Produced and starring Manolo Cardona, The Snitch Cartel tells the story of a drug dealer caught between two cartels in the middle of Colombia’s lock on the cocaine market in 1993. Based on true events, Cardona’s character, Martin, juggles his secretive life with his true love from boyhood, Sofia (Juana Acosta) and his lifelong friends whose loyalties may change amidst the chaos of the warring cartels. Directed by Carlos Moreno, Snitch Cartel was shot in three countries in an amazing five weeks: Colombia, Mexico, and three places in the United States, including Los Angeles, New York and southern Florida.
Cardona, whose brother Francisco is a producer on the project, spoke of the efficiency with which the production, on a budget under $5 million, shot in nine locations to maintain the authenticity of the original story, which has also been presented as an internationally-shown television series for the Spanish language market.
To pay homage to his own culture and homeland, Cardona personally met with the man on whom his character was based, so that the film’s script remained true to the actual story. The final film, which evokes both Scarface and Heat, at times appears as cinema verité-style filmmaking though Moreno manages to keep his camera fluid with lush saturated cinematography by Mateo Londono. Rife with intriguing character confrontations from the cocaine underworld plus violent action moments on the streets of Cali, Colombia and New York City, the story is both unpredictable and engrossing, centered on the tenuous fate of Martin and Sofia.
At the U.S. premiere, Cardona spoke about the wealth of filmmaking talent in contemporary Colombia on both sides of the camera, noting that all the cast and crew members were hungry to bring their A-game to Snitch Cartel. He and his team were humbly honored to have their film, which will screen in select U.S. cities in mid-January, as a representative of their country in the Foreign Language Film competition at the 2013 Academy Awards.