HomeChévere reportsCésar Bolívar got tired of making history

César Bolívar got tired of making history

For 60 years, he was a cameraman, director, producer, screenwriter and even an actor

The world of Venezuelan cinema was still wiping away its tears over the physical disappearance of the legendary Margot Benacerraf, when, two days later, another loss occupied the news. The actor César Román used the social media to report the death of his father, César Bolívar.

Messages of regret, solidarity, affection, admiration and respect germinated towards a man who knew how to diversify his artistic activity in film, television and theater, without pigeonholing himself into a single facet. He was a cameraman, director of photography, screenwriter, producer, director, actor, manager and teacher, also finding time to write press articles.

Such versatility, demonstrated in a 60-year career, associates the name of César Bolívar with different historical references in the world of Venezuelan entertainment. On the big screen, “Easter Sunday” and “Wrongful Homicide” are, perhaps, the most important titles in his role as a filmmaker.

In the small one, the mentions multiply. “Sangre azul”, “Estefanía” (first telenovela broadcast in color), “Natalia from 8 to 9”, “Elizabeth”, “Goméz”, “Gómez II”, “María María”, “Emperatriz”, “Cosita rica” and “Blessed City” are magnificent buttons to show legacy.

But there is more ...

César Bolívar's resume began in 1964, when he joined RCTV as a camera assistant. After five years, he joined Renny Ottolina's camera crew. He shared work with cinematography studios at the Ateneo de Caracas. The short “Chévere”, recognized with the Municipal Award.

In the early 70s, he did internships as assistant director to Abigaíl Rojas in the film “Bárbara”. And he began his relationship with Román Chalbaud, when he was chosen as the cameraman for “The Burning of Judas.” The duo repeated it in the iconic film “The Smoking Fish.”

In the middle of the same decade, he worked, side by side, with Eladio Lárez as a cameraman for the first season of the denunciation program “Alerta”, which earned the television station a temporary suspension by the government of Luis Herrera. Noteworthy: he was director of photography for “Doña Bárbara”, the first Venezuelan soap opera recorded in color (1974).

Once his skills were proven, he was appointed production manager by the executives of Quinta Crespo. During his administration, he saw the light of the memorable “Ciclo Rómulo Gallegos”.

As a teacher, he taught a course at the National Academy of Sciences and Arts of Cinema and Television, in which Renato Gutiérrez, Luis Manzo and Luis Alberto Lamata obtained diplomas. In 1982, he joined the staff of the School of Arts of the Central University of Venezuela.

a pillar

The life of César Agusto Bolívar Masso from Caracas extended from September 4, 1944 to May 31, 2024. His romantic partner was the actress and writer Pilar Romero, with whom he worked in Anaís' Husband, " Natalia from 8 to 9”, “Dead Mosquita”, “Bye Cristina” and “Elizabeth”. The couple had a son: César Román, born on December 20, 1980.

In the 70s, Bolívar teamed up with Román Chalbaud and Miguelángel Landa to found the production company Gente de cine. And in the 80s, he accompanied Hernán Pérez Belisario, José Ignacio Cabrujas and Enrique Cuscó in the foundation of Marte TV, directing the first soap opera of this company: “María María”.

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