top of page


I was born in 1987 in Cali, Colombia, when the shine of the “Magic” was wishes fulfillment. The Cali cartel, led by the Rodriguez Orejuela Brothers, had seized the city. Locally, these capos were known as “The Magic Ones”: their tricks could appear and disappear all the world. 

The magic spread like glitter. The shots and bullets got mixed with the fireworks and the music from the orchestras. The people from Cali danced with the prosperity at hot blood. Luxury and abundance were their great dance floor, and violence, terror and crime, the principal dancers. Cali was magical in a monstrous way. 

But, around the 90s, the Magical Ones fell and the oasis faded, just like my parents, murdered in April 1991 when I was 3 years old. From that moment on, my life changed radically. Not only did I lose my parents, but my childhood and memory were lost with them, falling through a big hole I created in my mind, where I also put the trauma.


“Por Arte de Magia” is a first-person film motivated by the chance of turning trauma into poetry , that explores loss as a late mourning and feels orphanhood in childhood as a life experience where memory is not enough. And that is why the creation of one’s own worlds or versions of reality becomes something important. Perhaps this movie restates Serge Doubrosky’s idea that if you cannot retain a life, you can reinvent it. “This movie is the rabbit hole where Alice fell into Wonderland.” Melissa Saavedra Gil.

Project in advanced development. Financing stage.

Genre: Documentary

Duration: 80 minutes

Screenwriter and Director: Melissa Saavedra Gil


Production: Dessu Productions & Nodriza Productions

Like Magic

Awards and recognitions

5 SAPCINE at awards 2019

BAM Señal Colombia Award in 2021

3 awards in the Iberoamerican Co-production Meeting in the Guadalajara International Film Festival FICG 2021

Doc Montevideo award 2020

Invited to:

Miradas Doc 2021, Bogotá Audiovisual Market BAM 2021, Guadalajara International Film Festival Iberoamerican Co-production Meeting FICG 2021, Doc Montevideo 2020, Fam Mercosur 2020, SAPCINE 2019. Residencia Walden 2019.

bottom of page