The Dragon Defense
by Natalia Santa
Colombia 2017, 80 min.
Being afraid to lose is like being afraid to live
This is the story of three old friends in downtown Bogotá. A chess player and small-time gambler, a watch maker who refuses to close down his shop, and a Spanish homeopath obsessed with poker. They spend their days between the legendary chess club Lasker, The Caribbean Casino, and La Normanda, a coffee shop. Finding comfort in the confines of their routines, they avoid facing failure at all costs. When this comfort is put at risk however, each man will have to figure out that in life, as in love, it's never too late to take a chance.
Jury Award for Best Director, Jury Award for Best Actor (Gonzalo de Sagarminaga) - Lima FF 2017
World Premiere: Cannes FF 2017 - Directors' Fortnight
Cinema Jove IFF 2017
Jerusalem FF 2017
Lima FF 2017
AFI Latin American FF 2017
Biarritz Latin American FF 2017
Adana IFF 2017
Vancouver IFF 2017
Warsaw FF 2017
Sao Paulo IFF 2017
Denver FF 2017
Thessaloniki IFF 2017
Films From the South Festival 2017
Kolkata IFF 2017
Icaro IFF 2017
International Bosphorus FF 2017
Filmar Latin American FF 2017
Mostra de Cinema Ibero-Americano 2017
Havana IFF 2017
Göteborg FF 2018
Festival de cine Global Dominicano 2018
Guadalajara IFF 2018
Festival Reflets 2018
Bucknell Film Series 2018
Cleveland IFF 2018
Panorama Colombia FF Berlin 2018
Chicago Latino FF 2018
Curacao IFFR 2018
The Americas FF 2018
Colombian FF Paris 2018
Latinamerika i Fokus FF 2018
INTERACTOS – Public Encounters of Arts 2018
Días de Cine FF 2018
Colombian FF Tokyo 2018
Colombian Film Exhibition Ecuador 2018
Iberoamerican FF Lebanon 2018
Consorcio Casa de América (ES) 2019
Zurich FF 2019
013 Cinecitta IFF 2019
Halmstad Ciné Clu 2019
Chicago IFF 2023
Cast & Crew
Gonzalo de Sagarminaga, Hernan Mendez, Manuel Navarro, Martha Leal, Laura Osma, Victoria Hernandez
Production: Galaxia 311
Natalia Santa was borne in Bogotá, Colombia in 1977. She studied Literature and after graduating went into editorial media, working for the publishing house Alfaguara and Taurus in Colombia. She began screenwriting in 2002 with teen mini-series for television. Since then she has developed several audio-visual projects in which she has endeavored to explore the intimate universes of the characters portrayed.
She wrote Trece her first feature length screenplay in 2008, for which she was awarded project funding from the FDC (Fondo cinematográfico colombiano). Trece shows us a critical moment in Colombian history, the 1990 presidential elections from the vantage point of a thirteen year old girl falling in love for the first time.
In 2011 she wrote The Dragon´s Defence , her second length screenplay which was again given funding for development by the FDC. And in 2014 the FDC kickstarted production through the company Galaxia 311.
With The Dragon’s Defence she felt the need to narrate the story beyond the pages and begin her journey as a director. With the intention of exploring the language cinematography and to prepare for filming, she directed the short film, Deus ex Máquina.
In the last few years she studied in depth the art of script writing, direction and the directing of actors.
In 2016 she wrote Malta, her third feature length screenplay, olso awarded by FDC for development.