The International Documentary Film Festival DocumentaMadrid has packed theaters at the Cineteca Madrid and Spanish Film Archives-Cine Doré on the opening weekend of its 15th edition, which began on Thursday, May 3rd and will continue until the 13th of this month. .
The festival has also expanded its programming with the initiative "Documenta goes local", which brings free documentary film screenings to the cultural centers the Casa del Reloj (Arganzuela), CDI Arganzuela, the Paco de Lucía Auditorium and Exhibition Center (La Latina), Eduardo Úrculo (Tetuán), Alberto Sánchez (Puente de Vallecas), Carril del Conde (Hortaleza), Galileo (Chamberí), Santa Petronila (Villaverde). Screenings of the films from the Competitive Section, including Ainhoa: Yo no soy ésa, Impulso, Mikele, and La Grieta, will also continue through until next Saturday the 12th.
Además, el público asistente a las proyecciones ha podido conocer y compartir con los directores animados coloquios tras la proyecciones con cineastas internacionales como Jean Gabriel Périot (De la joie dans ce combat), Johan Grimonprez (Blue Orchids) o Maria Augusta Ramos (O processo); y nacionales como Ana Serret (El señor Liberto y los pequeños placeres), Xiana do Teixeiro (Tódalas mulleres que coñezo) o los codirectores Irene Yagüe y Alberto García (La Grieta).
In addition to the filmmakers participating in the various sections, our special guests Laila Pakalnina and Ross McElwee also paid us a visit this weekend. They were the stars of the opening ceremony to this film festival, which is organized by the City of Madrid and which was also attended by the City General Coordinator Luis Cueto.
After a warm welcome from the festival directors, Andrea Guzmán and David Varela,and a few words from Luis Cueto on behalf of the Madrid City Council, the retrospective on the Latvian filmmaker Laila Pakalnina was presented with some words from Elïna Saldovere on behalf of the Embassy of Latvia; followed by a recognition of Ross McElwee's career with an honorary award. The festival's opening ceremony ended with the screening of Antígona, by Pedro González-Rubio, who was also in attendance.
Photographic Memory, Bright Leaves, Six o’Clock News, Sherman’s March… Nine films from McElwee's film work can be enjoyed through until the end of the month at the retrospective-tribute that DocumentaMadrid is putting on of him at the Spanish Film Archives-Cine Doré, where his master class "Sherman’s Redux - A Work in Progress" was held last Friday, May 4th . Ross McElwee showed the audience some images of the creative process for his latest work: an adaptation of his film Sherman's March, which will get made into a fiction film.
Another one of the international guests who met with the pubic at the Cine Doré was Laila Pakalnina. At the screening of On Rubik's Road, Waterfall, Dream and Hello Horse!, the filmmaker expressed her admiration for the space hosting her retrospective: "Latvia is turning one hundred this year and I wonder how many more years will have to pass before Latvia gets a cinema like this one." Pakalnina revealed that her references were "bad cinema and good literature."
We were also visited by experts in Pedagogy and Film, who filled the Plato de Matadero Madrid for the early morning Seminar on Pedagogy in the Creative Process. Three days of enriching exchange and reflection on ways to educate new generations of audiovisual creators and how to awaken the love of cinema in the young people, with the participation of such renowned experts as the French critic and researcher Alain Bergala, Nuria Eidelman, co-director of the film and culture association Cine en Curso, and the Chilean director Ignacio Agüero, Marta Nieto from the Drac Magic cooperative, Nuria Díaz Velarde of the Aulafilm platform, in attendance on the first day; the director of the innovative Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola, Carlos Muguiro and the heads of different universities and film schools, on the second day; and, lastly, specialists in video creation, collaborative practices and social participation such as Pili Álvarez, from the Grupo Las Lindes, and Pau Coll, co-director of Adentro, joined the Franco-Brazilian anthropologist and director Vincent Carelli, who kicked off the day with his project "Video nas aldeias. The Indigenous Cinema of Brazil ".
The seminar was concluded with a wish for continuity on the part of David Varela, co-director of the festival, to "maintain and encourage the forum, which was created to keep alive and foster the exchange of methodologies, visions, experience and knowledge".
In this same vein this week, the initiative From the Classrooms to the Cinema, which began at the 14th edition, also took documentary film to students at secondary education centers, high schools and professional training centers. Lo que dirán, a story about adolescence and multiculturalism directed by Nila Núñez, was the first film that students got the chance to see and debate with its director in attendance. Over the coming days, the Cineteca Madrid will host 700 teenagers to reflect on individual responsibility, studies, differences, the transgender issues and the prison experience with films such as Adentro, Chante ton Bac d'abord, Mikele and Últimas conversas.
To get to know future generations of audience members is one of the goals of this festival, which this year has also set the goal of strengthen professional relationships through meetings between filmmakers, held in the Taller space, and the 1st Corte Final Forum, which will start on Tuesday with six selected projects, to be joined by the well-known producers Marta Andreu and Lola Mayo.
As a sign of DocumentaMadrid's wish to serve as a meeting point for filmmakers and film professionals from all over the world and to boost documentary filmmaking, the festival has hosted the IBERMEDIA working table, where representatives from different associations of film producers and filmmakers agreed to propose improvements in rules and regulations of the IBERMEDIA call for entries so that documentary film can more easily compete for this channel of financing, so crucial for Ibero-American producers. Some of those participating in the working table included Elena Vilardell and Víctor Sanchez (Ibermedia), Rocío Cabrera (DOCMA), Javier Corcuera (Cineteca Madrid), Sebastián Arabia (Unión de Cineastas), Belén Bernuy (APPA), Valérie Delpierre (ProDocs) and Peter Andermatt (Media Program).
Through May 13th, the various sections and activities will continue to take place at the venues: Cineteca Madrid, Filmoteca Española, Sala Equis, Casa de América, Casa del Reloj and cultural centers. In addition, filmmakers such as Peter Mettler and Emma Davie (Becoming Animal), Talal Derki (Of Fathers and Sons), Guy Maddin, Evan and Galen Johnson (The Green Fog) and the flamenco dancer Rocío Molina, star of Impulso, will share in discussions with the public and the upcoming meetings between directors scheduled for Tuesday, May 8th and Thursday, May 10th.
At Casa de América, one of the festival highlights will take place: the master class and screening of the filmography of special guest João Moreira Salles. Casa de América will also host the tribute to the recently deceased Fernando Birri and the renowned International School of Film and Television of San Antonio de los Baños (Cuba), which he created in 1986 along with some other artists.
On Friday, March 11th at 12 noon, the winners will be announced of the different categories in the three Feature film sections (National, International and Fugas) - to be awarded 10,000 euros and trophy - and Short Films (National, International and Fugas) - to be granted 5,000 euros and trophy - in addition to the Audience Awards, worth 5,000 and 2,500 euros, respectively. The winning films will be screened on Saturday the 12th and Sunday the 13th at the Cineteca Madrid and Sala Equis theaters.