Over 14,500 people attended the 15th edition of DocumentaMadrid

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  • Promoted by the City Council of Madrid, the Festival saw a 26% increase in the number of spectators viewing its programming at venues such as Cineteca Madrid, the Spanish Film Archives and Casa de América.

  • Those attending the festival's parallel activities increased by 30% thanks to the success of the "Pedagogy of the Creative Process" seminar, "Documenta goes local" and "From the classrooms to the cinema".


DocumentaMadrid, the International Documentary Film Festival promoted by the City Council of Madrid, has announced a notable increase in attendance, surpassing 14,500 spectators and participants in its fifteenth edition as compared to the 12,700 from the previous year. Specifically, its documentary film programming has registered a 26% increase in viewers at the Cineteca Madrid, the Spanish Film Archives and the Casa de América, in addition to other venues.

DocumentaMadrid's co-director Andrea Guzmán was satisfied with the final numbers: "We are very happy to be closing this edition with these results. Beyond the figures, which speak for themselves, we have been pleasantly surprised by the number of congratulations and positive messages received from the public, guests, professionals and journalists, who have valued the programming, effort and professionalism of the team, the activities we prepared and the atmosphere of the festival in general. We are happy and looking forward even more to preparing the next one."

DocumentaMadrid's parallel activities, the aim of which is to bring in new audiences to documentary films, have increased in attendance by 30%. In line with the Madrid City Council's commitment to decentralizing culture, the festival held special screenings of the documentary films competing in the official section at cultural centers in eight neighborhoods of Madrid as part of the Documenta goes local initiative, which this year managed to double the number of audience members in attendance. This program was also attended by some of the directors of the films, such as the Colombian Carmen Torres (Amanecer) and Irene Yagüe and Alberto G. Ortiz (La Grieta) from Madrid. Participation rates also went up for the morning sessions in From the classrooms to the cinema, in which young students went to the Cineteca Madrid to enjoy the experience of seeing movies like Últimas conversas (Eduardo Coutinho), Lo que dirán (Nila Núñez) and Mikele (Ekhiñe Etxeberria).

Over one hundred films, new parallel activities and collaborators

At this year's DocumentaMadrid, over one hundred films from thirty-two countries have been screened as part of the festival Competitive Section, in addition to the films programmed in two new series Nature on Edge and From the Feminine. The Madrid festival was attended by 80 professionals from over 15 different countries, including the special guest filmmaker Ross McElwee and the Latvian director Laila Pakalnina, to whom the festival dedicated a retrospective at the Spanish Film Archives. DocumentaMadrid also featured the presence of João Moreira Salles as a special guest. The Brazilian filmmaker gave a master class at the Casa de América, where he also rendered tribute to Fernando Birri and the EICTV of San Antonio de los Baños.

Over the eleven days of the festival, various parallel activities have been held, such as the 1st Corte Final Professional Forum, a space for reflecting and lending support to new creators whose projects were in advanced stages of editing or post-production. To boost the creation of collaborative networks among professionals, the first edition of Corte Final featured the participation of the filmmakers and teachers Marta Andreu and Lola Mayo, who assessed the six selected projects. The winning project of this new section was Mercedes by Isabella Lima and the Special Mention went to My Mexican Bretzel by Nuria Giménez. The Corte Final awards were worth a total of 22,000 euros and were sponsored by the companies in the industry Aracne Digital Cinema, DraxAudio, 36 caracteres and Festhome.

The IBERMEDIA panel discussion was also held for the first time at this year's edition, the purpose of which is to improve the conditions for gaining access to documentary film financing. A large group of professionals participated in the event, most notably including Elena Vilardell and Víctor Sanchez (Ibermedia Program), Javier Corcuera (Cineteca Madrid), Sebastián Arabia (Unión de Cineastas), Belén Bernuy (APPA), Rocío Cabrera (DOCMA), Valérie Delpierre (ProDocs) and Peter Andermatt (Programa Media).

For three days the Seminar "Pedagogy of the Creative Process" reflected on how to educate the next generation of audiovisual creators and awaken a love of cinema in young people. The seminar was attended by specialists such as the critic and academic Alain Bergala, the father of Video nas aldeias, Vincent Carelli, the director of the new Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola, Carlos Muguiro, the filmmakers Ignacio Agüero and Pau Coll, the teacher and co-director of the A Bao A Qu association, Nuria Eidelman, the head of Drac Magic, Marta Nieto, the member of Las Espigadoras and Aulafilm, Nuria Díaz Velarde, and the educator from the group Las Lindes, Pili Álvarez.

DocumentaMadrid has both strengthened its ties with such organizations as Acción Cultural Española, as well as entered into new agreements with Complutense University of Madrid and the SGAE Foundation, (with whom work is already underway on an upcoming film series to be held at the Sala Berlanga in Madrid between October 4 and 11, to be made up of the award-winning films from the past fifteen years) and added new collaborators such as Screenly and Filmin; Aracne Digital, Drax Audio, 36 Caracteres, Festhome; and Teletaxi Madrid, which was the festival’s official vehicle for the first time.

The DocumentaMadrid programming will continue for the remainder of the month of May at the Spanish Film Archives with the final screenings of films by Ross McElwee and Laila Pakalnina, and with new opportunities to see No Intenso Agora by Joao Moreira Salles at the Casa de América. In addition, audiences in A Coruña will get to participate in the festival programming dedicated to João Moreira Salles through to a collaborative effort with the CGAI (Centro Galego de Artes da Imaxe).

The festival has awarded over € 75,500 in prize-winnings, including the Jury Awards in the National, International and Fugas Competitive Section, the Audience Awards, and the First Corte Final Professional Forum Awards. In this edition, 75% of the awards have gone to female directors.

In the National Competitive Section the Best Feature Film Award went to La Grieta by Irene Yagüe, while in the Best Short Film category, the winning film was Silvia Rey Canudo's Wan Xia, the Last Light of Sunset. In the International Competitive Section, the feature film award went to O Processo, directed by Maria Augusta Ramos and in the Best Short Film category, the winner was Saule Marceu by Juliette Achard. In the Fugas Section -which recognizes the most innovative filmmaking, the feature film The Worldly Cave by Zhou Tao took home the award and the short films were Absent Wound and The Haunted. The Cineteca Madrid Audience Awards were granted to La Grieta by Irene Yagüe and Alberto G. Ortiz and * en lugar de nada by Brenda Boyer. Both could be seen during the month of May at the Cineteca Madrid.