Annamaria Scaramella • Director, Márgenes Festival
“Many of the sessions, both film and music, sold out; the festival is gaining new audiences, among them many young people”
- The festival director told us about the challenges of launching a new edition of Márgenes/Work and what the gathering’s objectives are for next year
We talked to executive producer and programme coordinator Annamaria Scaramella about the 12th edition of the Márgenes Festival, which took place from 22-27 November in Madrid.
Cineuropa: What was the overall outcome of this edition?
Annamaria Scaramella: Since last year, the festival has embarked on a process of regeneration. This edition consolidated and expanded many of the ideas we started to work on in 2021: the definitive opening-up of the programme to the international domain; the interdisciplinary approach; the involvement of young audiences; and the enhancement of social interaction and a sense of community. For the first time, the official competition included international films from different countries, not only from Spain and the Ibero-American region. The same happened with the official jury, made up of Spaniards Isabel Peña (screenwriter) and Nacho Sánchez (actor), and French researcher and film critic Nicole Brenez. Also, two prominent figures of French cinema visited the festival: Mathieu Amalric, who presented his new film, Hold Me Tight [+see also:
film profile], as well as On Tour [+see also:
interview: Mathieu Amalric
interview: Mathieu Amalric
film profile], and Patricia Mazuy, to whom the festival dedicated a retrospective. Both also held a meeting with the public. Alain Guiraudie was awarded the Márgenes Special Prize, which for the first time went to a filmmaker who was not Spanish, Portuguese or Latin American.
With the aim of linking film and the festival to other disciplines, a talk with Spanish writers Sabina Urraca and Aloma Rodríguez was organised after the screening of the film The Super-8 Years [+see also:
interview: Annie Ernaux and David Erna…
film profile] by Nobel Prize winner Annie Ernaux. Also, a round-table on “Altered Landscapes” with Joan Foncuberta, Silvia Teixeira and Gabriel Alonso took place. The festival has also opened up to the visual and sound arts by hosting live audiovisual performances by international artists, such as Alex Augier, Myriam Bleau, Holy Other and Pedro Maia, and Spanish ones like Enrique del Castillo, Artur M Puga and Shoeg. Many of the sessions, both film and music, were sold out; the festival is gaining new audiences, among them many young people, who are joining the festival’s public. We are very happy with the outcome, and our feeling is that the festival’s offerings have been very well received.
During the event, you organised the eighth edition of Márgenes/Work. What is this project all about?
Márgenes/Work is the festival’s development and production lab. It’s a creative and training programme aimed at supporting emerging talent and fostering projects that go beyond the boundaries of traditional narratives and use non-traditional production models. It thus contributes to bringing greater diversity to the filmmaking scene. Márgenes/Work is a comprehensive programme for directors and producers from Spain, Portugal and Latin America that encompasses all stages of the creative process, from development to completion, where it can cater to the different needs of filmmakers and producers at each stage. Launched in 2015, it was one of the first labs specifically dedicated to fragile and unusual works. It is not a co-production or gap-financing market, nor is it a post-production lab, but rather, throughout its history, it has been conceived as a working space that can provide guidance and advice to strengthen the selected projects, while also ensuring their unique identity and quality. Since then, Márgenes/Work has championed numerous filmmakers whose distinctive movies have been shown worldwide. One of its most distinctive features, and the one that sets it apart from other similar initiatives, is that here, the projects are encouraged to show their vulnerability because only from this premise can they grow and take advantage of the laboratory. For five days, participants work with a team of international professionals who, thanks to their diverse range of profiles, advise them from different points of view: scriptwriting, production, marketing, distribution and so on. The aim is therefore to promote the creative potential of the selected projects and, at the same time, to find the ideal way to facilitate their completion and access to the market. In 2022, a new programme for work in progress was created, doubling the number of participating projects and advisors (taking it to 13 instead of six).
What do you have up your sleeve for next year?
Since it began, Márgenes has been essential for a whole generation of filmmakers. Our efforts over the last 11 years have brought us this far: we are happy to say that, right now, we are considered the benchmark in Madrid and one very important part of the Spanish festival circuit. For the next edition, our aim is to continue to establish Márgenes as a city festival here in Madrid. The audience's response this year indicates that the festival's offerings and editorial policy have been well received. We believe that there is room to continue growing, without distorting the premise on which the festival is based. We will work to maintain the high quality of the programme, focusing on the singularity and originality of our propositions, and looking to strike a balance between Spanish cinema, which we want to continue to support, and international cinema. Likewise, while the festival is opening up to films that can attract a wider audience, we will continue to lend visibility to movies that find it more difficult to achieve more widespread distribution. It is important for the festival to remain a space for discovery and a showcase for less conventional or smaller works. Also, while always keeping film at the centre, we will continue to deepen the convergence between the visual and sound arts, with programming highlights such as live A/V shows and performances. Finally, we will also work to strengthen our industry activities.
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