TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding


A Male

Fabian Hernández, Manuel Ruíz Montealegre

Colombia, Netherlands


At 16 years old, Carlos undergoes a rite of passage to become a male.

The threatening presence of the men in his midst and his concern for looking after his mother and his sister inexorably push him towards seeking out a type of masculinity that conforms to his social context, a stereotype that will become a threat to himself. In private, Carlos faces and allows himself to explore his sensitivity, his fragility, and all that “real men” do not show.

Carlos is torn between following the path of the men of the street in a marginal neighbourhood of Bogotá or to follow the beat of his contradictions. He dreams of family joy on Christmas Eve, unaware that his life will hang in the balance.


This film is a re-encounter with moments that are still raw, which I lived through in my adolescence: my sources for making this film are my experiences. Growing up in a patriarchal setting of machos, of “strong men”, where concepts such as vulnerability, crying and fear are associated with femininity, with the lack of virility, a flaw, I developed an aversion to the poetry I loved, towards expressing my feelings, sensations, exploring my sexual desires, towards sensitivity.

The story of A Male reveals the vulnerability, the latent restlessness for that desired masculinity that hides the fear of something much deeper in men. What makes this tale endearing is that it breaks free from the clichés. At the same time, what makes my protagonist grow and evolve is that he rebels against the mandate to be a violent macho man.

This is an optimistic film that chooses life. It says that you can save yourself, that it is possible to break free from this framework of masculinity.

budget, distribution & sales

A Male is a tale of initiation around masculinity and adolescence in a contemporary setting anchored in the current Colombian, Bogotá political reality. Masculinity, youth identity and social construction of gender are the evolving key points of the film, the different stages of the rite of passage. The film has great potential to resonate with international audiences and we believe that this sensitive and powerful story is able to touch even the most demanding audience. Our main goal with the distribution is to establish Fabián Hernández as a talent through his debut feature. This means engaging the audience with an A-level festival premiere and build a momentum from that to cinema distribution. The budget for the film is € 570.000. We have secured 51%, which corresponds principally to the production support received from Proimágenes Colombia for € 250.000. In March 2020 we intend to apply to the World Cinema Fund and Visions Sud Est, and our co-producer Fortuna Films is going to apply for HBF+Europe in April 2020. We are open to find new international co-producers and we would like to confirm international sales agents. We are planning to start shooting in July 2020.


Carlos lives with a latent angst, hiding his fears, seeking to free himself from the male stereotype.
Fabian Hernández

Scriptwriter, Film Director

Manuel Ruíz Montealegre


production notes

original title
Un Varón

directed by
Fabián Hernández

in co-production with
Fortuna Films – Netherlands

total production budget
€ 571429