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Sections & Films


Category: Edition 2004


Maria, 17, lives in a small town north of Bogotá with her mother, her grandmother, her sister and her sister’s young son. Maria works on a rose plantation with her friend, Blanca. Work is tiring and the only variety in Maria’s life are the fiestas she attends with her boyfriend, Juan. Maria has a impulsive nature. One day, she gets into a terrible row with her boss and loses her job. When she finds out to be pregnant, she decides to take her chances in the city. There she runs into an old acquaintance, Franklin, a young man who proposes her to work as a courier: to swallow tiny packets of heroin and smuggle them into the USA. If she agrees, there’s 5,000 US dollars for her. She agrees. Lucy has already completed two smuggling trips; she shows Maria how to prepare her body for the job. Shortly after this, Blanca finds herself in the clutches of a group of drug dealers. Two days later, the two friends find themselves on an airplane bound for the USA. Maria has 62 packets of heroin in her stomach…

Category Official Competition
Section Y Gen
Tipology Feature Film
Duration 101'
Production Year 2004
Nationality Colombia, USA
Directed by Joshua Marston
Screenplay Joshua Marston
Script Joshua Marston
Director of photography Jim Denault
Editor Lee Percy, Anne McCabe
Production Design Debbie DeVilla, Monica Marulanda
Costume Design Lauren Press, Sarah Beers
Sound Philip Stockton
Music Leonardo Heiblum, Jacobo Lieberman
Main cast Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria)
Yenny Paolo Vega (Blanca)
Guilied López (Lucy)
Jhon Alex Toro (Franklin)
Patricia Rae (Carla)
Virgina Ariza (Juana)
Produced by Paul Mezey

maria full of grace regJoshua Marston

Born 1968, Southern California. He studied at Berkeley and worked for “Life” magazine and ABC News during the years 1990/91 before moving to Prague, where he taught English. He took up studies in politics in Chicago and then film at New York University Tisch School. He has directed a number of award-winning shorts, including: BUS TO QUEENS (1999), VOICE OF AN ANGEL (2000), TRIFECTA (2001). MARIA FULL OF GRACE marks his feature film debut.


Director’s statement

“I began to really think about Maria, and the decision she makes. There are over a billion people on the planet that are living on a dollar a day or less; they’re not all drug mules. So the question poses itself: what does cause a person who is in desperate straits to become a drug mule? Well, there are as many answers as there are people who do it. […] I think there are probably certain universals of a 17 year old’s life that cut across culture and economics. That was one of the aspects that made the film personal for me, because it is about someone trying to figure out who she is and her place in the world. It’s about Maria not being satisfied with where she is; she’s looking and yearning for something else, even if she can’t define or articulate it. From that developed a script that was less and less about a drug mule, and more and more about a young woman trying to break out and kick against a world that seemed to be pressing in on her, in order to achieve something more”.

Journeyman Pictures
225, W. 13th Street, New York, NY 10011 USA
phone +1 2129891038
fax +1 2129893907


World sales
Festival contact
HBO Films London
Warner House 98 Theobald’s Road, London WC1X8WB - UK
phone +44 2079845051
fax +44 2079845052
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Italian distribution
Istituto Luce
ViaTuscolana 1055, 00173 Roma - Italy
phone +39 06 129921
fax +39 06 7221127
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