The film projects of Ana Cristina Barragán, Jaume Claret, Meritxell Colell, Irati Gorostidi, Joâo Paulo Miranda and Maximiliano Schonfeld have been selected from among the 281 submitted for Ikusmira Berriak’s eighth edition. In 2022 the programme of residencies and audiovisual project development organised by the San Sebastian Festival, Tabakalera International Centre for Contemporary Culture and Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola (EQZE) will increase the number of residents from five to six.
The Ecuadorian director and screenwriter Ana Cristina Barragán (Quito, 1987), who landed a Horizontes Award special mention at the San Sebastian Festival with her feature debut Alba (2016), has been selected to represent the third year of students at the Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola (EQZE) with her project La hiedra. The Catalan Jaume Claret (Barcelona, 1998), one of the students to have graduated from the school’s first year, will participate with Estrany riu / Strange River in the Nest category, where he premiered his short film Ella i jo (2020). Meritxell Colell (Barcelona, 1983) has been selected in the l Spain category to develop Lejos de los árboles / Far from Trees , her third feature film, following Con el viento / Amb el Vent (2018), which featured at Berlin Festival and screened in Made in Spain, and Dúo, now in post-production The moviemaker from Navarre, Irati Gorostidi (Valle de Egües, 1988) will participate on behalf of the Basque Autonomous Community with Anekumen, her first feature film after several experiences in the field of short films, after having participated in the Noka programme and having been a resident in Tabakalera’s Artist's Space.
In addition, this year the international category will have two representatives. On the one hand, the Brazilian Joâo Paulo Miranda (Porto Feliz, 1982), who competed in New Directors with Casa de antiguidades / Memory House (2020), will take advantage of the Ikusmira Berriak residency to work on his coming film: Bandeira. On the other, Frankenstein is the title of the project by Argentina’s Maximiliano Schonfeld (Crespo, 1982), who opened Horizontes Latinos at the last edition of San Sebastian Festival with his third feature, Jesús López, a former participant in WIP Latam 2020.
Made up of representatives of Tabakalera International Centre for Contemporary Culture, the San Sebastian Festival and the EQZE, the selection committee has chosen projects of varied subject matters set in different parts of the world: an exploration of the ties between a mother and her son addressing the relationship of bodies with nature (La hiedra); a tale of masculinity in fraternal relationships which changes as the River Danube alters its shape (Estrany riu); the adventures of a woman as she creates a sound map of the Andean geography’s remotest areas to talk about mourning, fear, dreams, the inheritance of exile and losing one’s roots (Lejos de los árboles); the story of disillusionment among a group of militant workers who, in the late 80s, leave their factory to form a free-thinking commune in the mountains of Navarre (Anekumen); a tour of Argentine landscapes and modes of existence, detours and fragile, almost invisible contours (Frankenstein); and the downward spiral into madness of a young native gold prospector in the heart of the Amazon rainforest ( Bandeira).
The residency will run for eight weeks split into two periods. The six filmmakers will arrive on March 14th to Tabakalera’s Artist's Space, where they will develop their projects until April 24th. During this time, they will be advised by members of the committee of experts and professionals specifically chosen for each project based on its needs. In June, each resident will receive a development grant of 5,000 euros to continue working on their project between the two periods of the residency. In September, coinciding with the Festival dates, they will return to San Sebastian to complete the last two weeks of the residency. During this phase they will be able to pitch their projects to industry professionals and will be given a personalised schedule of meetings with partners interested in participating in their projects. Furthermore, the production company Irusoin will give the Irusoin Post-production Award to one of the selected projects. The award consists of post-producing the sound, colour, graphics and of obtaining a DCP master.
Regarding the projects to have participated in Ikusmira Berriak 2021, Manantial by Manual Muñoz Rivas and produced by El Viaje Producciones, has received the ICAA grant for feature-length documentaries. La gruta del viento / The Wind’s Cave , by Eduardo Crespo, that received the Irusoin Award at San Sebastian Festival, will be produced by Pensar con las Manos and Primera Casa. Hasta que el lugar se haga improbable / Until the Place Becomes Improbable , by Magdalena Orellana, has been selected for the audiovisual project residencies at Cineteca and at the Matadero Centre for Artists in Residence. Moreover, Y así seguirán las cosas / And thus it will go on , by Marina Palacio, will be produced by Vitrine Filmes and Wandervogel, by Mina Fitzpatrick, by Site.
The outcome is also positive with respect to the achievements of the projects to have participated in earlier editions of Ikusmira Berriak. Outstanding amongst the most recent are El gran movimiento (Kiro Russo, 2021), which participated in Zabaltegi-Tabakalera after winning the Special Jury Prize in the Orizzonti section at Venice Festival, as well as being Bolivia’s Oscar candidate in the Best International Feature Film category and winning the Best Director Award at the Bosphorus Film Festival. Eles transportan a morte / Ellos transportan la muerte ( They Carry Death, (Helena Girón, Samuel M. Delgado, 2021), recipient of a special mention in the Zabaltegi-Tabakalera section, also received the Best Technical Contribution Award at Venice Critics’ Week as well as several other accolades, including Best Director, at Cinespaña Toulouse 2021. In addition, 918 gau / 918 Nights (Arantza Santesteban, 2021) landed the City of Lisbon Award for Best Film at DocLisboa 2021 and the Award to Best Film of the TFFDoc/Internazionale.doc section at the Torino Film Festival.
Donostia-San Sebastian, 1978. A group of libertarian militants gather to print a statement in view of the imminent signing of a controversial collective bargaining agreement. At the factory where they work, it is obvious that the growing unionisation of the workers’ movement has driven their radical political project to irrelevance. Disillusioned, they progressively direct their revolutionary endeavours towards the most intimate areas of their lives. The most radical among them decide to leave the factory and join a free-thinking commune in the mountains of Navarre.
After a serious accident caused by Jonas, a mental handicapped teenager, his parents take refuge on the fringes of the Amazon rainforest at his grandfather's house. Completely free and without rules, Jonas awakens his hypersensitivity, giving to his parents a new hope. But an old cycle of family violence is also triggered.
Siblings Dídac (14) and Biel (12) bike alongside the Danube with their family. Amid the turbulent waters of the river and the dark woods of the Black Forest they meet the mysterious Alexander. When the river widens, Alexander seduces Dídac who, like the Danube, is growing in leaps and bounds. Biel discovers how his brother’s body is changing and tries to keep him by his side, but the fissure between the two siblings is growing wider.
What do a young boy in love in the mountains and a caged thrush have in common? A couple of men on a farm looking for a son and a dog obsessed with burrows? A man searching for a friend to join him in the local town festivities and a gang of motoqueros (bikers) who don’t want to go home? A bañado swamp) in the north that reflects all the stars at night and a father who remembers the Balkan wars? A fox and a desert in Catamarca and working the land in Patagonia? The Mapuche resistance, lost languages and fishing boats in the Argentine sea? Frankenstein.
At the age of 31, Azucena decides to look for the son she abandoned after getting pregnant at the age of 13. Julio, her 18 year-old son, is in his last year at the orphanage and the two look as if they were the same age. La Hiedra explores the relationship between a mother and her son from the angle of instinct, sleeping bodies, the relationship of those bodies with nature.
Inspired by Inca quipus, Angélica (50) is commissioned to create a sound map of the Andean geography’s remotest places. A recording as a population census and, in turn, as a fabric containing the stories and songs handed down from generation to generation. Her grandmother, aged 98, is sick in Mexico. Every night, Angélica listens to the magnetic tapes she has recorded before weaving them. Altitude sickness and insomnia spawn a dreamlike, fantastic world, where sounds, voices and tales take her back to her childhood in Mexico. A journey through listening that will push Angélica to think about who she is, who she wants to be, and where she comes from.