Friday, 26 December 2008

Goya paints blind sunflowers

José Luis Cuerda’s Los girasoles ciegos (The Blind Sunflowers) received the most nominations for the Spanish Academy’s 2009 Goya Awards. Los girasoles received a total of 15 nominations includen best director, best film, best actor (Raúl Arévalo), best actress (Maribel Verdú), and best adapted screenplay (José Luis Cuerda and Rafael Azcona).

Los girasoles ciegos is the first production co-produced by the Galician public-private company SempreCinema, and was partially shot in several locations in Ourense province. This film has also been selected as the Spain’s entry for the 2009 best foreign language film Academy Award.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

To dub or not to dub

There is a debate in Galicia about the need of a new public service for dubbing and subtitling into Galician. Almost everybody here has an opinion about this matter. Here comes mine.

To start with, in a market like the Spanish film market, conditioned since 1941 for an abnormal situation such as the generalization of dubbing, the debate over the language of projection could prove controversial. The situation in Galicia and Spain in general has no equivalent elsewhere in the world, except for countries like Italy, France or Germany. Furthermore, Spain is behaving like a single market for the acquisition of rights, distribution and exhibition, whose common bond is the Spanish language.

From an artistic point of view, dubbing represents an aberrant alteration of the creative process, an assault on the original creative work. As a consequence, dubbing can only be justified in the context of a process of linguistic normalization. In this case, strategies must be those that maximize the impact (in terms of number of new speakers or speakers preserved for a given language, Galician in our case) compared to the budget available.

In this context, and with few exceptions, available data show that international or Spanish film releases in Galician language are not the ones preferred by the Galician public. Only great success cases of Spanish cinema identified by the public as Galician (for their Galician production or their Galician locations), obtained comparable results in both versions, Galician and Spanish. When the two versions are premiered together in Galicia, Spanish versions get a better response from the public than Galician ones.

At what extent do make sense policies directed to the massive support to the dubbing of American productions, policies that will involve public coin to finance copies and dubbing? On the other side, these policies will ultimately represent a rendition to an industrial and cultural colonization that imposes severe limitations to the restoration of a distinctive Galician film culture.

But nothing prevents the Galician language being as cinematic as any other language. Mel Gibson shot in Aramaic and Mayan, Clint Eastwood opted for the Japanese. Subtitles in English, Spanish or Galician made these films perfectly understandable outside their respective language areas, which incidentally is a proof that a language can be disseminated internationally through movies. On the other side, dubbing will distort or prevent such dissemination. Examples such as The Sea Inside, which was released in the US in its original Spanish and Galician mix of languages, show us that any policy of dissemination of the Galician language using movies as a vehicle should start addressing the production sector.

Complementarily, you can develop targeted actions to release Galician-dubbed versions to theatres in cases where the expected impact will justify the effort, as indeed does the Galician General Secretariat of Linguistic Policy with some productions aimed at children.

And hence our first conclusion: public audiovisual policies in Galicia should be directed, on the one hand, to the support of audiovisual productions in original Galician language, and to support productions with a relevant participation of the Galician audiovisual sector or of Galicia itself through the many Galician locations. In any case, supported productions should show a clear international vocation, regardless of the language of shooting.

However, this is not the case of television, where the Galician public operator is committed to an integral Galician programming grid, either dubbed of produced in Galician. In addition, there are programs, obviously in Galician, which get share and rating figures exceeding those of major TV stations in Spanish, and even dominate the prime time slot in many cases. Having the same potential viewers than theatres, the audience of TVG is dramatically higher than attendance to Galician cinemas… in any language.

Consequently, any effort towards the normalization of the Galician language that takes TV as the preferred audiovisual medium is going to have a far more positive impact than a similar effort led to the movies and cinemas.

And here the second conclusion: if you have to put public money into Galician productions, and promoting the use of Galician is an objective, opt for audiovisual and cinematographic works in Galician suitable for broadcasting on TVG.

Moreover, and as a final conclusion, the existence of a linguistic normalization service in TVG, created in September 2007, would meet the requirements with respect to a public organization devoted to dubbing and subtitling of audiovisual works.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Agua at Rio Gallegos

Ozo Perozo Porteiro’s short film Auga (Water), has been awarded the Jury’s Special Mention / Plot Category at the 5th AlExtremo Short Film Festival, which took place in Argentinean Rio Gallegos from 5th to 7th December. Jury members pointed out “the extreme originality of its plot, its narrative synthesis, its technical excellence and its resource economy”.

This is the first prize received by Auga outside Spain, a short film that has already participated in around 50 festivals and events like the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Market, Court-Metrange Rennes, San Francisco’s Dead Channels Festival or Festival de Cine & Video Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires.

Congratulations again, Ozo!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

25 years of Mamasunción

From celebration to celebration, let us celebrate now the 25th anniversary of the seminal work of Chano Piñeiro (1954 – 1995) Mamasuncion (1984, 35mm, 20 min.).

This film was the first pro work of Chano, after his 8mm productions Os paxaros morren no aire (1977) and Eu, o tolo (1978-1982). Based on a real story, Mamasunción is about Aunt Sunción, and old woman that for 40 years has been waiting for a letter from her son, an emigrant in America. Every day she visited the Post Office in her little village waiting for a letter that will never come. But one day that letter arrives announcing the death of the beloved son, together with her unexpected wealth, as her son legated his many possessions to her.

Mamasunción received many awards in Spanish and international festivals (Don Quixote Award at 1985 Cracow Film Festival, Oberhausen, Tetuán, Figueira da Foz...) In my opinion, is one of the best short films ever shot in Galicia. Indeed, if shot today, I presume it would have the same impact it had when was originally premiered.

To celebrate this event, the Galician government has just published a nice large-format book collecting some interesting texts about Mamasunción, both from Chano and other friends and experts, the original annotated script, and the original annotated production budget.

The Scaffold revisited

Rogelio Amigo's El Andamio (The Scaffold, 1958) celebrates its 50th anniversary. The film will be presented next Tuesday at the Galician Center of Image Arts CGAI after the restoration of the original negative, together with the documentary film 50 años en el andamio (50 years on a scaffold), which describes the restoration process performed by CGAI and producer Lili Films, and the keys and alternate interpretations of the film.

This film is one of the most relevant milestones of Galician cinema. Its context (the Spanish Civil War), its unusual format and duration (16mm, 35 min.), the presence of elements from some of the most relevant tendencies of that time, and the characteristics of the production process, convert El Andamio into a work of creation worth of being preserved for future generations. The film is a showcase of film theory and the use of filming resources, and takes the most of its locations in A Coruña.

El Andamio is about Juan, a construction worker that dies after falling from a scaffold. Apparently an accident, a long flash-back to the first days of the Spanish Civil War when Juan receives a pack of valuable objects from some men.

Monday, 8 December 2008

No-Do content to enrich CGAI archive

The Galician Centre of Image Arts CGAI will host a copy of the content related to Galicia from the Noticiero Documental (No-Do) audiovisual archives. This is the consequence of an agreement signed today between the Spanish Ministry of Culture' Spanish Film Archive and the Galician Government.

No-Do (Noticiero Documental / Documentary Newsreel) was created in 1942 by dictator Francisco Franco’s regime as a diffusion service of news and reportages, filmed in Spain and abroad “to maintain, with its own drive and under convenient directives, the national cinematographic information”. No-Do was granted exclusive rights to newsreel production, and exhibition in all cinemas of Spain and its colonies was compulsory. No-Do accompanied all theatrical programs along thirty two years from 4th, January 1943 to 1975, when its compulsory exhibition was abolished.

No-Do programs usually opened with the tune “His Excellency the Chief of State, Generalísimo Franco…” The peculiar narrator’s voice and the repeated images of General Franco visiting factories and construction works is engraved in the memory of several Spanish generations.

Albeit its easily recognizable propagandistic bias, an attentive viewer will have the chance of reading between lines and discover the actual reality of that period through what they tried to hide: the insistence of promoting an homogeneous way of thinking, the abusive presence of the Catholic Church and the military in the Spanish society, the evolution of the economic strategies of the regime through the years, the interaction with other countries, democratic or not...

All in all, I think this is good news for Galicia, Galician researchers and the general public, as we will have first-hand access to a most relevant part of our audiovisual historical memory.

I presume that Galician-centered exhibition programs based on this material are to come in the near future. Keep in tune…

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Galician cinema travels to Madrid

Starting 9th, December, Filmoteca Española’s Cine Doré will host a showcase of Galician cinema that reflects some of the most relevant milestones of our audiovisual history.

The showcase is initiated with two examples of the collaboration between Filmoteca Española and the Galician Centre for Image Arts CGAI for the recovering and conservation of the historical audiovisual patrimony related to Galicia: La Casa de la Troya (Alejandro Pérez Lugin & Manuel Noriega, 1924) and La Bandera Negra (Amando de Ossorio, 1956)

Other titles in the program are:

  • Galicia (Carlos Velo, 1936)
  • Arde Amor (Raul Veiga, 1999)
  • Rafael (Javier Bermúdez, 2008)
  • Liste, pronunciado Lister (Margarita Ledo, 2007)
Get the Cine Doré’s December 2008 complete program here.

A blue ray casts new light onto Pradolongo

Ignacio Villar’s Pradolongo will be the first full feature production shot in Galician to be published in the high definition BluRay format.

The film from producer Vía Láctea, which will also appear in DVD, will be available at Galician stores from 9th December, and from January 2009 elsewhere.

The disk includes Spanish, Euskera, Catalán, French, English and Portuguese subtitles, a videoclip with the film’s main theme Quen Poidera Namorala performed by Luis Emilio Batallán, the TV spot, the theatrical trailer, and a photo gallery.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Rainy Day at Salford

Andrés Victorero’s experimental short film Rainy Day scored as the second most voted movie at the Super8 Workshop and Screening, which was part of this year's Salford Film Festival.

The audience voted for their favourites from the Salford batch, a packed programme of over 30 Super 8mm films with the best of those submitted to Salford, the Best of Cambridge 2008 and the Cannes Bakers' dozen from straight 8.

The Audience Favourite was John Aldridge’s Dead Joe.

Congratulations Andrés!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Alfonso Zarauza scores at Viña del Mar

Galician director Alfonso Zarauza received the Paoa award to the best director at Chilean Viña del Mar International Film Festival for his opera prima A Noite que deixou de chover, which also participated at the international feature films official section.

A Noite que deixou de Chover, kind of Galician interpretation of Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Traslation, is a love story that portraits a poetic and bohemian Santiago de Compostela.

Congratulations Alfonso!

Galician Actors and Actresses Online Catalogue

AAAG, the Galician Association of Galician Actors and Actresses, has just presented its online catalogue. The catalogue, available here, collects contact information, curricula, pictures and video takes of more than 200 active Galician actors and actresses.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

The dilemma of dividing the digital dividend

The UHF band, the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that hosts TV stations, is prime spectrum, as it offers an invaluable combination of capacity and range. After the analogue switch-off, scheduled for 2010 in Galicia and the rest of Spain, a relevant part of this band presently crowded with analog TV emissions will be liberated because digital TV is far more eficient than analog TV insofar the use of the spectrum is concerned. This liberated band has been named the digital dividend.

As a consequence, stakeholders (TV broadcasters, broadband operators, mobile operators, ...) will rush for their share of a resource – the UHF band – that generates around €800bn in net present value for the European economy.

On the other side, spectrum is a national resource that should be carefully planned and optimally allocated to both commercial and public services.

Everyone will get its share?

Friday, 17 October 2008

Audiovisual in Galicia in a nutshell

The Galician Audiovisual Observatory publishes a series of reports about specific subjects of this rich sector. Each of these one-page reports, intended to appear every month, will reflect in a snapshot the basic parameters and their evolution for aspects like TV and movie production, publicity, employment, finance, … These reports are published once the relevant data is available in a stable form, typically from public and/or independent organization registries. 

The ones already available are:

Reports are in Galician, but in this case data is what matters.

There are more to come at the Galician Audiovisual Observatory portal. Enjoy them!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Cans moves to Brussels

Brussels Cinéma Vendôme hosts today 16th October a two-hour programme with a selection of the best short films presented at the Cans Short Film Festival. Talking about Cans is talking about the most innovative in comedy, drama, animation, fantasy… a once-in-a-year opportunity to enjoy something that the alternate Cannes festival cannot offer: fresh, honest proposals, free from market pressures.

Just look at the selection presented in Brussels:

- Agroglamour, a documentary about the Cans festival, its origins, its activities, ...
- Javier Veiga’ Sálvame. Public’s and fiction 2008 award.
- Peque Varela’s 1977. 2008 Animation Award.
- David Gen’s A revolta dos mouses. Animation Public’s award.
- Videoclips: The Homens' Calamar and Elodio y los seres queridos’ España a las ocho
- Luis Otero’s animated photomontage Máis Cans que nunca, movie machine.

This is an initiative of the Galician association in Brussels Couto Mixto Bruselas ASBL and Cans' organizers Asociación Arela.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

John Adams and the Pinball Effect

HBO's miniseries about the life of the second U.S. President John Adams was one of the big winners at this year’s Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, collecting prizes for best miniseries, best actor for Paul Giamatti, best actress for Laura Linney and other 10 statuettes, a record for a miniseries.

But most people are not aware of the links John Adams had with Galicia. When John Adams was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to France to secure French financial and military support for North America’s Revolutionary War effort (part 3 of the miniseries) and departed to France by sea, the party had to change their initial voyage plans due to a leak in their frigate. Instead of sailing directly to France, they were forced to arrive in Galicia and continue their trip by land.

In December 8th, 1779 John Adams (44) and his sons John Quincy (12) and Charles arrived in Ferrol. From there, they crossed Galicia visiting different places, until they reached Villafranca del Bierzo in the Galician border with Castilla on 1st January, 1780 to continue their way to France.

Until that time, most existing descriptions of Galicia and the Galician people were negative and prejudiced. In turn, John Adams’ unbiased and objective account of his experiences among us told a totally different story that you can enjoy by yourself here.

By the way, this could be a nice argument for a Galician miniseries, couldn’t it?

Stardust: from Porriño to Montpellier

Galician prolific filmmaker Alberte Pagan’s last short film Pó de Estrelas / Stardust (dvd, 24´, 2007) has been selected for participation at the 30th Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival CINEMED, which will be held in Montpellier from October, 2th to November, 2nd.

According to the festival organizers, Stardust is both a history of the universe, a critique of the society of the spectacle, and a comedy of errors. In any case, it is a great opportunity for those of you seeking radical film experiences.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Frankfurt: Meeting point of Galician youth and cinema

I had the chance of participating in the 1st meeting of young Galicians abroad; wich took place in Frankfurt from October, 3rd to October, 5th. It was an experience to remember for many reasons, but if I had to point out something it would be the time devoted to talk about cinema and movie making.

Among the participants in this meeting were Galician director Ignacio Villar and Galician actors Tamara Canosa, Ruben Riós and Roberto Porto. We had the chance of watching Pradolongo and Ruben Riós' short film Adeus Edrada?, which received the 2007 Best Galician Short Film award - an astonishing opera prima, by the way - Besides, we talked a lot about Galician cinema, Raul shared with us his experiences on producing a short film, the cast and director of Pradolongo talked about their film, and all of us discussed about strategies for movie production in Galicia and abroad, about cinema made in Galicia, about Galician locations...

Believe me, it was a great experience to be in Frankfurt with Galician young people coming there from the homeland and the four corners of Europe, and talk - in Galician as a common language, by the way - about cinema. Almost none of the participants was directly involved in movie making, but they show a sincere interest on what was going on insofar Galician cinema is concerned.

I ask myself why we had to gather in Frankfurt for such an event, but I do have the hope that young people living in Galicia will share this interest about our audio-visual sector too.

And my conclusions in a nutshell:

- Galician cinema do has a future
- Galician hip-hop will rule the hip-hop world this side of the Atlantic ocean
- Ialma are really something

Book adaptations…

The other day a close friend of mine told me a joke that can be converted into a witty argument when discussing with other people a bad cinematic adaptation of a literary work:

I have just seen two goats. One of them was munching a DVD of XXXXX (replace with the title of the movie you were talking about). The other goat asked:

- Does it taste good?

The munching goat responded:

- Well, I prefer the book…

Funny, huh? Even a nice argument for a micromovie...

Galician Werepig

Sam Orti Martí’s stop-motiong animation film The Werepig, received the best Spanish short film award at Animadrid, the International Festival of the Animated Image of Pozuelo de Alarcón-Community of Madrid, which was held in Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid) from September, 26th to October, 3rd.

This production from Galician IB Cinema received the award ex-aequo with Pablo Lloréns’ Chockopulpitos. The Werepig is about two American teenagers very disrespectful with traditions. Their attitude will guide them to a small sausage factory owned by two elders, where they will end up taking part in those traditions they laugh at.

Congratulations Xosé!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Galician Day at SEMINCI

Javier Angulo, director of the Valladolid International Film Festival has just confirmed together with the Galician Secretary General for Communication that SEMINCI will host a special day devoted to our cinema. This is the first time this prestigious festival hosts such an initiative – a day devoted to a Spanish autonomous community.

The selected date for your records: Saturday, 18th October.

Four films co-produced by Galician companies have been included in the Meeting Point section: Ángel de la Cruz’s Os Mortos van ás Presas, argentinian Paula de Luque’s El vestido, Alfonso Zarauza’s A Noite que Deixou de Chover, and Raul García and Manuel Sicilia’s 3D animation film El Lince Perdido.

Galicia deserves an special day, doesn’t it?

A New Issue of AG

A new issue of the Galician Audiovisual Magazine has just been published. You can access it online at the Galician Audiovisual Forum, where a PDF version is also ready for download.

Enjoy it!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

CGAI participates in Terence Davies retrospective at San Sebastian

The Centro Galego de Artes da Imaxe (CGAI, Galician Center for Image Arts) publishes in cooperation with the San Sebastian International Film Festival and the Basque and Valencian film institutes a complete study of the work of Terence Davies. This study is coordinated by Quim Casas and includes the participation of various experts in Davies’ work.

According to Casas, Terence Davies (Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988), The Long Day Closes (1992) and The House of Mirth (2000) is among the most exceptional and innovating moviemakers of today’s European cinema, author of a highly personal and evocative work, pioneer in the search for new languages between fiction, autobiography and the documentary, placing particular emphasis on music.

Following a cinematographic silence of almost eight years, Terence Davies presented his new film Of Time and the City in the Special Screenings section of the Official Selection at the Cannes Festival.

The San Sebastian Film festival dedicates a retrospective to the British director.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Pradolongo scores at San Sebastian!

Ignacio Villar's Pradolongo has been awarded de Ciudad de San Sebastian Film Comission award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. This award was created to recognise the work of the Film Commissions and highlight the importance of film in the promotion of cities as a scenic space at the service of the audiovisual industry.

This award is intended to go to the feature film best reflecting the urban, landscape, cultural and social values of Spanish cities and regions. Definitely Pradolongo fulfils all these requirements.

Pradolongo was shot entirely in Galician and at Galician locations, namely at the Ourensan Valdeorras district.

My most sincere congratulations, Ignacio.

Galicia enters the Academy Awards competition

Two out of three films initially selected to represent Spain at the Academy Awards have Galician locations. This initial selection includes José Luis Garci’s Sangre de mayo, Gracia Querejeta’s 7 mesas (de billar francés) and José Luis Cuerda’s Los girasoles ciegos. Among these three films is the one to be submitted to the Academy to represent Spain.

The latter two films where partially shot in Galicia: 7 mesas was partially shot in Vigo (Pontevedra) and was produced with the participation of the Galician broadcaster TVG, and Los girasoles ciegos  was shot almost completely in Ourense and San Clodio locations. This film is co-produced by public-private venture Sempre Cinema PC.

Director José Luis Cuerda use to say talking about Galicia that no matter where you aim your camera, an impressive shot is always guaranteed.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Dead people hurry up to Valladolid

The for a long time expected project of Angel de la Cruz Os mortos van as presas (Dead people hurry up) has been selected for participation at Valladolid's SEMINCI, which will take place at this beautiful Castilian town from October, 24th to November, 1st.

Shot at Rinlo, a picturesque small village near Ribadeo, Lugo, Os Mortos tells the story of Irene, worker of a delivery company that gets stuck with her truck in the path of a burial entourage.

Os mortos is another example of what may be named the new Galician cinema, represented by a bunch of productions shot in Galician language that bring fresh air to a scenery dominated in the past by financial co-productions, where Galician participants had almost nothing to say about the creative aspects of the project, their participation focused on providing financial support through Galician public aids, justified by a minoritary presence among the artistic or technical cast.

A few examples of this new approach to making movies in Galicia are Pradolongo, O Espiritu do Bosque, Pedro e o Capitan, ¡Maldito Bastardo! or, of course, Os Mortos van as Presas. Note that the list is not exhaustive. Keep in tune to learn more about these films!

Probably these projects will never become blockbusters but, what the hell, how many Galician productions have reached this status in the past?

Angel, you are the man! Congratulations to you and the rest of the cast.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Chicago & the spirit of the forest

David Rubin & Juan Carlos Pena’s The Spirit of the Forest has been selected for participation at the 35th anniversary edition of the Chicago International Children's Film Festival (CICFF), to be held in Chicago from October, 23rd to November, 2nd.

This is the third 3D animation feature film of Galician production company Dygra. The English version submitted to CICFF includes among the cast the voices of Anjelica Huston, Ron Perlman, Sean Astin or Giovanni Ribisi among others.

The Chicago International Children's Film Festival is the largest festival of films for children in North America, featuring over 200 films from 40 countries. Besides, CICFF is commited to cultural diversity, non-violence and value affirming new cinema for children, and is the only children's film festival to be an Academy Award Qualifying Festival.

Dygra’s first 3D animation film The Living Forest received the Children's Jury Award for the best animated feature film at the CICFF’s 2002 edition.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Pradolongo travels to San Sebastian

Ignacio Villar’s Pradolongo has been selected for participation at the Made in Spain section of the 56th San Sebastian International Film Festival.

Made in Spain offers an overview of the most interesting productions released in Spain in 2008. Pradolongo will be in theaters all around Spain next October, and San Sebastian offers an excellent international launching pad for the film.

Ignacio: First was Galicia, next Spain, and then the world!

A bloody bastard’s world tour

Javi Camino’s ¡Maldito Bastardo! (Bloody Bastard!) continues its tour around the world. This time, the film has been the only Spanish film selected for the official section of BUTFF, the B-movie, Underground and Trash Film Festival to be held in Breda, Holland from September, 18th and September 21st.

This festival collects for the Dutch audience the most rare and bizarre production this side of the Milky Way. No doubt that ¡Maldito Bastardo! deserves a place among them.

Congratulations again, Javi!

Ourense hosts Blind Sunflowers’ world première

José Luis Cuerda’s Los Girasoles Ciegos (The Blind Sunflowers) was presented yesterday at Ourense’s City Auditorium. More than 1,000 people attended this event, including the cast of the movie, Maribel Verdú, Javier Cámara, Raúl Arévalo and Roger Princip among them. After all, it is not usual for Galicia to host world premières of major films like this.

Los Girasoles Ciegos, an adaptation of the eponymous novel from Alberto Méndez, tells the story of a family that tries to keep a dangerous secret as the world turns upside down around them. The film offers a master’s re-creation of the Spanish atmosphere just after the Spanish civil war from the point of view of the Republican survivors.

The film was shot in several locations in the Galician province of Ourense, Segovia and Madrid. Los Girasoles Ciegos is also one of the first productions supported by Sempre Cinema Producións SL, a partnership between the Galician government and the private financial institution CaixaGalicia that contributes to the consolidation of projects participated by other Galician producers.

The film have been selected for participation at the TIFF'08 Toronto International Film Festival's Contemporary World Cinema section. Spanish sales company Sogepaq will handle international rights outside Spain to Los Girasoles Ciegos.

Mucha suerte, José Luis. La película lo merece.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

The House of Light on Location

Carlos Amil’s A Casa da Luz (The House of Light) is being shot in several locations in Galicia, Betanzos and Ferrol among them. This film is based on the novel of the same title written by the 1995 national literary prize Xabier Docampo, and tells the story of Alicia and her friends Álvaro, Amadeo, Anxo, Alba and Lucrecia in and unknown and mysterious world.

A Casa da Luz is the first real-image feature film for kids shot entirely in Galician.

On location: Agallas

Andrés Luque & Samuel Martín Mateos’ black comedy Agallas (Guts) is being shot at the El Bosque complex, near the Cecebre dam in Cambre, A Coruña. Agallas is the story of a young man who, after being released from prison, tries by all means to be at the top of the drug business.

The Agallas cast includes renowned Galician actors Mabel Rivera, Celso Bugallo, Isabel Blanco or musician Tonhito de Poi, and Spanish actors Carmelo Gómez and Hugo Silva.

Tagline: When you think that you are at the top, there is always somebody quicker, meaner, and crueler.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Fancy being a financial producer?

Artefacto Producciones, producer of Fernando Cortizo’s animation film O Apóstolo (The Apostle), has just presented an alternate and innovative Web-based form of seeking funding to produce this project. Artefacto offers shares of the film through its web portal. Anybody can be a financial producer for just 30 euro!

O Apostolo is a plasticine® animation film set at the Way of St. James, a mystery and horror story with the voices of renowned Galician and Spanish actors Carlos Blanco, Xosé Manuel Pico Olveira, Luís Tosar, Celso Bugallo, Héctor Alterio and Gabino Diego. O Apóstolo is the first stop-motion full feature film produced in Spain.

If you are interested in co-producing this film, please click here. For less than two shots of whisky you can become a financial producer!

Galician Bloody Bastard goes to Bloomington, IN

Javi Camino’s ¡Maldito Bastardo! (Bloody Bastard!) has just been selected for participation at the official section of the Dark Carnival Film Fest, perhaps one of the most renowned independent horror cinema festivals in the US. The Dark Carnival Film Fest will take place from September 16th to September 21st in Bloomington, Indiana. This is the first time a Spanish film is included in this festival’s program.

By the way, ¡Maldito Bastardo! received the best film award at the Italian Fearmament festival.

Congratulations, Javi!

Friday, 8 August 2008

Commission rules for film and TV production and the Cultural Test

A debate is open in Galicia on which kind of audiovisual projects are eligible for public support. On one side, some argue that the focus should be put in independent projects with a clear cultural bias. On the other side, some point out that public funding should be used to promote initiatives with a clear industrial vocation in order to maximize the commercial success of the supported projects.

All in all, this is again the old and only debate: culture versus industry; the “parallel world” versus “commercial coproduction first”; art versus entertainment.

Indeed, the debate is so old that almost everybody has forgotten the starting point. Arguments have become so entangled that basic principles are not taken into account anymore. These basic principles have been established by the European Commission insofar public aids are concerned (please note the “musts”):
  • State aid is permitted only if it does not affect trade and competition in the Single Market.
  • Public aids must benefit a cultural product. Each Member State must ensure that the content of the aided production is cultural according to verifiable national criteria.
  • The producer must be free to spend at least 20% of the production budget in other Member States without suffering any reduction in the aid provided for under the scheme (so-called ‘territorialisation clauses’).
  • The aid intensity in principle must be limited to 50% of the production budget (except for difficult and low budget films).
  • Aid supplements for specific film-making activities are not allowed (e.g. distribution)

These rules establish the “Legality Test” for public aids all around the European Union. On the other side, the Commission has approved the UK film tax incentive scheme a.k.a. the “Cultural Test”. The UK scheme establishes a de-facto protocol to assess the eligibility of audiovisual projects for funding compatible with EU regulations. The Cultural Test can be seen as a set of rules of thumb, as the basis of comparison, to select projects for funding according to the following items:

  • Cultural content ( film set in the UK, lead characters British citizens or residents, film based on British subject matter or underlying material, original dialogue recorded mainly in English language).
  • Cultural contribution (Film represents/reflects a diverse British culture, British heritage or British creativity).
  • Cultural hubs (studio and/or location shooting/ Visual Effects/ Special Effects, Music Recording/Audio Post Production/Picture Post Production).
  • Cultural practitioners (director, scriptwriter, producer, composer, lead actors, lead cinematographer, lead production designer, lead costume designer, lead editor, lead sound designer, lead visual effects supervisor, lead hair and makeup supervisor, majority of cast, majority of crew).

Replace above British/UK with Galician/Galicia and you have a Galician Cultural Test compatible with EU rules and regulations.

DTV Potential

Galicia, as most countries in Europe, is experiencing the conversion of analog terrestrial television to digital television – DTV, DVB-T, or TDT as it is known in Spanish and Galician.

The most important improvement is in the number of programs freely available. Broadcasters will not use the former entire bandwidth for an analog channel to broadcast just one program. Instead the broadcast channel has been subdivided in Spain across four video subchannels of a quality similar to the former single analog channel, including a non-video datacasting service that allows one-way high-bandwidth streaming of data. As a consequence, the existing six nationwide and one Galician free-to-air TV programs are replaced by 24 nationwide and 4 Galician digital programs.

Each former broadcaster, public or private, has now to fill in four programming grids instead of one – exceptions apply, but I will not bother you with them. Thus, the big question is how to fill the new programming grids and keep costs compatible with the former income model, as funding sources do not seem to increase at the same rate!

One of the strategies seems to be to reschedule old TV shows and movies, which in turn allow us to revisit them without buying a cable subscription or a direct TV satellite dish. This obviously improves the zapping experience, as now you can unexpectedly encounter gems like The Magnificent Seven – yesterday in Antena Nova – or an almost forgotten documentary about the freakiest freak of Galician filmmakers Amando de Ossorio – the day before yesterday in Galicia TV.

Current DTV population coverage in Galicia is over 93%. Analog switch off is scheduled for April, 2010 in most parts of Galicia, although the areas of Santiago de Compostela and Ourense Este will complete the transition to DTV in June, 2009. The completion of the transition process has to guarantee coverage figures similar to the former analog situation, that is, over 98% of the Galician population.

Welcome DTV!

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Water runs free

After its participation at Canary Island’s Festivalito, Ozo’s short film Auga (Water) will be participating at Rennes’ Court Métrange Film Festival and Tarragona’s La Selva del Camp.

Watch it at YouTube.

Congratulations again, Ozo!

Meeting point at the night when it stopped raining

Alfonso Zarauza’s opera prima A noite que deixou de chover has been selected for participation at Semana Internacional de Cine de Valladolid’s Punto de Encuentro, which will be held from October, 24th to November, 1st.

SEMINCI’s Punto de Encuentro (Meeting Point) competitive section collects feature films worthy of special consideration, either for their subject matter or style.

Congratulations, Alfonso!

Galician contribution to Ibermedia

Three productions with Galician flavour have been selected for participation at this year’s edition of the Ibermedia Latin-American Co-production Fund. This fund, promoted by the Spanish government and the Latin-American General Secretariat, has been created in 1997 to promote the co-production of Latin-American films and TV products.

The Galician films selected are:

Sandra Sanchez’s Tra-las luces (Behind the Lights), a documentary film about today’s last nomads: traders attending fairs all around the world. This film is produced by Galician Tic-Tac Produccións and is supported by the government of Galicia through its Department of Culture.

Xavier Villaverde’s O Sexo dos Anxos (The Gender of Angels), a full feature film about a young couple's relationship that becomes rocked when they meet a guy who shows them all about "free love". Produced by Continental Producións, this film is supported by the government of Galicia through its Department of Culture, and the Consorcio Audiovisual de Galicia Galician-Brazilian co-production Fund.

Argentinean directors Pablo D'alo Abba and Cristian Harbaruk’s documentary film Veñen polo ouro, veñen por todo (They come for the money, they come for everything), which narrates the confrontation among the people of a small village triggered by a mining project. This project is produced by Argentineans Mal Cine and Lagarto Cine, Chilean Errante Producciones, and Galician Tic Tac Producciones, and is supported by INCAA and the Jan Frijman Foundation.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Pradolongo Score Scores!

Zeltia Montes has just won the best film score and best novel composer awards for Ignacio Villar's Pradolongo at the 3rd edition of the Jerry Goldsmith Awards to young new composers, one of the key events of the 4th International Film Music Conference 'Ciudad de Úbeda', being held from 10th to 13th July.

The Jerry Goldsmith Awards to amateur composers were created to acknowledge and promte the work of novel film score composers. Jerrald King "Jerry" Goldsmith (1929 – 2004) was an American film score composer who was nominated for 18 Academy Awards, winning one for The Omen. He also won 4 Emmy Awards. Jerry Goldsmith created the score for a wide variety of genres, both for movies and TV, but is most prominently associated with action, suspense, horror and science fiction films.

Congratulations Zeltia!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

The Sound of the Spirit of the Forest

Dub of the Spirit of the Forest, the third 3D animation feature film produced by Galician Dygra Films, ended last week with the participation of actors Luis Merlo, María Adánez, Juan Ibañez and Damian Molla. The film will be released in cinemas on September 5th. David Rubin and Juan Carlos Peña directed this adventure that promotes the defense of nature. Furi and his friends must fight Mrs. D'Abondo, committed to terminate the forest of Cecebre.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Peter and the Captain on location

Pablo Iglesias’ Pedro e o capitán started filming today. Various locations in Galician Compostela and Muros areas will be featured.

This film, shoot entirely in Galician, is about the dialectical confrontation between the Captain, a torturing soldier, and Pedro, a tortured inmate. Both will discover what actually their personalities hide. Galician actors Diego Anido and Miguel de Lira are among the cast.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

A brand new last-generation sound lab for Galicia

Dolores Ben’s Cinemar Films has just opened its new facilities at Santiago de Compostela’s Novo Milladoiro Industrial Park.

Equipped with cutting-edge technology and over-the-years renowned professional prestige, Cinemar Films offers Dolby Digital, Dolby Surround, Dolby EX and DTS mix equipment, among other services. Cinemar Films is the first and only Galician study that owns, among others, a mix room with a Dolby Digital 35mm film projector of a size exceeding 100 square metres. In addition, Cinemar Films hosts a pre-mix room, recording effects (foley) and dialogues room, as well as several additional sound editing rooms.

Congratulations Dolores!

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

A Galician Bloody Bastard goes to Italy

Javi Camino’s first comedy ¡Maldito Bastardo! (Bloody Bastard!) has been selected for participation at the official section of the Fearmament European Horror Festival, which os being held at Torino (Italy) until July, 3rd.

This new European horror festival hosts both full feature films and short films, and a lot of side activities, including music, videogames, or exhibitions. Fearmament will be set in a 1,000 year old Cistercian monastery and its park, where a 700 seats' open-air cinema has been set for the occasion.

Congratulations, Javi!

Monday, 23 June 2008

Award for the biggest flower in the world

Juan Pablo Etcheverri’s animation short film A flor mais grande do mundo received the 2007 best screenplay award at the Chicago Short Film Festival.

Presently, the film is being screened at the A Consistência dos Sonhos (The consistency of dreams) exhibition devoted to José Saramago. This exhibition can be visited at Lisbon’s Palacio da Ajuda until July, 27th.
Congratulations, Juan Pablo!

Cans at The Hague

The Hague Shoot-Me Film Festival included this year a special program devoted to the Cans Short Film Festival. After a boat tour of the canals of The Hague on board of the Vlievaart (Stork), assistants were taken to De Besturing for a selection of films from the Galician short film festival Cans and a menu of tapas.

The Hague is the third place where 5th edition Cans short films are screened. Next places to receive the Cans selection are Vigo (July, 8th) and A Coruña's CGAI (July, 14th). After its trip around Galicia, the Cans program is to be screened in Canary Islands’ Festivalito, Lisboa, Madrid and Brussels.

Shoot Me Film Festival and Cans Film Festival are the joint founders of the Anywhere Cinema Association, which I pursuing worldwide cooperation with other festivals showing films at exceptional locations and also facilitating an exchange of programming.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Boost to Galicia - Brazil coproductions

Consorcio Audiovisual de Galicia and ANCINE – Cinema du Brasil unveiled today the two co-productions selected for financial support in the framework of the co-production agreement signed by the two institutions last year in São Paulo.

The selected projects are:

  • O sexo dos anxos by Continental Productions SL (Galicia, 80% participation) and CCFBR Produçoes Audiovisuais LTDA (Brazil, 20%).
  • Entre a dor e a nada MPC & Asociados (50%, Brazil), Ficción Producións SL (30%, Galicia) and Filmes do Tejo (20%, Portugal)

Congratulations and good luck!

Sunday, 25 May 2008

I'm back

So it's almost a month since my last post (May, 1st, Labor Day). The reason: As a part of the Three Desires Singular Events partnership I contributed to the organization of the Día das Letras Galegas institutional events in Buenos Aires, Argentina, so I had to spend most of this month working on these activities both in Galicia and Bs. As.

This was a challenging work that could only be successfully completed thanks to the commitment and professionalism of all participating people. We worked hard, even beyond expectations, and learned a lot about designing and producing cultural events, and we learned a lot about each other too.

The most valuable lesson: it’s great to find out that there are people you can lean on.

German recognition to Galician (short)filmmaker

The Spanish Cinema Week De Cortos a Largos, to be held in Regensburg (Germany) includes a restrospective of director, writer and actor Alber Ponte, the most prolific Spanish / Galician short film maker. The retrospective includes nine short films and the feature film El Don de la Duda .

This event will be held from May, 29th to June, 5th at Regensburg’s Filmgalerie im Leeren Beutel and at Innenhof des Historischen Museums, Dachauplatz.

Herzlichen Glückwunsch, Esther, Petra, Cornelia, Ruth und Pedro!

Spring Harvest

May in Galicia has become a movie-centric month. Apart from the Cans Film Festival (no typo, see why) four full feature Galician films are being released these days:

  • Pedro Rivero’s animation comedy Crise Carnívora. Something to munch for gore comedies lovers.
  • Javi Camino’s horror comedy ¡Maldito Bastardo! An entrails devouring virus, a human still, a gratuitous slaughter…
  • Mario Iglesias’ third film Cartas Italianas, which was premiered at the Cans Film Festival.
  • Ramón Costafreda’s opera prima Abrígate. A sentimental comedy about the universal quest for self identity.

Films for everybody: commercial, author’s, comedy, animation, horror, gore… hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Italian success of Galician gynecologist

Alfonso Camarero's first shortfilm A Xinecóloga (The Gynecologist, 2008, DVCPro, 10') was awarded the second prize at the Valsusa Filmfest's short film contest. The 12th edition of Valsusa Filmfest was held from March 1st to May 2nd at the Valley of Susa in the Italian Region of Piedmont.

According to the organizers, this festival is open to all independent film-makers creating films evoking historical recollections and/or environmental protection. Valsusa Filmfest would like to present images of our time and our history as well as environmental issues, in an original way to the forthcoming generations. A stimulus to enlighten and inform them of the changes and the cultural diversities of this century.

A Xinecóloga has already been selected for other festivals like Corto in Bra (Italy), Semana 11th Mostra de Cinema Jove d'Elx (Spain), 8th Nice's Short Film Festival (France), Festival internacional de cine pobre (Cuba), Tinklai International Short Film Festival (Lithuania), or Rec 08 festival de cinema de Tarragona (Spain).

Congratulations, Alfonso!

Galician art for a Hollywood blockbuster?

Boom Studios' sci-fi comic book series North Wind, a creation of Galician comic art designer Alex Cal, may become a Hollywood blockbuster. US production company Davis Entertainment (Garfield, Dr. Dolittle, Eragon, I Robot) has picked up the rights to North Wind, with original series writer David DiGilio onboard to adapt the five comics for the screen.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Beyond the 1500 entries mark!

The Axencia Audiovisual Galega’s virtual catalogue of Galician Audiovisual has recently surpassed the 1500 entry mark. Practically all titles produced between 1973 and 2008 are included in this online inventory.

Galician audiovisual production has come a long way since the seminal initiatives around the mitical Ourense meetings in the 70’s, where Galician film and video production was characterized by the self-consciousness of its void. Today, the more than 1500 titles of all genres, themes and formats show that something has been achieved along the years.

The virtual catalogue is being constantly updated with new titles, both new and historical.

This is a direct link to the catalogue.

Monday, 21 April 2008

The Galician Academy 2007 Awards

Last April 15th the Galician Audiovisual Academy celebrated its Mestre Mateo awards night. 25 awards were given out at a televised ceremony at the Jofre theatre in Ferrol. In my personal opinion, the show improves every year. It was funny and even shorter than last year (less than two hours). Besides, 2007 was also a prolific year for the Galician audiovisual, which guaranteed the average quality of nominees in almost all categories.

Some of the awards (for a complete list see

Ernesto Chao, former first president of the Galician Audiovisual Academy, was awarded the Fernando Rey honorary award. This is the first time an actor receives this recognition.

The most awarded production was O neno de barro (9 awards).

Linatakalam receives an intermedia-globe Gold Award

Linatakalam / Let’s Talk, a TV show co-produced by Galician IbisaTV and directed by Valentín Carrera, has won a intermedia-globe Gold award in the Global Issues sub -category of Documentaries at the World Media Festival, which is being held in Hamburg, Germany.

Linatakalam is a Spanish-Moroccan-Italian co-production that addresses dialogue among peoples and cultures of the Mediterranean. The series was shot in Egypt, Spain, Italy, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey and consists of six chapters devoted to the meeting of civilizations in the sea of a single bank, the silent revolution of women, water as the gold of future, the globalization of immigration, the coexistence of religions, and the intercultural education of the younger generation.

Winners of an intermedia-globe Gold become nominees for an intermedia-globe Grand Award to recognize the best in each of the 14 main festival categories. From them, a Special Jury for Excellence will select the winner of the intermedia-globe Grand Prix as the best of all Festival entries. All winners of the intermedia-globe Silver and Gold awards are notified prior to the festival event to make sure they are present at the Gala for the Award Presentation Ceremony personally.

The winners of the Grand Awards and the Grand Prix, along with the winners of the Special Awards, will not be announced until the Gala for the Award Presentation Ceremony in Hamburg in the evening of May 14, 2008.

Congratulations and good luck, Valentín.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Galician presence at Documenta-Madrid

This year’s edition of the International Film Festival of Documentary Film Documenta-Madrid, to be held in Madrid from Mai 4th to Mai 11th, includes an ample presence of Galician productions.

Ruben PardiñasFronteiras / Frontiers (betacam, 58´, 2007) participates at the full-length films national competition, together with Marcos BesasBarreiros, Motor Humano / Barreiros, Human Engine (betacam, 88´, 2007) and Lois Patiño Lama’s Profesor Tejero / Professor Tejero (betacam, 60´, 2007).

Besides, Migel Abad Lopez’s O Desencontro / The Mix Up (betacam, 3´, 2007) and Alberte Pagán’s Pó de Estrelas / Stardust (dvd, 24´, 2007) participate at the short films national competition.

The informative section Looking Back, What a Movement! Includes Tamara Blanco Insua, Xosé A. F. Holgado and Carlos Mendez’s Periféricos / Periferals (dvd, 50’, 2006), a project about the cultural scene in the eighties in Vigo, known as A movida viguesa.

According to its organizers, the festival was born for the purpose of strengthening and disseminating the documentary genre, in so far as it understood to be a reflection of the social, cultural, economic, artistic, environmental, and other realities that exist in the world. From the selection of films, which is done exclusively using qualitative criteria and respect for any and all critical viewpoints of our surroundings, Documenta seeks to provide an annual meeting place for professionals, creators, and the public to whom the work is aimed.

Congratulations to all Galician participants!

New YouTube channel devoted to the Galician public broadcaster

Televisión de Galicia TVG has just created its official YouTube channel. This channel has a look and feel that recalls the TVG’s corporate image, and includes a banner on the top appearing the most popular characters of the Galician public broadcaster.

The channel has been initially deployed around three playlists, one of them devoted to news clips, and the other two to the humor shows Os Tonechos and Air Galicia.

The channel can be accessed through

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Short Films and Talent Discovery

If I was asked to identify one single common strategy shared by all the institutions involved in Galician audiovisual promotion, it would be the nurturing of short films as a vehicle to promote an audiovisual culture among people, to identify new talent, and to provide tools for to-be-professionals to start curriculum building.

The Galician Audiovisual Consortium has just opened a call for participation for the Curtas 08 programme. Galician Government’s DG Audiovisual Communication funds and develops, together with the Galician Young Council, the Curtas na Rede initiative. The Galician Audiovisual Agency manages a line of capital grants to facilitate the production and promotion of short Films and develops the Cinemas Dixitais showcase.

These initiatives have associated diffusion channels that, put together, cover a broad range of opportunities to make Galician short film production visible: the Internet, alternate theatres as social and cultural centres both at urban and rural areas, hardcopy international distribution through DVD …, and last but not least, the significant increase of Galician short film participation in international festivals.

One may argue that one key diffusion instrument is missing in spite of all these instruments being deployed, namely regular movie theatres. In my opinion, it would raise issues twenty years ago, when Internet was inexistent as a diffusion medium and the only chance of making films visible was cumbersome film duplication or low quality videotape.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Dirty Wolfs at Big Apple’s TriBeCa

Next 5th May will be premiered at the New York’s TriBeCa Film Festival the documentary short film Lobos Sucios / Dirty Wolfs. This film, directed by Felipe Rodríguez Lameiro a.k.a. Pipe, puts together a bunch of stories about the wolfram black market at Casaio mines during WW2.

The film, in which also participated Galician writer Manuel Rivas as a literary advisor, whas shot at Valdeorras, in locations like Fraga de Ricosende, Soutadoiro, Casaio, Viana do Bolo, Pena Trevinca, O Barco de Valdeorras or A Rúa de Valdeorras.

The title of this work plays with the original meaning of the word wolfram, which comes from German wolfram = wolf + ram, originally used as a pejorative term, ram meaning “dirt”, probably because considered of little value in comparison to tin.

Congratulations, Pipe!

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Galicia at Malaga 2008 Film Festival

Galician film production contributes with four works to the 11th edition of the Malaga Spanish Film Festival to be held from April, 4th to April, 12th at the andalusian city of Malaga. Two Galician feature films and two documentaries have been selected as a part of the 32 works included in the official section.

Galician director Xavier Bermúdez is presenting the movie Rafael starring Galician actors Manuel Cortés and Mary Tasende, among others. Rafael is about a man who balances his job as a public servant with his obsession for women.

The official section also includes Guillermo Fernández Groizard’s Proyecto Dos, co-produced by Galician Filmanova. The film is about a scientist who maintains a happy life with his son and his wife, an English/Spanish translator. He will discover by chance a piece of news that will make him doubt about everything around him, even about his own identity.

Among the documentaries of the official section, Olaia Sendón presents the experimental project Los fabulosos hermanos de la luz, which recalls the experiences of old cinema theaters in Galicia. This section also includes Margarita Ledo’s Lister pronunciado Liste, an approach to the figure of Galician communist politician Enrique Lister.

Along its eleven editions, Malaga has become an effective platform for the presentation of Spanish – and therefore Galician – films.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Kuleshov Effect Again. This time Galicia and Gibara

Susana Rei’s As Cousas de Kulechov continues its journey around international festivals. This time is the turn of the International Non-Budget Film Festival to be held in Gibara (Cuba) from April 14th to April 20th.

This festival, organized by the Cuban Institute for Art and Film Industry (ICAIC), the Cuban Ministry of Culture, and the local governments of Holguín and Gibara, strives for a liberating and independent cinema in spite of market pressures.

Cousas de Kulechov is a fake documentary short film in which the Galician filmmaker met en scène a montage of Galician festivities’ shots turned into a newsreel about a hypothetical war attack against Galicia.

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

A pinch of Galicia in a Shrinking Room

La Habitación de Fermat (Fermat’s Room) received the Best Script and Silver Meliès awards at 28th edition of Fantasporto, the Porto International Film Festival.

La Habitación de Fermat is the first feature film written and directed by famous Galician comedian Luis Piedrahita and Rodrigo Sopeña. As skilful television writers and directors, they are behind some of the most successful shows in Spanish television (Nada x Aquí, El Club de la Comedia). The film is about four mathematicians who do not know each other are invited by a mysterious host on the pretext of resolving a great enigma. The room in which they find themselves turns out to be a shrinking room that will crush them if they do not discover in time what connects them all and why someone might wish to murder them.

Parabems, Luis!

Monday, 10 March 2008

New York hosts Galician Digital Production Overview

A selection of Galician documentary, tv-movie and short films is travelling to New York next April. The selection, already shown in Galicia in the framework of the Cinemas Dixitais program of the Axencia Galega do Audiovisual, will be hosted by Big Apple’s Circulo Español Social and Cultural Society.
No dates yet, but available soon...

Lech Kowalski’s Master Class at Play Doc

Director Lech Kowalski is offering a master class at 4th Edition of Play Doc International Documentary Festival to be held in Tui from March, 12th to March, 16th. The master class will take place on Saturday, 15th at 17:00, where Kowalski will lecture about his peculiar way of doing and understanding cinema.

Play Doc will also feature Kowalski’s trilogy The fabulous art of surviving, comprising the films The boot factory, On Hitler’s Highway and East of Paradise.

A wonderful chance to learn a lot about cinema!

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Galician Animation travels to Postdam

Five Galician animation companies participate at the 10th edition of Cartoon Movie, which is taking place in Postdam (Germany) till next Friday.

With the aim of contribute to the internationalization of Galician animation production, and with the financial support of the Galician Audiovisual Cluster, production companies Ficción Produccións, Deboura Deseños Animados, Bren Entertainment, Continental Producións and Filmax Animation travel to Postdam to negotiate the financing and the distribution of future feature-length projects, among other initiatives.

Besides, Filmax animation is presenting its feature films Donkey Xote and Nocturna. These works will compete with other 47 animation projects from 16 European countries.

According to Cartoon Media, Cartoon Movie was designed along the lines of the successful Cartoon Forum, which aims at facilitating the financing of animation TV series. But Cartoon Movie also offers improvements in the management of cross-border film distribution systems in Europe. Distributors in Europe so far did not feel very comfortable about producing projects that did not originate from their own country. Cartoon Movie is changing the behaviour patterns and the mentalities within this business sector.

Herzliche Glückwünsche, meine Freunde! Und denken Sie daran: galicischen Animation ist eine weltweite Referenz!

If It's Sunday, This Must Be Belgium

The Galician Centre at Brussels participates at the Bruxelles, capitale l´Europe presentations with a selection of Galician short films, among other activities.

The films, which will be premiered at La Tentation premises (28, rue de Laeken - 1000 Brussels) next March, 16th, include:

Carne de cañón (2006, Darío Fernández Ignacio)
Cousas de Kulechov (2006, Susana Rei)
Meniña (2006, Daniel Domínguez García)
Precio (2006, Eva Quintás Froufe)
Longo sendeiro de pedra (2006, Pablo Millán)
Sen chumbo (2006, Jorge Saavedra Mancebo)
A meiga chuchona (2006, Pablo Millán)
A Rosa dos Ventos (2006, Jairo Iglesias Martínez)
A flor máis grande do mundo (2006, Juan Pablo Etcheverry)

The selection has been made with the collaboration of the Axencia Galega do Audiovisual. Bruxelles, capitale l´Europe is an initiative of the European Movement-Belgium.

An interesting proposal if you happen to be in Brussels next March, 16th...

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Curtas na Rede goes to Porto

Curtas na Rede, the short film and micromovie contest organized by de Galician Youth Council and Xunta de Galicia, was presented yesterday at the Portuguese Youth Foundation in Porto. This way, Curtas na Rede opens its online community and offers the chance to young audiovisual creators at both sides of the common border to share their ideas, their projects, ...

Curtas na Rede’s 3rd edition becomes international through the participation of both the Portuguese Youth Council and Eixo Atlántico, an association of Galician and Northern Portuguese Cities with the aim of forming an urban lobby to motivate EU authorities into providing funds to develop the region. Besides, Northern Portugal and Galicia share lots of cultural, social and economical bindings.

Remember: Curtas na Rede is open to participation! Register at

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Javier Bardem & Galicia

Javier Bardem, the Academy Award-winning Spanish actor has performed in over two dozen films in Spain before bocoming an international star with his roles in Before Night Falls, No Country for Old Men or Woody Allen's to-be-premiered Vicky-Cristina-Barcelona. Among his spanish films, three of them were shot in Galicia:

Congratulations Javier!

Monday, 25 February 2008

California awards Galician 3D Guru

Enxebre Entertainment's Enrique Criado and Sony Pictures' Rob Engle received a recognition for their use of stereoscopic technologies during their presentations at the 3D image technical sessions in Scereoscopic Displays & Applications, an international event that took place in San Jose, California last January.

Enrique Criado also participated as a member of the international jury of this event.

A great recognition to the technical excellence of this small Galician company, which has become a reference in the 3D world.

Congratulations again, Kike!

Friday, 22 February 2008

On Location: Cherry Fields in Argentinian Pampa

February 13th was the first shooting day of Patricia Martin García's Campo Cerezo, coproduced by Galician Saga TV together with Andalucian Artimagen Producciones.

Galicia is present before and behind the camera. Galician actor Monti Castiñeiras is among the cast, Xosé Luis Seara is in charge of art direction, and Saga TV's Marcos Gallego participates on the executive production of the film.

The film is being shot in Laprida, a village in Argentinian Pampa.

Dead People Rush on Location

Angel de la Cruz's Os Mortos van Apresa is starting shooting next 25th February in Ribadeo. Keep an eye on the movie blog to be promptly informed about the process.

Good luck, Ángel!

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Gutbay Charly, hello Lichfield

Jorge Casinello San Segundo's film Gutbay Charly (2007, 57') has been selected for participation at the International Film Festival England (IFFE), to be held in Lichfield from June 10th to June 13th. Casinello will compete for the Young Filmmaker award.

This film has been shot by a team of students from the London Film School and Galician Higher School of Cinema Arts (EGACI), and has been produced by both schools and Caurel Lecer S.L., the production company of EGACI's lecturer Carlos A. L. Piñeiro.

This short film will also participate at the Film Festival South Africa (October, 2008).

Congratulations, Jorge!

Monday, 18 February 2008

Everything's allowed in Barcelona

Galician producer Filmanova participates in Barcelona's Mobile Content Market, an initiative of the Catalonian Audiovisual Development Center supported by Barcelona Activa, TV3, and the Generalitat de Catalunya, with Vale Tudo (Everything’s Allowed).

Vale Tudo is a semi-illegal fighting modality characterized by extreme violence and the total absence of rules. The magazine takes the name of this "sport" to play with its double meaning: creative freedom and the intent to cause impact and surprise the viewer. Vale Tudo is a collection of absurd and crazy comedy "pearls" that make up a diverse mosaic. False cameras, funny sketches, grotesque and absurd animation... A carnival of oddities and misfits addressing topics such as daily couple life, out-of-context historical figures, soap operas’ parodies…

The Mobile Content Market is directed to content aggregators, financial investors, mobile operators, broadcasters, distributors, new media producers, advertisers, marketing consultants, plus associated businesses.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Curtas na Rede is Here Again!

Curtas na Rede (Short Films on the Net), now a reference short film context in Spain, is open to participation again.

As in previous editions, the star category of the contest is short films (78 projects in last year’s edition). Participating works should not exceed five minutes and should focus on immigration, or health and sexuality for specific prizes, although there is also an open theme.

In addition to this category, a new category devoted to animation short films has also been included (remember: Galicia is an international reference insofar animation is concerned). The portfolio of categories is completed with micromovies and capsules. Micromovies is devoted to 30 second works shot with mobile phone cameras, and capsules is open to short pieces lasting no longer than three minutes, which will be further classified into music clips, fake promos, and clips devoted to the promotion of Galician language.

As in previous editions, all registered participants will be offered the chance to create a project/shooting blog. The contest web portal will also support video podcasts.
As for the prizes, the total amount has been increased by 40% with respect to the last edition. A total of 35,000 euros will be distributed among the categories above. Apart from the prices awarded to the best work in each category, the third edition will also grant a special prize of the jury and a special prize of the public, as well as prizes for the best script and best direction. The organizers (DG Audiovisual Communication and Youth Council of Galicia), were also able to involve an impressive list of supporting institutions:

General Secretariat of Emigration
General Secretariat of Linguistic Policy,
DG of Public Health
DG of Youth and Solidarity
Galician Audiovisual Agency
Audiovisual Consortium of Galicia,
Galician Public Broadcaster (CRTVG)
R - Telecom Operator
Deputación da Coruña,
Caixa Galicia Foundation
Youth Council of Spain
Portuguese Youth Foundation
Eixo Atlántico

Impressive! Congratulations to the organizers and collaborating institutions and companies!

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Galician audiovisual gives a quantum leap in Internet presence

Two innovative services were presented today in Santiago de Compostela to facilitate the promotion of Galician productions.

Cine Galego na Rede is an online audiovisual content management system (ACMS) that collects and organizes all relevant Galician productions. The system, based on DSpace, provides technical and artistic details, promotion packs (trailers, teasers…) and contact info for rights management. It is open to public, but is specifically targeted to broadcasters. Using TV stations can locate, analyze and buy content for broadcasting.

Audiovisual de Galicia is a content aggregator that collects all information being produced by relevant actors in the Galician audiovisual sector. It is based on the syndication concept, and collects and aggregates both textual pieces of news and audio-visual clips. It has an innovative look and feel, as you may experience yourself here:

Enjoy them!

Kuleshov Effect: Galicia and Porto shots edited together

One of the best short films of 2007 -Galician, by the way- will participate in Porto’s Fantasporto, which will be held from Feb 25th to March 9th at the Rivoli and Sá da Bandeira Theatres,. This way, Susana Rei’s work will continue its successful journey around the world.

Cousas de Kulechov is a fake documentary short film in which the Galician filmmaker met en scène a montage of Galician festivities’ shots turned into a newsreel about a hypothetical war attack against Galicia.

The Kuleshov Effect is a montage effect demonstrated by Russian filmmaker Lev Kuleshov (1899 – 1970). Basically, it demonstrates the influence of contextual framing on the meaning given by viewers to movie scenes. Montage affects meaning. For example, two disparate shots edited one after the other are processed together in the minds of the audience.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Galician audiovisual in Havana’s Book Fair

Galicia has been selected as the Guest of Honor of the 17th Havana’s International Book Fair, to be held at La Cabaña Fortress in the outskirts of Havana from February 13th to March 9th 2008.

Apart from the many cultural and literary events organized during the fair, the Galician audiovisual production will have a remarkable presence. Here follows an abstract of some of the programmed activities.

  • Feb 14th : Round table “Documentary and Historical Memory” at Centro Hispanoamericano de Cultura
  • Feb 15th : Round table “Galician and Cuban video-creation. History and Perspectives” at Centro Hispanoamericano de Cultura
  • Feb 16th : Margarita Ledo’s “Liste pronunciado Lister” (2007, 111’) at Cine La Infanta
  • Feb 17th : Anton Dobao’s “A Mariñeira” (2007, 85’) at Cine La Infanta
  • Feb 18th : Miguel Anxo Prado’s “De Profundis” (2006, 71') at Cine La Infanta
  • Feb 20th : Antonio Hernández’s “El Menor de los Males” (2006, 110’) at Cine La Infanta
  • Feb 21st : Round table “Communitarian Cinema or Poor Cinema, an alternative to Hollywood?” at Centro Hispanoamericano de Cultura
  • Feb 23rd : Mario Iglesias’ “De Bares” (2006, 91’) at Cine La Infanta

Apart of this program, Havana will also host Ópticas Cruzadas (Crossviews), an initiative where four pairs of Galician-Cuban authors will jointly develop audiovisual projects to be premiered during the fair.

Enjoy it!

Monday, 4 February 2008

Banderas' Galician connection

Antonio Banderas (Shrek the Third) has just reached an agreement with Galician producer Perro Verde to develop the animation feature film El lince Perdido (The Missing Lynx).

This will be the first animation project of Banderas' production company Green Moon. In this project will also participate the Andalusian CGI company Kandor Graphics.

Perro Verde Films was created in 2006 by María Arochena, Rubén Zarauza and Manuel Cristobalto specialize in international markets. Perro Verde's first project Gritos en el Pasillo / Going Nuts, a horror movie where a fairytale illustrator is hired by a psychiatric hospital director, is the first animation project whose cast was composed entirely by peanuts.

El Lince Perdido, with an approximate budget of € 5 M, is expected to be premiered by the end of 2008. It has already been sold to 35 different countries.

Mr. Banderas cannot be wrong. Is there a better place than Galicia to look for production partners for animation projects?

Galician Animation Rules!

For the fifth year in a row, Galician animation received the best animation film award of the 2007 Spanish Film Academy Awards. This year Bren Entertainment's Nocturna, una aventura máxica, directed and written by Adrià García & Víctor Maldonado, was granted this recognition. It is the third award for Filmax and Bren Entertainment after Pérez, o Ratiño dos teus Sonos / The Hairy Tooth Fairy (2006), P3K: Pinocho 3000 / Pinocchio 3000 (2004) and El Cid: A Lenda / El Cid: The Legend (2003).

Two other Galician-related animation productions were also nominated: Dygra’s El bufón y la infanta, and Continental’s A flor máis grande do mundo.

Definitely, it was not just serendipity; Galicia keeps being the top reference insofar Spanish animation is concerned.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

The two sides of a screen

This was not the typical winter's night for Dosinda. It would be about bedtime for her, but tonight her granddaughter Luz will be the star at Canteira de Cantareiros, the TV contest for to-be singing stars at TVG's prime-time show Luar. From time to time, especially on summer Friday nights, Dosinda stayed awake until late in the evening to spend some time with Gayoso and Nieves Rodríguez in Luar. Pedramadarra was certainly not a especially warm place, even in August, but lack of proper roof insulation made hot air to accumulate in her bedroom during the long days of summer, just above his bed. And since Vicente died (poor Vicentiño) getting involved in construction works was out of the question. In winter was different. Then, it seemed that the same roof that pulled heat inwards in summer, was now upside down pulling the heat out. In winter it was better to be in bed.

But today was not a typical winter's night. A few days ago her daughter received a phone call from Luar to say that it was OK, that Luz and her fellow pandereteiras from her school ensemble would appear on TV. And today was the Big Day. The News at TVG were on the verge of closing, after that the Weather Report, and then, finally, Gayoso.

And suddenly, without a warning, the TV display gets blue. At first she thought it would be one of those modern ads where you would not understand what was being announced. Surely something even funnier than a blue screen would appear, something speaking of some rare gadget you would never need. She decided to take a trip to the kitchen to warm up a glass of milk to take her pill. When she returned to the living room the screen remained the same. Blue. And dumb.

It was a funny situation indeed.

As she felt a bit uncomfortable watching that blue screen doing nothing, she decided to phone her daughter to find out if she was also watching a screen of the same color. Maria do Carmo's home was at Pedrafigueira, just five minutes across the pine forest. In case her TV set was working properly, she was sure to convince Carmiña to send his husband to collect her. She would not miss Luz's stellar moment for anything in the world.

Bad luck. At Carmo's home they were experiencing the same funny situation. Dosinda's son-in-law, a nice guy who worked as a doctor in a health care center in Santiago de Compostela, had already dialed the emergency telephone number he had at hand for these situations. Let's hope it can be fixed soon. It seems there is always somebody on duty. Dosinda was surprised to see that there were doctors to cure TV illnesses too.

Incidentally, Dosinda asked her daughter if, like every Saturday, they would come to her place tomorrow to have lunch together. They discussed the menu, and Dosinda reminded Maria do Carmo to bring her vapor cleaner with her to clean the tiles of the kitchen. Not to be forgotten, as the Saturday before!

Prior this reproach for Maria do Carmo's forgetfulness was to an end, it felt like the TV set suddenly awoke with Gayoso's voice. Thank goodness. All in all, it was not that important. The TV set arranged itself alone. She said goodbye to her daughter and returned to her sofa to wait for the action to come.
Some twenty minutes before the end of this telephone conversation, the technical officer on duty at the Centre for Network Management the Galician telco operator Retegal has deployed in San Marcos (Santiago de Compostela), detects an alarm both the at TVG's emitter and receiver at the transmission center in Muros. Incidentally, all Digital Video Broadcast devices are smart enough to report to San Marcos when something goes wrong. They can even talk to the technicians in San Marcos when inquired about their behaviour.

Once the incident is detected and reported, it is assigned to the level-1 intervention technician on duty for the Muros area. Then, the information provided by the centralized computer supervision system is analyzed to conclude that it incident was caused by a black-out in the Muros facilities.

This supervision center monitors the complete network of more than 140 transmission facilities scattered around Galicia.
Unfortunately, the technician has to deal with a fault that cannot be fixed remotely. Digital Video Broadcast equipment may also fix for themselves small faults, but when they have to deal with a black-out... somebody has to go there and see what has happened. In large transmission facilities like the ones deployed in Meda, Domaio or Pedroso, which illuminate with their signals hundreds of thousands of citizens, there is always somebody there, day and night, as the new Information Society lighthouse keepers, to ensure any incident is resolved practically in seconds.

But Muros is not that important. It took the technician on duty 20 minutes to reach the Muros facility. As she knew exactly what to do to solve the problem, she proceeded straight to the surge protection circuits to replace them. Surge protection devices have a very peculiar way of behaving when it comes to protect electronic equipment. They self-destroy in a cloud of black smoke, sometimes accompanied by a fancy blue flame, to guarantee that the rest of the transmission equipment suffers no damage.

Once the technician replaced the damaged circuits, Gayoso appeared at the display of the small monitoring device at Muros. If Gayoso could enjoy the view of the Lira beach from here...

Friday, 1 February 2008

Continental nominations

The Galician production company Continental will be present again among the award candidates of the Spanish Academy of Film Arts and Sciences. On this occasion, Continental has received two nominations.

Juan Pablo Etcheverry's A Flor máis grande do mundo, opts to the best animation short film award, and Galician Rodrigo Cortés opera prima Concursante, has received a nomination for the best original song for Circus Honey Blues.

These two nominations correspond to number 31st and 32nd in Continental's list, having won the award on 6 previous occasions. Awards will be delivered during a presentation to be held at Palacio Municipal de Congresos (Madrid) next February 3rd.