Islamabad - The week-long Columbian festival was in full swing here at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) with an exhibition of photographs, and the screening Colombia super hit films.

More than two dozens of exquisite photographs by Nicolas Van Hemelryck, an adventurist and environmental photographer who turned to be a thrilling filmmaker lately, were put on display.

The exhibits reflect the amazing flora and fauna of the world’s largest rainforests that are spread over 5.5 million km2 covering much of north-western Brazil and extending into Colombia, Peru and other South American countries.

Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest, famed for its biodiversity. It’s crisscrossed by thousands of rivers, including the powerful Amazon. River towns, with 19th-century architecture from rubber-boom days, include Brazil’s Manaus and Belém and Peru’s Iquitos and Puerto Maldonado. Deforestation in the Amazon rainforest has been declining since 2004, mostly due to the falling deforestation rate in Brazil. There are a variety of reasons for the decline, including macroeconomic trends, new protected areas and indigenous territories, improved law enforcement, deforestation monitoring via satellite, pressure from environmental groups, and private sector initiatives.

The documentary includes archival footage, interviews and live footage of author, his family and friends. The novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Marquez remains at the centre of the documentary. The novel became a classic worldwide. The author’s friendship with Cuba’s legendary Fidel Castro became exemplary and helped many Cuban writers who had been imprisoned.

All this and more is seen in the documentary. The film covers author’s life from childhood to his demise. Interviews of renowned people including President Bill Clinton are the highlights. Gabo is the picture of a man with several dimensions with remarkable feats and achievements but above all a man of reality. The film runs for 90 minutes. Columbian Ambassador Juan Alfredo Pinto Saavedra said that his country has several socio-cultural similarities as of Pakistan. There is a lot common in the two countries that can be shared with the people of each other. He said his country is mostly known for the Amazon forest and Gabo. There could be no other special attraction to begin the Columbian festival with. Syed Jamal Shah, the PNCA Director General, said the first-ever Columbian festival would pave a path for long-term cultural interaction and exchange between the two countries. He said the Amazon forest and the Nobel prize-winning Gabriel García Márque certainly are the great honour for Columbia and the global identity. There is a lot to learn from each other’s culture and heritage, he said.