Virus Tropical

‘I did it. I made love for the first time.’ · ‘And how was it?’ · ‘It was weird. But it was nice. I think it’s something I have to learn with time.’

Paola grows up as the youngest of three sisters in Quito, Ecuador. Her father, a pastor, abandons the family to return to his Columbian homeland. Dreams are dashed, undertakings fail, love flourishes and fades and life rolls on at a spirited pace. Paola matures in the midst of this chaos, taking everything it has to offer while staying true to herself in the process. In rapid-fire images, Virus Tropical tells a feverish and laconic tale of everyday family drama and the normal, volatile existence of a young woman. Caicedo’s debut feature transfers graphic novelist Powerpaola’s autobiographical statement to the big screen, where emancipatory protest and a declaration of love are artfully fused in an ironic look at Latin-American reality. Surrounded by her mother and two older sisters, Paola attempts to find her place in this world. In a tour de force bursting with the tragicomedy of everyday drama, Paola develops into a self-confident young woman in spite of all the challenges facing her.
by Santiago Caicedo
with María Cecilia Sánchez, Martina Toro, Alejandra Borrero, Diego León Hoyos, Mara Gutiérrez, María Parada, Camila Valenzuela, Javiera Valenzuela, Zoraida Duque
Colombia 2017 Spanish 97’ Black/White


  • María Cecilia Sánchez (Paola (Teen))
  • Martina Toro (Paola (Child))
  • Alejandra Borrero (Hilda)
  • Diego León Hoyos (Uriel)
  • Mara Gutiérrez (Patty (Adult))
  • María Parada (Patty (Child))
  • Camila Valenzuela (Claudia)
  • Javiera Valenzuela (Chavela)
  • Zoraida Duque (Grandmother)


Director Santiago Caicedo
Screenplay Enrique Lozano, Powerpaola based on her graphic novel of the same name
Animation David Restrepo, Manuel D’Macedo, Felipe Sanín, Carolina Gomez
Art Director Powerpaola
Editing Simón Hernández, Jorge Vallejo, Santiago Caicedo
Music Adriana García Galán
Assistant Director Felipe Sanín
Executive Producer Carolina Barrera Quevedo
Producers Carolina Barrera Quevedo, Santiago Caicedo
Associate Producer Nidia Santiago, Edwina LiardIkki Films Paris

Santiago Caicedo

Born in Columbia in 1976, he works in the fields of motion graphics, animation, stereoscopy, video art and film. His short films have screened at numerous international festivals including Annecy and Clermont-Ferrand and have won many awards.


2003 Why Won’t She Open Up?; short film 2004 Drain; short film 2006 Come Coco; short film 2007 Galaxy; short film · Moving Still; short film 2011 Uyuyui!; short film 2014 La forma del Caracol; short film 2015 Microaventuras; short film 2017 Virus Tropical

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2018