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Debut director Catalina Arroyave Restrepo won a Special Jury Mention at SXSW for this free-spirited story of young love and defiance in the mean streets of Medellín, Colombia. 

Cristina is a budding graffiti artist, living with her dad and his new wife in a middle-class Medellín neighbourhood. Her mother, a journalist, has fled the country after shining a spotlight on some vengeful criminal types. Cristina escapes the daily dramas at home by hanging out with fellow street artist Simon and as their friendship evolves into something more, the teens use their creative skills to take on a local gang.

With memorable performances from Laura Tobón and David Escallón as Cristina and Simon, and buoyed by an upbeat soundtrack of hip-hop and salsa-inflected music, Days of the Whale fizzes with youthful energy and verve, offering a compassionate, vibrant portrait of hope and humanity against the ever-present threat of danger in a city better known for its cartels.

“A neon-colorful manifesto of optimistic defiance spray-stenciled on a newly white-washed wall … the film compels as a gentle portrait of the blissed-out uncertainty of new love.” – Variety