Born in Colombia in 1984 and based in Berlin since 2003, Juan Sarmiento G. studied at the University of Film & Television Potsdam Babelsberg. He currently works as a cinematographer in fiction and documentary features with directors like Pola Beck, Karim Ainouz, and Simón Mesa Soto, in Germany and worldwide.
One of Sarmiento’s latest films, “Valley of Souls” (“Tantas Almas”), was recently awarded the German Cinematography Award 2020 (Deutscher Kamerapreis) in the feature film category. This moving work, which follows the journey of a grieving father determined to provide a proper burial for his murdered sons, was shot in Colombia, directed by Nicolás Rincón Gille, and produced by Medio de Contención Producciones, Néon Rouge Productions, STO Lat Films, and Tact Productions. Selected by ARRI’s International Support Program, the project was supported by ARRI with camera and lighting equipment and serviced by Congo Films S.A.S and ARRI Rental. “Valley of Souls” premiered in competition at the Busan International Film Festival 2019 and was awarded the Etoile d’Or for best film at the Marrakech International Film Festival before going on to win the German Cinematography Award 2020 as best feature film.
For “Valley of Souls,” Sarmiento chose to shoot with ALEXA Mini and Master Anamorphic lenses and light with SkyPanels.
In our interview, Sarmiento speaks about the visual universe of “Valley of Souls,” the immersion into the story, challenges of nature, the choice of lenses, and lighting darkness.