The Andalusian Panorama section of the XIV Seville European Film Festival shows the diverse creative universe in our community. The selected feature and short films converge, in their subject matters and styles, in their stories and plotlines, with the Seville Festival’s general line in the incorporation of unique talents, in the search for distinctive looks, for new discourses.
This year the Festival is programming 10 world premieres of Andalusian films, four of them among the feature films in Andalusian Panorama, to which will be added the three world premieres of Andalusian films in competition in the Resistance Section, and the three world premieres that will have special screenings at the Festival. This confirms the growing interest among Andalusian directors in launching their works in Seville.
Non-Fiction as in previous editions, freed of traditional codes, is very present in the selection. A good example of this is Nobody Sleep, by Mateo Cabeza, a director who has grown with the Festival since his short films (Sevilla Santa, La vida sigue igual) and now his first feature film is having its premiere here. It tells, with only the mediation of the camera, the day to day life of the Danza Mobile company. Meanwhile, Rota n’ Roll, the first film by Vanessa Benítez Zamora, deserving winner of the Second Prize in Imagenera 2017, analyses the cultural influence of the American naval base in Rota on post-war Spain.
The other two world premieres in the Andalusian panorama are fiction stories. Places, by Manuel Noguera, a new product from the “Different factory” in the same line as his famous Malviviendo. The playwright and scriptwriter Juan Carlos Rubio premieres The Wounds of the Wind, the adaptation of his play of the same name. The film will be shown during the RTVA Gala as a tribute to its protagonist Kiti Mánver (RTVA Award 2017).
The national premiere of Beyond the Stage, by Nonio Parejo, can be seen in Seville after its recent world premiere in Cinespaña in Toulouse. Parejo, a long-established figure in Andalusian documentary (Campos de Níjar, Los presos del canal…), now rescues the memory of the Lebrijano Theatre, a reference in the anti-Franco cultural resistance, and of its ideologist Juan Bernabé.
Mariano Agudo, a Festival regular with other works for the production company Intermedia (Habitar la Utopía, Boliviana) presents Samba, an erased name. With the greatest respect for the subject and the protagonists, Agudo goes along on an unusual journey in African migration: that made by Mahmud, who returns to his country of origin on the trail of the missing Samba Benjai.
Wind Horse, by Moisés Salama, is an “accompaniment” documentary that follows Nando Fernández de Castro, an elderly anarchist who sets out his life, ideology and miracles before the camera. In 1970 Dennis Hopper, at the peak of his career, went to the Peruvian town of Chinchero to shoot the experimental film The Last Movie. In Rest in Peace, Mr. Hopper, by Aurelio Medina and Daniel García we go back to Chinchero to discover what is left of those days when Hollywood took over the town.
Imagenera 2017 Award: Ruibal, por libre, by César Martínez Herrada, is a portrait of the singer songwriter from Puerto de Santa María, Javier Ruibal, recent winner of the National Current Music Award, through his friends, his landscapes and the cities that have gradually woven his fusion in the 35 years of his career.
Looking beyond the Andalusian Panorama section, we find Andalusian feature films in other sections of the Seville Festival, confirming the positive time in our filmmaking. In the Official Section we have The Sea Stares at Us from Afar, by Manuel Muñoz Rivas. And in Resistances there are three Andalusian productions having their world premiere: The Earth Will Open by Alonso Valbuena; Things by Carlos Rivero; and The Island by Miguel Rodríguez Pérez.
The Seville director Chema Rodríguez (Estrellas de La Línea, Anochece en la India) moves to the Guatemala of the ‘80s to tell us the horrors of that civil war in Giants Don’t Exist, a devastating drama about fear, wounds and the effects of grief, with a 9 year old boy –who lives with the murderer who annihilated the women and children in his village –at the centre of this story. It will have its world premiere in Seville.
Directors of a militant, fresh guerrilla cinema, the creators of the successful Seville web series Malviviendo, Different Entertainment and Sainzdeces present Fogueo, directed by David Sainz. The feature film tells in a comic tone the story of Dante, a video club owner who dreams of making a film, and his cousin Damián, a small time hustler who hopes to pull off a job that will set him up for life, while both look after Lucas, a big fan of action films, who can’t move because of an injury.
Also among the special screenings which the Seville Festival is offering in its XIV edition are the previously announced Andalusian productions Murillo, the Final Journey by Tal y Cual Producciones and directed by José Manuel Gómez Vidal, as a world premiere; The Author by Manuel Martín Cuenca, produced by La Loma Blanca Producciones Cinematográficas, Icónica Producciones, TVE and Canal Sur TV; and the world premiere of Gold by Agustín Díaz Yanes produced Apaches Films, Atresmedia Cine, Telefónica Studios, Sony Pictures España and the Andalusian Aralán Films.
As every year, the Filmoteca de Andalucía presents at the Seville Festival its main project in the recovery of Andalusia’s film heritage. This year it is Belmonte. In collaboration with the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies (CRMCS) at the University of Sunderland (United Kingdom) and the Fundación de Estudios Taurinos at the Real Maestranza in Seville, the Filmoteca de Andalucía has recovered, restored and digitalized the family film archives of the bullfighter Juan Belmonte (Seville 1892-Utrera 1962), a work that began two years ago and that would not have been possible without the cooperation of the bullfighter’s heirs, his grandchildren Javier Beca Belmonte and Yolanda Arango Belmonte.
Thanks to this family film archive, a series of reels shot between 1928 and 1961, Belmonte contains unseen images of key moments in the life of the famous bullfighter, an important figure in the history of Spain in the XX century, with the appearance of celebrities of the period, such as the writer and journalist Ramón Pérez de Ayala or the Hollywood star Esther Williams, an intimate friend of the bullfighter, in the days when she sought refuge in his house after the traumatic break- up of her marriage with Fernando Lamas. The film also rescues three sequences from silent films of the ‘20s in which the bullfighter appeared, showing the importance of the figure in his historical and social context.
The Andalusian short film shows its resources and splendour in this competitive category for the Rosario Valpuesta Award for the Best Short Film and the Rosario Valpuesta Special Award to an artistic category, both sponsored by the Pablo de Olavide University and given by ASECAN.
Directors such as David Muñoz or Manuel Jiménez are back at the Festival. The former with El mundanal ruido. The latter (who won an award two years ago with Show me now!) with Conversaciones ajenas. Competing with more classic documentaries we have: The Resurrection Club (for which Guillermo Abril and Álvaro Corcuera have been nominated for the Goyas); Finis gloriae mundi by Sándor M. Salas; El afilaó by Julián Azcutia, and Las altas aceras, by Javier Polo. And in fiction we will see Ayer o antesdeayer by Hugo Sanz; Pez by Javier Quintas; El atraco by Alfonso Díaz; Amor by Ana Rosa Diego and Mercedes del Río; Diferencias, by Isabel Alberro; Problemas de guión, by Bernabé Bulnes; Una china en el zapato, by Adrián Ramos and Oriol Segarra; Una casa en el campo, by Chiqui Carabante; Cachorro, by Jesús Rivera. Out of competition we will see the animated film Guajira, by Jesús Guisado; and Sueñan en Alepo, by Rycardo Moreno.
The great challenge for auteurist cinema is still that of finding screens that connect it with its audience. Opening these channels is the main objective of IndustriaSEFF, which pays special attention to supporting the diffusion and distribution of Andalusian cinema. As an important innovation this year, for the first time the Seville Festival has managed to form part of Festival Scope, one of the internationally known online viewing platforms to which festivals such as Gothenburg, Venice, Sarajevo, Locarno or Karlovy Vary belong. Festival programmers, distributors, exhibitors, the best known film critics have access to this professional platform for selecting, buying or reviewing films depending on their interests. The Seville Festival will join Festival Scope with a selection of its films, within which special attention will be given to Andalusian titles, thus multiplying the impact of the films among international professionals and, therefore, improving their possibilities for international circulation. Extenda, the Andalusian Agency for Foreign Promotion is collaborating.
As an additional innovation, the Seville Festival is setting up 4x4, an action which offers the 4 directors of the 4 Andalusian films in official competition (The Sea Stares At Us From Afar, in the Official Section, and Things, The Island and The Earth Will Open in the Resistances Section) specific work sessions with international directors of their choice present in the Festival’s competitive sections. The objective is to provide a space for exchange where the Andalusian directors can take advantage of the international experience of well-known filmmakers who move in the ecosystem of current European independent cinema.
Within IndustriaSEFF the Asociación Andaluza de Mujeres de los Medios Audiovisuales (AAMMA) presents Women in Focus, activities with a clear gender look. Specifically, there are two master classes on script, one given by Elena Serra and the other by Dany Campos, open to the general public, and also the II Competition for non-sexist micro-short films "Cuéntame otra película".
The Fundación Audiovisual de Andalucía with the support of BadLandGames and the participation of the Federación Española de Asociaciones de Productoras de Animación Diboos, the Asociación Española de Empresas Productoras y Desarrolladoras de Videojuegos y Software de Entretenimiento DEV and the Asociación Española del Videojuego AEVI are holding the XV Conference on Animation and Video Games, which will bring together professionals and experts from the most important animation and video game companies in the country. It is the sector’s important event in our country, attended by some 900 professionals over the course of the last fourteen editions, and challenges and opportunities will be analysed.