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!