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Marmato poster.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed by Mark Grieco
Produced by Mark Grieco
Stuart Reid
Harry Swartz-Turfle
Izabel Hoyos
Written by Mark Grieco
Stuart Reid
Music by Todd Boekelheide
Cinematography Mark Grieco
Edited by Ricardo Acosta
Mark Grieco
Calle Films
Release dates
  • January 17, 2014 (2014-01-17) (Sundance)
Running time
87 minutes
Country Colombia
United States
Language Spanish

Marmato is a 2014 American documentary film written, directed and produced by Mark Grieco.[1] It is the debut feature film of Grieco. The film premiered in competition category of U.S. Documentary Competition program at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 17, 2014,[2] where it won the Candescent Award.[3]


The film narrates 6-years long struggle of townspeople of Marmato, Caldas with Canadian mining company that wants the $20 billion in gold beneath their homes.


Director, Mark Grieco lived and filmed in the town of Marmato over the course of 5 1/2 years from 2008-2013. The entirety of the film takes place in the town except for two scenes in the nearby city of Medellín. Grieco worked alone filming with one camera, the Canon XH-A1. Production was forced to end when it became too dangerous to continue to film in the town. [4]


The film received positive response from critics. Kenneth Turan in his preview of Sundance 2014 for the Los Angeles Times said that it was among the festival's most memorable films and is "made with exceptional artistry." [5]

Guy Lodge in his review for Variety said that "Mark Grieco's detailed, patient chronicle of a Colombian gold rush is equal parts passion and compassion project."[6]

Mark Adams of Screen International said it is "a striking and vivid story" and "a fascinating glimpse into a tough and resilient community" [7]

Daniel Feinberg in his Sundance review for HitFix called it "one of the best films I've seen in this year's U.S. Documentary Competition" with "compelling and fully realized characters". He goes on to say, "The whole thing is like a Werner Herzog film, man's base desires, juxtaposed with sublime and unconquerable nature" [8]

Jordan M. Smith from Ioncinema gave the film a positive review by saying that "Grieco’s film acts as an advocate for cultural preservation, but in doing he’s unfortunately woven a story as muddled as the conflict it documents."[9]

However, Justin Lowe of The Hollywood Reporter said, "Sympathetic account of beleaguered small-town residents doesn’t muster enough material to prove entirely persuasive."[10]


Year Award Category Recipient Result
2014 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary Mark Grieco Nominated
Candescent Award Mark Grieco Won[3]
Cartagena Film Festival Best Documentary Film Mark Grieco Won[11]
Best Colombian Film Mark Grieco Won[11]
Audience Award for Best Documentary Mark Grieco Won[11]
Seattle International Film Festival Grand Jury Prize: Best Documentary Mark Grieco Won[12]
Ashland Independent Film Festival Best Editing Feature Documentary Mark Grieco and Ricardo Acosta Won[13]
Habana International Film Festival Special Jury Prize Mark Grieco Won[14]
Environmental Film Festival at Yale Best Environmental Storytelling Mark Grieco Won[15]
Astra Film Festival Eco Cinematography Award Mark Grieco Won[16]
Santa Fe Independent Film Festival Audience Choice Best Documentary Feature Mark Grieco Won[17]
Banff Mountain Film Festival Best Feature Length Mountain Film Mark Grieco Won[18]
2015 Sedona International Film Festival Best Documentary Mark Grieco Won[19]


External links[edit]