Four projects are vying for a good result at this year’s Ikusmira Berriak
by David González
- SAN SEBASTIÁN 2017: The support programme for films in development is once again backing rookie directors unafraid to explore new cinematic languages
For the third year, Ikusmira Berriak, the programme that aims to support the development of new audio visual work, is winding down against the backdrop of the San Sebastián International Film Festival. Dedicated to lavishing six weeks of attention on innovative and experimental films at an early phase in their development, the joint initiative organised by the festival and the Tabakelera cultural centre this year singled out four titles: Eles transportan a morte, by Samuel M. Delgado and Helena Girón, in the “rest of Spain” category; Águila de papel, from Argentina’s Julia Pesce, in the “international” category; Las letras de Jordi, by Maider Fernández Iriarte, in the category reserved for filmmakers from the Basque country; and Stephanie, by Leonardo Van Dijl, in the EIECINE category (Directors from the 15th International Film Students’ Meeting).
Eles transportan a morte, the first feature-length project from director duo Samuel M. Delgado and Helena Girón, adopts an inventive approach somewhere between narration and experimentation to re-imagine Christopher Columbus’ expedition to America in 1492. “The strength of the project is that it is based on a story of international significance, which changed the world,” remarks Beli Martínez, who is producing the film for Filmika Galaika. “The directors have a fresh, unique voice — they are also set on shaking up the Spanish cinema scene a bit, and that’s what got our attention.” Delgado comments, “We want to develop a co-production strategy, working mainly with Portugal, which seems to us like our most natural partner, but also with France. The residency gave us lots of opportunities in this respect, allowing the project to move forward in a very dynamic way.” Filmed in a mixture of Galician and Spanish, the project has already secured 37% of its funding and has the backing of El Viaje Films.
Argentine filmmaker Julia Pesce’s work-in-progress is a documentary about her own family and its links with the practice of Tensegrity, a modern interpretation of ancient Mexican practices and traditions popularised by North American author and anthropologist Carlos Castaneda. “My film is tangled up with innumerable family stories, and so it needs a long incubation period,” she says. Produced by Ezequiel Salinas, the project is still in a very early stage, with many creative choices still to be made. “To me, the programme offers something very special — the opportunity to go away somewhere and channel all of my energy into the project. I don’t know of any residencies like this in Argentina,” she adds.
Like Águila de papel, the remaining two projects are also in very early development. Las letras de Jordi, by San Sebastián-native Maider Fernández Iriarte, is a documentary about a 51-year-old man born with cerebral palsy, produced by Leire Apellániz (who directed The Last Summer [+see also:
film profile]) for Sr. & Sra., and also in embryonic phase. Finally, Stephanie, directed by Belgian filmmaker Leonardo Van Dijl and produced for De Wereldvrede by Gilles De Schryver and Gilles Coulier (who fittingly took part in the New Directors section of this year’s festival with Cargo [+see also:
interview: Gilles Coulier
film profile]), follows a young and ambitious gymnast with her sights set on the Olympics.
Ultimately, the winning film will benefit from a post-production support framework supplied by REC Grabaketa Estudioa.
(Translated from Spanish)
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