Colombian director Jaime Osorio Márquez, who served as creator and director on HBO Max’s first Colombian series, “A Thousand Fangs” (“Mil Colmillos”), chose to die by assisted suicide on Thursday in Colombia, where euthanasia is legal. He was 46.
He had beaten back an aggressive kidney cancer in 2009 and again in 2012, when it had returned and metastasized. But increasing pain and his growing intolerance of pain medications compelled him to end his life before his health deteriorated further and he became a burden to his family, said his producing partner Federico Duran of Rhayuela Films, who served as show runner on “A Thousand Fangs.”
“My soul brother left this earthly plane last Thursday,” said a devastated Duran. “He was my great friend, that’s why all the memories of the nearly 15 years of working with him I reserve for myself, at least while I process the pain of his departure. Everyone has asked me what happened to him when he seemed so well, that they had seen him very active recently and that he was at such an important moment in his career.”
“The answer is overwhelming and he wanted the whole world to know: Jaime was not killed by cancer. That disease that struck him for the first time in 2009, just before we started production on his debut feature, ‘The Squad,’ (‘El Paramo’) and that despite all the treatments, ruthlessly re-announced itself in the form of a metastasis over the weekend when they gave him the award for best director at the Sitges festival,” he continued.
Osorio’s cancer returned in 2012, around the time he won best script for his psychological thriller at the Guadalajara Film Festival. However, he defied the doctor’s prognosis that gave him only a few months to live and instead lived a rich and productive life for several more years.
“No, Jaime was not killed by the disease. He survived it, defeated it and dominated it. He managed to write and stage a play, direct his second film, ‘The Sacrifice’ (‘7 Cabezas’) and the series ‘A Thousand Fangs,’ a titanic effort that turned out to be one of the most outstanding productions in Latin America; and then, before the disease took over his life again, he pushed ahead of it,” said Duran.
“Somehow, he plotted his own ending, as if he were the writer of his own script. In his moment of greatest glory, he made the decision and put the words ‘The End’ to his own life. Fly high, my brother.”
“We regret the death of Colombian director Jaime Osorio, known for great productions such as ‘The Squad,’ ‘The Sacrifice’ and the series ‘A Thousand Fangs.’ We send a message of condolences to his family and friends,” the Colombian Ministry of Culture said on Twitter.
Born in Cali, Colombia, Osorio studied at the University of Rennes in France. He began directing commercials for major brands upon his return to Colombia. He won multiple awards for his filmmaking, including two Cannes Silver Lions and a Cannes Golden Lion.
He wrote and directed his debut feature “The Squad” in 2011, which was produced by Rhayuela Films with Spain’s Alta Films and Sudestada Cine, Argentina. Sold internationally by Wild Bunch, it became one of the biggest box office hits in Colombia.
“A Thousand Fangs” deals with a military operation that goes awry as the soldiers are overwhelmed by vicious supernatural forces. Osorio directed six episodes while Pablo Gonzalez directed two.
Osorio is survived by his father and his two siblings.