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 http://www.cinegalego.es/ 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: http://www.audiovisualdegalicia.es/.

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.

Galician contribution to family life

The third edition of the Festival del Sol, the International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival hold in the Canary Islands last January, awarded the prize to the best TV movie to Llorenç Soler's Vida de Familia (Family Life), produced by Galician Adivina Produccións's Susana Maceiras.

The Festival del Sol collects the best of gay and lesbian cinema at an international level. The jury, which was composed of film critics and members of the gay and lesbian community in Tenerife, pointed out the way this film realistically portrays new types of family.

Vaca Film's Dejate Caer premieres today

Director Jesús Ponce's Déjate Caer premieres today with 50 copies through distributor Alta Films. This film is co-producer by Galician Vaca Films and TVG, the Galician public broadcaster.
Dejate Caer, starring Ivan Massagué, Darí Paso, Juan Fran Juarez, Mercedes Hoyos, Isabel Ampudia and galician Xosé Bonome, was presented last November in the Seville Film Festival.

The film tells the story of three thirty-something unemployed young people. Every day they gather together on a bench in a park to philosophize, drink beer and watch the time go by. Dejate Caer portrays the reality of young people from some neighborhoods in big cities in Spain. "

The film is the third work from Ponce. His first film was the prestigious 15 días contigo, starring Elizabeth Ampudia and Sebastian Haro. Skizo, his second feature movie, starring Eloy Azorin and Oscar Jaenada, tells the story of a bizarre kidnapping situation.