Alias Maria

José Luis Rugeles Gracia

Columbia, Argentina, France , 2015 / 92 min / Spanish OV with English subt. (screening Ciné Utopia) / Spanish OV with French subt. (screening Cinémathéque) / Drama, War

A tense thriller about a child soldier's attempt to survive war and pregnancy in the jungle.

Maria, a 13-year-old guerrilla soldier, is given a mission to bring the commander’s newborn baby to safety in a neighboring town. But nobody knows the secret she is hiding: Maria is pregnant, and having a child is forbidden in the guerrilla. During the mission her secret is revealed and she runs away to avoid being forced to abort. Through Maria’s eyes we experience the devastating results of Colombia’s armed conflict: villages ravaged by massacres, peasants trapped in the cross-fire, parents who have lost their children, and kids trying to grow up normally amid the carnage. Thanks to a new instinct born inside her, Maria will find the strength to look for a new life.

Jose Luis Rugeles plunges us into the jungle and allows us to experience through Maria’s eyes the plight of child soldiers and the devastating results of Colombia’s armed conflict. The film is anchored by a strong performance by newcomer Karen Torres as Maria.

Thu 25/02 21:30 Ciné Utopia Spanish OV with English subt. Public
Sun 28/02 19:00 Cinémathèque Spanish OV with French subt. Public

“Rugeles Gracia wants to bear witness, not just for María, but for all the girls whose names we don’t know.” Tim Grierson,, 19.05.2015

“Camilo Sanabria provides an effective score and Sergio Ivan Castano's cinematography puts us deep into the humid claustrophobic closeness of the forest.” John Bleasdale,

“The look and tone of Alias Maria feels appropriate, and Sergio Ivan Castano’s cinematography glides over the shadowy forests, capturing the desperation and paralysis of these children forced into military operation.” Nicholas Bell,, 22.05.2015

Cast & Credits
Karen Torres, Carlos Clavijo, Erik Ruiz, Anderson Gomez
Diego Vivanco
Sergio Ivan Castano
Martin Grignaschi, Federico Billordo
Oscar Navarro
Camilo Sanabria
Rhayuela Cine S.A
Sudestada Cine, Axxon Films

After the short film “El dragón de Comodo” (2007) Columbian director Jose Luis RugelesGracia directs his first feature  film in 2010, “Garcia”. Two years later, he works for the police TV series “El Laberinto”. He then cofounds the production company Rhayuela Films where he develops several projects and coproduces features such as “Alias Maria”, his second feature film selected for the Cannes Festival (Un certain regard).

  • 2015 Alias Maria
  • 2012 El laberinto (TV Series)
  • 2010 Garcia
  • 2007 El dragon de Comodo (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)