. It limits to the north with Puerto Wilches, to the south with Puerto Parra, Simacota and San Vicente de Chucurí, to the east with the municipality of San Vicente de Chucurí and Girón and to the west with the Magdalena River. Latora or Latocca, was the indigenous name of the current Barrancabermeja. The temperature ranges between 24 and 38° C.


It is located in the Magdalena Valley, surrounded by endless swamps and ravines that have nicknamed it "the city between waters". Other places are the Yacht clubs, Infantas, Miramar, Cardales, Rotary, International, Club de Mares, Hunting and Shooting Club.

It was precisely in one of these clubs, the Miramar in Barrancabermeja, where this film was found, which had been left in the projection room for approximately 50 years. We locate the author of the film in  2020, in the city of Honda, Tolima. Coincidentally, the film and the author always remained in front of the great Magdalena river, only downstream.

critical review

“Colombian Effort: Everyone’s Company” alludes to the motherland , to mother earth, to our identity, to what is ours, to that historical, foundational, mythical moment, when on a morning of April 29, 1918, the workers burned , like mythological titans, in El Centro, in La Cira Infantas, they sprouted, for the first time in Colombia, crude oil, black gold, oil, in the jungles of Magdalena Medio, 23 km from Barrancabermeja, from today's burned-out port. Everything started there, the legend, collective life, the future.


Since then and from there, we connect with the world, sometimes with
questions or a lot of happiness and joy. This film, a century after that origin and made 50 years ago, is a beautiful metaphor for all that birth.


Julius Acelas
Santander Citizen Observatory

data sheet

Scholarship Tutor: Atanacio Martínez

Strategic Director: Lizbeth Torres

Restaurateurs Colombia: Irene Del Castillo, Lizbeth Torres

Restorers Ecuador: Hernán Chinchín, Enrique Regato

Lawyer: Julian Alfredo Calderon.

Post colorist and post editor: Juan Carlos García.

Graphics: Alan Santamaría Mateus

Camera and editing: Félix Corredor

Financial Assistant: Lady Yurley Rueda

Still photo: Yesid Villamizar

Sound mastering: Sebastián Pérez

Graphic designer: Andres Parada


Jaime Tenorio, cinematography director | Marina Arango Valencia and Buenaventura, coordinator of the Memory Group | Circulation and research, Yelena Mendoza | Natalia Cañaveral del Río, Stimulus and communication, Ministry of Culture of Colombia | Diego Coral, director of the National Cinematheque of Ecuador. | ”Ulysses Star” | Quito | Hernán Chinchín, film restorer | Enrique Regato, digital restorer | Patricio Valencia Jara, programmer | Hotel Margarita II Quito, Ecuador | Isabel Martínez, director of the Barrancabermeja Yarima International Film Festival | Beatríz Reyes, former Club Miramar director | Mario Fernando Arteaga, Club Miramar director | Orlando Rueda, Miramar Theater projectionist | Professor Julio Acelas, Citizen Observatory | Cultural Center of the Colombian East | Departmental Council of Cultural Heritage | Interns, volunteers and friends of the Fundación Cineteca Pública.

Socialization of the project with the Ministry of Culture

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