Catalan! films eMagazine
autumn 2011 issue 1
INTERNATIONAL FANTASY CINEMA MEETS IN CATALONIA
SITGES FILM FESTIVAL Catalan premieres FORTHCOMING RELEASES News hightlights
Institut Català de les Indústries Culturals Rambla de Santa Mònica, 8 E-08002 Barcelona Tel.: +34 933 162 700 email@example.com www.gencat.cat/cultura/icic/internacional www.catalanarts.cat Catalan Films & TV Mestre Nicolau, 23, entl., 1 E-08021 Barcelona Tel.: +34 935 524 945 www.catalanfilms.cat firstname.lastname@example.org Edited by: Utopia Global – email@example.com Texts: Alba Laguna, Hugo de Cominges, Salvador Moré Images: Óscar Fernández Orengo, arxiu revista Decine Design: Manuel Cuyàs D.L.: B–32543-2011 Barcelona, october 2011 ISSN: 2014-4415 This magazine is published under an AttributionNonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported Creative Commons license, which allows you to download this work and share it with others as long as you credit the author, but you can’t change it in any way or use them commercially. Read the full license at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/
Catalan! films eMagazine
autumn 2011 issue 1
The digital magazine for the international promotion of the Catalan cinema. Available in English, Catalan and Spanish. Published four-monthly.
FOREWORD You have on your screens the first issue of Catalan! Films e-Magazine, a new magazine entirely dedicated to the international promotion of the Catalan audiovisual industry. This is a sister publication to others produced by the Department of International Promotion at the Institut Català de les Indústries Culturals (ICIC – Catalan Institute of the Cultural Industries), whose aim is also to be promotion channels for all the cultural sectors in Catalonia. In the case of audiovisual media, we have already come a long way following twenty-five years of support for audiovisual media by the Catalan Films & TV consortium. During this time the industry has created a space for itself on the international circuits. Proof of this comes from the extraordinary promotion at festivals and truly worldwide distribution, which have allowed our films and television shows to be seen, and the mobile applications created by Catalan companies to be used anywhere in the world. Now, more than ever, internationalisation is a necessary road for any company in the audiovisual industry to tread. Business models are changing at great speed: there are new windows of opportunity, new technologies, new players etc. – we are seeing relentless change that makes promotion the only surefire way of remaining viable on the international circuits. There is no doubt that we have racked up many achievements up to this point. We could provide hundreds of examples: the Oscar nominations for Balseros and The Milk of Sorrow (La teta asustada) or the opportunities faced by Black Bread (Pa negre) at the next edition of the awards; the recent Golden Shell at San Sebastian won by Double Steps (Los pasos dobles); the top awards
won at festivals such as Karlovy Vary; a notable presence at especially demanding events such as Locarno, the Quinzaine des RĂŠalisateurs etc. However, beyond the cinema, we can also see the success of Catalan animation, which is an endless conveyor belt of internationally renowned talent. Or in documentaries, with benchmark schools being unanimously acknowledged by critics and audiences alike. Talent is the word that best defines the Catalan audiovisual industry, in all respects and at all points along the production chain. And Catalan! Films e-Magazine was created with the intention of emphasising this talent, to place this exclamation mark on a genuine production with a high international profile. This magazine is a tool which is available to international players in the world of audiovisual media. It will be published in three languages (Catalan, Spanish and English) and will also be available on all mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.). Catalan! Films e-magazine includes industry news, calendars of the essential international festivals and markets, festival selections, highlights of Catalan cinema and television etc. You will find this publication on the website dedicated to the internationalisation of Catalan cultural industries, www.catalanarts.cat, and on the website of Catalan Films & TV. I invite you to discover this first edition of a unique showcase for the Catalan audiovisual industry, now open to everyone. FĂ¨lix Riera Prado Director of the Catalan Institute for the Cultural Industries
Catalan Films &TV 25 years promoting the Catalan audiovisual worldwide Anguish (Catalan title: Angoixa), directed by Bigas Luna, The Blonde at the Bar (Catalan title: La rossa del bar) directed by Ventura Pons, The Heifer (Original title: La Vaquilla) directed by Luis GarcĂa Berlanga and In A Glass Cage (Original title: Tras el cristal) directed by AgustĂ Villaronga made up the selection of Catalan cinema that Catalan Films & TV (CF&TV) picked up twenty-five years ago to promote around the world. Since then, the consortium for the promotion of the Catalan audiovisual industry has continued seeking these objectives: to achieve maximum visibility for Catalan products; to ensure their presence in the strategic theatres of each sector; to give guidance to producers in taking this step towards the international markets etc. CF&TV uses many activities and formulas to ensure that the engine of internationalisation does not stop running. While perhaps the best known initiative is a presence in film and television markets, beyond these business areas, there are various actions that combine institutional relations, negotiations and the selection of consultants and international agents.
CF&TV has a unique collective memory, with a present and future for the output of our industry and, above all, uses a network of contacts and channels so that Catalan audiovisual product can reach any place in the world. A review of the presence of Catalan titles at international festivals, of the companies present in the most important industry markets and areas, or the awards won throughout this period give a good idea of this strength that we have been growing, working hand in hand with and in service of the industry in our country. 25 years later, Villaronga is back with the success of Black Bread (Original title: Pa negre), the Spanish Film Academyâ€™s candidate this year for the Oscars and for the Ariel awards in Mexico. We can do no more than congratulate its makers and pour all our effort and enthusiasm into making this dream a reality.
Catalonia, cinema open to the world Jordi Roigé Editor of Decine magazine Catalonia’s cinematography is of interest to the world. Not only because of the films produced here, but because over the years it has created an industry with renowned and esteemed professionals, artists and technicians; it has its own institutional support lines, and a noteworthy public television broadcaster. Plus prominent natural scenery and infrastructures. Barcelona city leads an iconography of international influence. But along with it are also the landscapes around the Costa Brava, the Pyrenees, the central woodlands, or the suburbs of the city, all of which have historically been used as natural sets for international films. The figures of our cinema are a clear proof of the significance of the Catalan audiovisual industry. Each year an average of over 70 films are produced, of which over 20 are international co-productions. The year 2010 half of the Spanish film production came from Catalan companies. These figures, although still below some European countries of similar size to Catalonia, are an important background to bear in mind. But it’s not all about figures. With films like Black Bread, The Mosquito Net, Elisa K, Bicycle, Spoon, Apple or Aita Catalonia led the Goya Awards, is a regular presence at the main international festivals and will represent Spain at the Oscars. Catalan production companies have diversified their genres: documentary, history, action, fantasy, political, animation, young audiences… Catalonia is present in the European scene, and it’s constantly bringing in new directors and actors, well known by their audiences. For all these reasons Catalan! Films eMagazine comes out as a gateway to the world, to give an account of what happens at home, and to generate interest beyond our borders. Because of the institutional support system, the knowhow of the industry, the climate, and the exterior and interior settings, Catalan production companies make interesting travelling companions for other film industries. In the future, it’s not about producing more films, but achieving a larger path and impact with the films that are produced. For this reason Catalan cinema opens up to the world.
HOT: sitges festival 201 news 30 in the spotlight 36 coming soon 48 close up: Jaume balague shot in catalonia 64 tweet diary 74
Sitge THE FANTA RETU
es 2011 ASY FILMS URN *Eva
hot Sitges festival 2011
Like every October, the International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia returns to Sitges. It is without a doubt the most important film appointment of the year in Catalonia and it comes full of international and Catalan novelties. Year after year, the Sitges Film Festival, now in its 44th edition, offers appealing proposals from around the world, both in its competitive official sections and in the rest of its wide program. These are films that aside from being genre-based, haven’t yet been distributed in commercial cinemas, although many have had a foremost presence in other international festivals. Among the most anticipated films of this edition are two productions that share the topic of world catastrophes that threaten mankind: Melancholia, Danish director Lars Von Trier’s latest work, which cast includes Kirsten Dunst ( Best Actress Award at Cannes), John Hurt, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Charlotte Rampling; and Contagion, from the North-American Steven Soderbergh (recently presented in Venice), featuring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Marion Cotillard, Laurence Fishburne and Jude Law. These two titles of the Panorama Official Fantastic Section are joined by Béla Tar’s apocalyptic vision in The Turin Horse
hot Sitges festival 2011
(also shown at the Venetian festival), awarded with the Special Jury Prize at the last Berlinale. This section also presents interesting proposals such as the terrifying Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, produced by Guillermo Del Toro; the vampire epic The Moth Diaries by Mary Haron (director of American Psycho); the spectacular Korean 3D blockbuster Sector 7; the dark version of the classic Jane Eyre, with Michael Fassbender in the lead (recently awarded in Venice as best actor for Shame); the adult animation film Tatsumi, by Eric Koo; or the adrenaline-charged Drive, by Nicolas Winding-Refn, best director at last year’s Cannes festival. This year’s Catalan participation offers a deluxe choice, with two highlights. On the one hand, Eva, Kike Maíllo’s feature film debut will open the festival. This Escándalo Films production, played by Daniel Brühl and Marta Etura, was applauded at the Venice Film Festival. Set in 2041, it depicts a world where humans live with robots, in a thriller with a powerful ending. Precisely, this 44th edition is inspired by artificial intelligence, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence. This year’s festival poster image shows two Asian people who look normal but are in fact machines. On the other hand, we will also be able to see the very anticipated Sleep Tight from Jaume Balagueró, as part of the official section Fantàstic Panorama. The director, another festival
*A.I. Artificial Intelligence
hot Sitges festival 2011
classic, will receive one of the tribute awards, the Time Machine Award. With Luis Tosar and, again, Marta Etura in the main roles, Sleep Tight is not a conventional horror movie but an unsettling psychological thriller. Other Catalan titles that will be screened in Sitges are Emergo, first feature film by Carles Torrens, which will be part of the In-Competition Official Fantastic Section, with a script by Rodrigo CortĂŠs, director of Buried. This film, shot with young North-American actors, takes a fresh look at the haunted house films. And within the Noves Visions - Especials section, devoted to the most ground-breaking and transgressive proposals,
we can find Amanecidos, Yonay Boix and Pol Aregall’s debut film, shot between 2008 and 2010 with the support of Eddie Saeta, shot without a linear narrative structure. The same section will also show Open 24H, by Trash’s director Carles Torras, which depicts the troublesome life of a night watchman in a disturbing black and white; and Ushima-Next, Jesús Manuel Montané and Joan Frank Charansonnet’s big screen debut, a futurist fable which vindicates the panic films created by Roland Topor, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Fernando Arrabal (who acts in it). Finally, the section called Noves Visions – Discovery will also include Vlogger, by expert on machinima (animation created with videogames) Ricard Gras, a thriller shot in the popular videogame Second Life, and created by the Spanish branch of Zentropa, Lars von Trier’s production company. All this and a lot more to be enjoyed from Çthe 6th to the 16th of October at the most international fantasy film festival in Catalonia. Hugo de Cominges
hot Sitges festival 2011 catalan new releases
Eva A futuristic dream Kike Maíllo Genre Science Fiction Production Escándalo Films, Ran Entertainment, Wild Bunch Cast Daniel Brühl, Claudia Vega, Marta Etura, Alberto Amman, Lluís Homar Director
In a nearby future where humans live alongside mechanical creatures, Alex Garel, a renowned cybernetics engineer, returns to Santa Irene with a very specific assignment from the Robotics Faculty: the creation of a child robot. This is the starting point of Eva, a curious mix of nostalgia and ambition, Kike Maíllo’s debut feature. The first Catalan production of science fiction with robots is closer to a melodrama than to a thriller. In tune with the international inclination of the film, Maíllo has chosen Daniel Brühl (Inglorious Basterds; Good bye, Lenin!) to play a cybernetics engineer who designs robots. There is also the great discovery of Claudia Vega, the ten year old girl who plays the main role in the film. Eva captivated audiences at the Biennale in Venice, where it had its world premiere. So far the most colossal production of Escándalo Films, the production company associated with ESCAC (The Film and Audiovisual School of Catalonia), in coproduction with France, was shot during eleven weeks in the snowy sceneries of Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland) and Panticosa (Spain). Despite being a futuristic film, the aesthetics are more typical of the seventies, the director’s personal homage to his childhood films. “Eva is a fantasy film story, but it’s also about love and death”, says Maíllo. And in the background, a big question: is it possible that some day us humans create emotional bonds with machines as strong as those with other humans? ■
hot Sitges festival 2011 catalan new releases
Sleep tight Perversion under the bed Jaume Balagueró Genre Thriller Production Castelao Productions (Filmax) Cast Luis Tosar, Marta Etura, Alberto San Juan, Iris Almeida, Pep Tosar, Petra Martínez Director
With a touch of thriller but without abandoning the horror genre devices that he knows so well, the director Jaume Balagueró tells the story of César, the caretaker of a building who hides an inner world of obsessions. The chosen victim, a Marta Etura who will pay a high price for the permanent smile on her face. Controlling the lives of others, influencing on them like a god, opening their wounds and pocking on them. All without raising any suspicions. The dream of a sick mind come true for the protagonist of Sleep Tight. Being a concierge might not be the best job in the world, but César wouldn´t swap it for any other, since his work allows him to get to know all the residents of the building in-depth. Little by little, though, his game will start getting too complicated. The film, produced by Filmax, is written by Alberto Marini, scriptwriter, regular collaborator of Jaume Balagueró and executive producer on the film. After its world premiere at the Fastastic Fest in Austin (Texas) last September, the film will have its European premiere in Sitges, where Jaume Balagueró will receive the Time Machine Award, a recognition previously given to Quentin Tarantino, Guillermo del Toro, Terry Gilliam and David Cronenberg, amongst others. Sleept Tight is Balagueró’s fifth film as a sole director after The Nameless, Darkness, Fragile and the TV movie To Let. He codirected [REC] and [REC]2 with Paco Plaza and he has become a reference for horror genre fans inside and outside our country. ■
hot Sitges festival 2011 catalan new releases
Emergo Debut film by young director Carles Torrens, written and produced by Rodrigo Cortés (Buried). In the film, a group of paranormal research investigators are called to an apartment where all sorts of strange phenomena are taking place: unanswered phone calls, objects that move on their own, sounds of unknown source, lights that go off for no apparent reason. The group sets out to investigate the facts in a scientific manner and with the most advanced technical means; the mysterious signs, though, are more violent all the time. Emergo is an original approach to haunted house films. At the age of eighteen, Catalan Carles Torrens moved to Los Angeles where he studied film at the Chapmann University and shot the shorts Coming to Town (2006) and Delaney (2007). ■ Carles Torrens Genre Horror Production Versus Entertainment Cast Kai Lennox, Mia Mantegna, Michael O’Keefe, Rick González, Fionna Glascott
The Monk Set in Spain in the 17th century and based on the paramount work of Gothic literature, the 1796 novel by English writer Matthew Lewis, The Monk narrates the rise and fall of the monk Ambrosio, who was abandoned at the doors of a monastery as a baby and was brought up by the monks. He soon becomes admired for his eloquence but also envied by his fellow monks. At least until a girl’s arrival perturbs his spirit to unknown extents. Beneath temptation is the devil himself...or is it Ambrosio’s inner demons? The French-German director Dominik Moll (Intimité; Harry, He’s There to Help and Lemming) has adapted the story for the screen, in a co-production between France and Catalonia, starring Vincent Cassel. ■ Dominik Moll Genre Thriller Production Estrategia Audiovisual, Diaphana Films, Morena Films Cast Vincent Cassel, Déborah François, Geraldine Chaplin, Sergi López, Jordi Dauder Director
hot Sitges festival 2011 catalan new releases
Amanecidos The film, directed by Yonay Boix and Pol Aregall, doesn’t follow the traditional construction of a story: there is no beginning, middle or end. The main characters are ten twenty-year olds, five girls and five young men at the peak of their youth. The camera captures fragments of life in short sequences, in different settings and without following any narrative structure. It’s a film around unexpected events, like an intimate diary or a photo album opened randomly; memories that come to mind without warning. Amanecidos was shot between 2008 and 2010 with the production of Eddie Saeta, Catalan company which has previously produced titles by Manoel de Oliveira, Apichatpong Weerasethakul and José Luis Guerín. The directors are currently working on their second feature film, The Adventures of Cat-Eyed Lily. ■ Yonay Boix, Pol Aregall Genre Drama Production Eddie Saeta, Smegma Films Cast Brais Abad, David Arnanz, Maggie Civantos, Virginia de la Cruz, Laura Díaz Director
Ushima-Next In a futuristic world not too different from ours, four characters fight to evade control from a world government which watches and educates its citizens through a very sophisticated IT network. Ushima-Next recreates and vindicates the “panic” cinema created by Roland Topor, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Fernando Arrabal, who has an acting role in this film of powerful black and white images. A film directed by Jesús Manuel Montané and Joan Frank Charansonnet which shows that in the 21st century it is still possible to come across surprising science-fiction films. Montané is a director of music videos, documentaries and animation. Ushima-Next is his first live action feature film. Charansonnet has a long career as an actor and stage director. This is his first film. ■ Jesús Manuel Montané, Joan Frank Charansonnet Genre Science-fiction Production Grupo Estudio, Set d’Acció Cast Jordi Sibón, Carolina Rodés, Eva Perea, Dani Amor, Fernando Arrabal Director
hot Sitges festival 2011 catalan new releases
Open 24H Catalan Carles Torras (Joves, Trash) presents a disturbing black and white film, with the camera in a permanent state between sleep and wakefulness, which slowly introduces the viewer into a distressingly real nightmare. The protagonist is Héctor, a night watchman. During the day he looks after his brother, who is physically and mentally disabled. Héctor is eager and hardworking, he fights daily to get on with life, but his troubles are never ending: he’s got a pending court case, his job is more suffocating all the time, his father is abusive… The weight of it all makes him fall into an emotional torpor from which it might be dangerous to wake. Open 24h is so far Carles Torras’ riskiest film, and the first one he has also produced. The short repetitive scenes try to show the protagonist’s monotonous and oppressive world while exploring the darkest side of urban society. ■ Carles Torras Genre Drama Production Zabriskie Films Cast Amadís de Murga, Judit Uriach, Fina Rius, José María Blanco
Vlogger Feature animation which mixes videogames, fiction and virtual videos in a plot which exposes the use of technologies by terrorist networks. Tania, who’s working on a thesis around virtual worlds on the internet, has six days to stop a terrorist attack being planned online by a group which her twin brother belongs to. This thriller takes places virtually in Second Life, but what starts in the virtual world soon moves to the real world. The film was shot in eleven weeks and has the signature of the Spanish branch of Zentropa, Lars Von Trier’s production company. The director, Ricard Gras, is an expert in machinima (animation created with videogames) and producer of digital content. He studied a Masters in digital media in London. In 2008 he directed the machinima part of the documentary Another Perfect World. ■ Ricard Gras Genre Thriller Production Zentropa Internacional Spain, Cine de Garage Cast Irina Sanjeevan, Eduard Alejandre, Roger Batalla, Nico Baixas
*Girimunho, produced by LluĂs MiĂąarro
Black Bread in the Oscar race
The winner of the last Gaudí and Goya Awards Black Break, by Agustí Villaronga, produced by Massa d’Or, has been selected by the Film Academy to represent Spain at the 84th edition of the Oscars in Hollywood as Best Foreign Film. This is the first time that a film in the Catalan language will contest on behalf of Spanish cinema at the Hollywood awards. Many other countries have chosen their own representatives in this category: Germany presents Wim Wender’s documentary film Pina; Iran, the winner of the Golden Bear in Berlin, Nader and Simin, a Separation; Finland, Kaurismaki’s Le Havre, which received a special mention from the Ecumenical Jury in Cannes. The final list of of the Oscar candidates will be made public on the 24th of January and the ceremony will take place on the 26th of February at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. On the other hand, the film is also a candidate, along with The Skin I Live in, Even the Rain and The Last Circus for the European Cinema Awards 2011. Amongst the 45 selected features are, among others, The King’s Speech, Little White Lies or In a Better World. The votes from the 2,500 members of the European Cinema Academy will be published on the 5th of November at the European Film Festival in Seville. The award ceremony will take place on the 3rd of December in Berlin. ■
THE MEXICAN Lluís Miñarro, SUITACASE WINNER awarded AT DOC MIAMI in Venice The film by Mexican director Trisha Ziff was awarded Best Documentary at Doc Miami International Film Festival, which took place at the end of September. It’s the exciting story of a suitcase full of photo negatives from the Spanish Civil War which arrived at the International Center of Photography in New York after a long and mysterious journey. The content couldn’t be more revealing: the suitcase contained the legendary negatives of war photographers Robert Capa, Gerda Taro and David Seymour, presumably lost for over 70 years. The feature documentary is a coproduction of the Catalan company Mallerich Films. It received an honourable mention at Los Angeles Latino Film Festival and it was selected for the official section of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The Mexican Suitcase is a story of exile and freedom, loss and recovery, which conveys the importance of knowing and not forgetting our past. ■
The International Association of Independent Critics, who gathered within the framework of the 68th edition of the Venice International Film Festival, decided to award the producer Lluís Miñarro (Eddie Saeta) with the “Bisato d’Oro” prize in recognition of a career devoted to auteur films. The award ceremony took place at the Lido in Venice with a jury headed by German critic Joseph Schnelle. This year, the Catalan producer Miñarro has taken part in the Venetian event with two productions: the feature film Girimunho and the documentary film Hollywood Talkies in the parallel section Orizzonti, where new film formats are shown, and which has its own awards. ■
CATALAN CINEMA IN SOUTH KOREA
8 Catalan films at the BFI London Film Festival The Perfect Stranger, Sleep Tight and Double Steps will be shown between the 6th and 16th of October in the Busan International Film Festival (South Korea) as part of the parallel section “World Cinema”. The Perfect Stranger is the debut feature by Toni Bestard, director, writer and producer with a long career in the short film world, with over 100 awards at national and international festivals. Jaume Balagueró presents his new film Sleep Tight with Luis Tosar and Marta Etura and the collaboration of TV3. Plus the film awarded with the Golden Shell at the last edition of the San Sebastian International Film Festival, Double Steps by Isaki Lacuesta. ■
The 55th edition of the BFI London Film Festival, which will take place between the 12th and 27th of October, has 8 Catalan-produced films in its program. Especially notable is the Catalan presence in the “Experimenta” section, where independent and risqué films are screened, and which will have directors like José Luis Guerin with Correspondence: Jonas Mekas and Albert Serra presenting The Lord Worked Wonders in Me. The “Cinema Europa” section presents other Catalan titles that have been shown at several festivals, such as Alberto Morais’ The Waves or Amador by Fernando León de Aranoa. Medianeras, Carnage and The Monk complete the Catalan presence. ■
Catalan production companies leading Spanish cinema Catalan share of total Spanish output 1985 - 2009
According to a research carried out by the economist Carles JosĂŠ Solsona, Catalan production companies participate in 47% of Spanish film productions. According to this report, out of the 2,357 feature films produced between 1985 and 2009 in Spain, 713 had Catalan involvement, which means a 30.25% of Catalan presence in all Spanish productions. This percentage increased from 2009 to 2010 by 16.75%, to the extent that Catalan production companies participate in almost half of the Spanish productions. In terms of genres, feature films are the most produced within the Catalan film industry, followed by documentaries and animation, in that order. In less than ten years production companies in Catalonia have invested 655.5 million euros in film. Regarding the average costs of films Regarding the average costs of films, figures indicate that international co-productions allow bigger budget films. When it comes to productions within the country, the average investment per film in Catalonia is lower than the Spanish average, and the average cost in Catalonia is 18% below the Spanish average. In regards to the partaking in European productions, Catalan cinema has gone from a 2% of the films produced in Europe to a 6.57%. â–
in the spo I want to be a soldier 38 Los pasos dobles 40 carnage 42 Pa negre 44 Midnight in Paris 46
*Los pasos dobles
in the spotlight
I Want to Be a Soldier Director Christian Molina Genre Drama Production Can贸nigo Films, Trees Pictures, Stars Pictures, Black Flag Cinema Cast Fergus Riordan, Ben Temple, Andrew Tarbet, Jo Kelly, Danny Glover , Robert Englund
Unless his parents prevent it, by the age of eighteen a child will have seen 40,000 murders and 200,000 violent acts on TV, film, videogames...I Want to Be a Soldier invites the audience to reflect on this through the story of Alex, an eight year old child fascinated by violence. A Christian Molina film that has gathered international awards and premieres this month. When Alex starts to develop communication problems with his parents and classmates in school, he withdraws into himself and makes up two imaginary friends: astronaut captain Harry and his alter ego, sergeant John Cluster. His two little twin brothers are born and Alex starts feeling lonely and neglected, outshined by their arrival. Betrayed and hurt, he gets his dad to
reward him with what heâ€™d always wanted: a TV in his room. The boy will discover a new world and will feel very attracted by what he sees, especially by images of war and destruction. In his fantasy world Alex is a soldier of an imaginary army. This Catalan production directed by Christian Molina (Diary of a Nymphomaniac, The Station of the Forgotten) and shot in English has been shown in numerous international film festivals before reaching our screens. The cast features renowned names such as Danny Glover or Robert Englund, known for his role as Freddy Krueger. The film combines fiction with real images of various wars and news affairs, videogames, documentaries, sports and animated cartoons. â–
in the spotlight
Los pasos dobles — Double steps Director Isaki Lacuesta Genre Documentary Production Tusitala Producciones Cinematográficas, Bord Cadre Films
After launching -also this year- All Night Long, a documentary about Ava Gardner, Isaki Lacuesta has presented Los pasos dobles. It is an innovative project shot in Africa with the presence of painter Miquel Barceló as its main appeal, which has been awarded Best Film at the San Sebastian Film Festival this September. “I don’t like describing Los pasos dobles because boxes of surprises shouldn’t be explained, but opened”, says the Catalan director. Miquel Barceló, the sought-after internationally renowned painter from Mallorca, worked under Lacuesta’s orders in African territory searching for traces of François Augiéras, the main character in the film. Lacuesta constructs a fiction
inspired the biography of this French artist and writer, who covered in paint a bunker which disappeared in the desert. A western, an adventure film, an African tale, a documentary. Lacuesta’s new film is as unclassifiable as it is surprising. Shot in Dogon and in French, it supports the thesis that the only way to erase one’s traces and escape one’s pursuers is to walk backwards on one’s own footsteps. On top of Los pasos dobles, the footage shot in Africa has allowed the director of Cravan vs. Cravan, La leyenda del tiempo and The Condemned to edit the documentary El cuaderno de barro, about Miquel Barceló’s African workshop in Mali. ■
in the spotlight
Carnage Director Roman Polanski Genre Black comedy Production France 2 Cinema , Versatil Cinema , Constantin Film Produktion, SBS Productions, SPI Poland, Mediapro Cast Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster , John C. Reilly
Polish director Roman Polanski presented his new film, Carnage, at the Biennale in Venice, a coproduction between the Catalan company Mediapro and France, Poland and Germany. It’s the adaptation of the homonymous theatre play by Yasmina Reza, in which two married couples get together to talk about a fight that their children have had. What starts in a civilized way turns into something grotesque. Shot in Europe but set in New York, the film’s main roles are heavy weights of the film world: Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly. Most of the plot takes place in the sitting room of one of the couple’s
homes. A friendly chat with jokes and pleasantries, which reaches a more violent tone as ludicrous contradictions and prejudices emerge. A dissection of human stupidity in comedy code. In Venice, Kate Winslet explained that “it is an extraordinary complex story in its details”, and added: “The four of us were very involved from day one in the rehearsals, but we had the support of an extraordinary script”. Despite the controversy always surrounding Polanski, the filmmaker successfully pursues his film career, this time establishing an alliance with Mediapro, the production company behind Woody Allen’s last few films. ■
in the spotlight
PA NEGRE — BLACK BREAD Director Agustí Villaronga Genre RURAL DRAMA Production Massa d’Or Produccions, Televisió de Catalunya Cast Francesc Colomer , Marina Comas, Nora Navas, Roger Casamajor , Laia Marull , Eduard Fernández, Sergi López, Marina Gatell , Mercè Arànega
During the harsh post-war years in rural Catalonia, Andreu, a boy who belongs to the losers’ side, finds the dead bodies of a man and his son in the woods. This is the start of Black Bread, Agustí Villaronga’s onscreen adaptation of the novel by Emili Teixidor. A film full of conflicting feelings and emotions, which has been selected by the Spanish Film Academy to represent Spain at the next Oscars’ edition in Hollywood. The central axis around which Black Bread is formulated, in its director’s words is “the moral devastation that war causes on the civil population”. The main child character will experience the awakening of a moral conscience against an adult world fed with lies. The weight of the acting falls mainly on the children, Francesc Colomer and Marina Comas and the actors Roger
Casamajor and Nora Navas, but the film is completed with a deluxe cast with names such as Sergi López or Eduard Fernández. According to the film’s producer, Isona Passola, “the key to the success of good films is usually time, and that’s worth a lot more money than technique or celebrities. Like Hitchcock said, an ounce of preparation is worth more than ten tones of improvisation. Our Black Bread has been cooked slowly and with a lot of love”. The film swept to victory at the last edition of the Goya Awards of Spanish cinema, where it won nine awards, including the main prizes. Black Bread boasts a perfect set design, photography and costume design. Grudges, cowardice, humiliation, innocence, good and evil draw up a film that goes beyond the conventional stories set during the Spanish Civil War and post-war. ■
in the spotlight
Midnight in Paris Director Woody Allen Genre Comedy Production Gravier Productions, Mediapro Cast Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Michael Sheen, Kathy Bates
The opening film of the last edition of the Cannes Film Festival and Woody Allenâ€™s third film produced in Catalonia after Vicky Cristina Barcelona and You will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, is a pleasant promenade along the French capital. The person responsible for this good understanding with the New Yorkbased director is Jaume Roures, CEO of Mediapro, one of the most important communication groups in Spain. For the first time, Woody Allen has shot a film entirely in France, although he shot there some scenes for Love and Death and Everyone Says I Love You. The cityâ€™s beauty and specially its night-time charm captivates the protagonist, an Owen Wilson in a state of grace who visits Paris shortly
before marrying his fiancée, played by the blonde Rachel McAdams. French actress Marion Cotillard, in a muse role which suits her especially well, is another one of the film’s faces, in addition to Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, or the First Lady of France, Carla Bruni, who plays a small role as director of the Rodin Museum. Midnight in Paris has become Woody Allen’s highest-grossing film in the USA, where the box office collection is over 50 million dollars. The film has successfully premiered in over twenty countries. Allen continues with his frenzied shooting pace and has already announced the title and cast of his next film, The Wrong Picture, where he will repeat with Penélope Cuz and will work for the first time with Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page and Alec Baldwin. ■
coming soo [REC]3 50 XP3D 51 year of grace 52 Snowflake 53
*Floquet de neu
[REC]3 The saga continues
[REC]3 Genesis, one of the most anticipated movies from horror film fans, is currently in postproduction. The third instalment of the [REC] saga is directed by Paco Plaza, who, this time on his own, recaptures the essence of the first film, which terrorized audiences in 2007 and got good reviews from the international press. The plot for [REC]3 Genesis, however, is a mystery which details haven’t leaked out, although it is a prequel that will unveil the origin of the virus in the now well-known Barcelona building where the two first films take place. It’s worth mentioning that [REC] and [REC]2, co-directed by Paco Plaza and Jaume Balagueró, made 29 million Euros at the box office around the world. In terms of the production, Filmax is once again the company behind it. ■
XP3D Horror in 3D
XP3D will be the first Spanish horror film in 3D. It was shot during the spring earlier this year and according to the director, Sergi Vizcaíno, “with XP3D we will take the audience to horrific places. We will follow the protagonists through long dark basements in which the 3D will evoke their worst nightmares”. The film tells the story of Ángela, a psychiatry student who’s sceptical about the existence of a paranormal world. The toughest and most eccentric college lecturer suggests she proves or refutes the existence of “the beyond”, by investigating a mining village with a history filled with urban legends. The young actors that give life to the characters in the story are known for their roles in Spanish TV series. The film is produced by the Catalan company Rodar y Rodar and the premiere is scheduled for December 30th. ■
YEAR OF GRACE Comedy made in Barcelona
The new film from Catalan director Ventura Pons, author of over 20 films, is a cross-generational comedy. David, 20, arrives in Barcelona looking for a chance in life. On the other hand, Grace, three times his age, offers him a room in her house in exchange for a bit of attention and company. This cohabiting becomes explosive from day one. However, they need each other, but...will they realize in time? The director points out that, above all, the message he wishes to convey is that “despite everything, life is better if we help one another”. The film features an artistic team led by Catalan actors Rosa Maria Sardà, Oriol Pla, Santi Millán, Amparo Moreno, Diana Gómez, Àlex Maruny, Ricard Farré, Lluís X. Villanueva and Núria Feliu. ■
SNOWFLAKE Animation and reality
The famous albino gorilla that lived in the Barcelona Zoo for 37 years is the protagonist of a film that integrates 3D animation and live action, a pioneer technology which required almost a year of postproduction. It´s shot in emblematic sites of the city such as the Zoo, Parc Güell, Parc de la Ciutadella, Tibidabo, and the Gràcia quarters. In the film, Snowflake goes in search of a concoction to make him “normal” so that his new fellow gorillas at the zoo accept him as one of them. Simultaneously, the wicked Luc de Sac, one of the most wretched men in the world, looks for him all over the city hoping to catch him, convinced that the albino gorilla will be an infallible charm against his bad luck. The film’s directed by Argentinean Andrés G. Schaer and produced by Filmax. It is due to premiere at Christmas. ■
Close up JAUME BALAGUERÓ
“Until I receive a script that captivates me, I’m not taking the step to work in Hollywood” If there was such a thing as an ambassador of Spanish horror film, it would probably be Catalan director Jaume Balagueró (Lleida, 1968). His unarguably solid career has made him worthy of the Time Machine Award in Sitges this year. The Nameless, Darkness, Fragile, and the very profitable [REC] saga confirm his affiliation to horror. In Jaume Balagueró’s latest suspense adventure we are asked to get inside César’s mind. César (Luis Tosar) is the concierge of an apartment block who spies on his neighbours with the aim of opening their emotional wounds. César is a disturbed man willing to cause pain around him, specially cruel with the adorable girl on the fifth floor, played by Marta Etura. You started with a radio program. How did you move to filmmaking? I liked radio but it was a temporary experience. Filmmaking has been in my thoughts since I was a small boy, it was my goal and I was fully aware that it would be a difficult challenge. I tried it, moved by my vocation as a storyteller, and it worked.
During your teenage years big horror classics were launched in double sessions. A great time for the horror genre, I would even say it was a vital time. I remember as a small boy being attracted to fantasy, the pleasure of the unknown, and so science-fiction starts with my childhood. The Jaume Balagueró of The Nameless couldn’t find a producer. It happens to all directors when they’re starting. The first one to back me was Joan Ginard, producer of my short Alicia. I remember that with The Nameless I knocked on many doors, and nothing. Making a horror film with a young inexperienced director was very difficult. Until Filmax and Julio Fernández decided to support me. You found international success with your second film, Darkness, which screened in 1,700 American cinemas. Miramax had the film and they made a big launch. The box office worked really well. Me and the whole team watched from a distance and were fairly ignorant of what was going on. Today with internet everything’s closer and easier to measure. You got offered a film in Hollywood and turned it down. I am constantly being offered films in Hollywood. It’s not only me, any young Spanish director with a film that has done well receives offers from the US. It is a well known fact that production companies in Hollywood look for talent in Europe. Until I get a script that captivates me, I am not taking that step.
Fragile is not your typical horror film. Are there formulas that work for genre films? There is no manual or set of rules for horror films. Otherwise computers would be able to make them. Fragile was something very different from all that I’d done before, a ghost story. [REC]’s tight budget was replaced by word of mouth. What do you think made that? The way we made it is what fits in with the lack of finance. We set out to make something with no money. A cheap horror movie with a particular narrative system and a very distinct point of view. We never betrayed that spirit.
59 [REC] is a genre celebration. The references were all the films we’d seen some time ago. The most obvious influences are Cannibal Holocaust and The Blair Witch Project. We tried to turn that around and play with real time. The audience is inside the film from start to finish. [REC] 2 starts with an inner voice saying “do you dare continue?”. Was it the producer’s voice? It wasn’t forced by the producer, but it did have an influence. Once a movie does well, there is an intrinsic need to squeeze that success. Otherwise it wouldn’t be a very smart producer. Let it be said that Paco Plaza and myself pushed that second film, motivated by the enthusiasm of an audience asking for more. We all wanted to go back and keep playing. And it goes on...[REC] 3. Genesis, [REC] 4. Apocalypse Paco Plaza and I said there would never be a [REC] 2. That’s life, you cannot say I’ll never go back there. And suddenly you stop playing with horror and you veer slightly to suspense: Sleep Tight. It’s not about genre exhaustion. I get a script that I love and I prefer to tell that story. I always intend to try other things, but in this case it was the script that made me decide. You go for a disturbed man as the main character. What elements of affinity can the audience have with César (Luis Tosar)? As a rule of thumb the audience empathizes with the victim. This is where the film’s big challenge starts: you are following a disturbed man and you end up relating to him. Luis Tosar, a highly sensitive and intelligent actor. Luis went in depth to recreate the character’s profile while adding his own magic. He made the character both repulsive and vulnerable. This is the beauty of a great actor. He has no cracks, and he executes it with precision.
Frágiles During the film we don’t get to know about the victim’s past. I think that going along with a character you’ve just met is a lot more interesting. She’s very well defined in script terms. You get her straight away and you don’t need to know anything about her past. In film narrative children always have a determining role; is the perverse girl the voice of conscience? It’s not César’s conscience but a counterpoint to his power. César has the power of evil and the one who disturbs his balance is someone who can be more evil. She makes things really complicated for him. You move away from horror but include classic genre elements, like the insects. In the original script there was a plague of flies and I thought it appropriate
61 to swap them for cockroaches. It’s a more suitable insect for the genre, totally repulsive. Just like in [REC], the main setting is a building. But unlike films such as Rosemary’s Baby, the building doesn’t bring in any intriguing element. Because it’s not a horror film, it can do without it. The more normal and familiar the atmosphere is, the more intriguing the character becomes. Cinema acts as a moral judge and dictates that all those who disturb the welfare system need to be executed. In this case the main female character is terribly executed. It’s the film’s controversy. It’s the story of a repulsive yet triumphant character. It’s ethically wrong. I compare it to fairytales, like the big bad wolf, where the villain wins. Will the lack of a happy ending be a box office risk? No. And believe me, I’ve really thought this through. We are in a perverse game. What makes you enjoy the film is its high perversity. I hope that the most sensitive audiences will be able to enjoy the ending. The Sitges Film Festival want to pay tribute to you with a special award for your career. Odd, when you are presenting one of the few films that is not horror. Oh! It’s true. Although judging by the reactions of those who have seen the film I think people get it in the most perturbing and sinister sense. I saw it as a game, but other people find it very harsh. This is a feeling that I wasn’t aware of which brings it closer to the genre I have always worked in. It’s been a long time from your first professional taste of Sitges to this day. The first time as a director was with my short Alicia. To me it was the ultimate place to be. It was a very cheap short and I managed to win one of the awards, it was amazing! Balagueró in Sitges as member of the audience. Memorable was the double session of Bride of Re-Animator and a film from the director of Basket Case (Frank Henenlotter) called Frankenhooker.
In Sleep Tight, what’s hidden from us is more terrifying than what’s explicitly shown. Do we always imagine the worst? What we don’t know frightens us. Horror is what we see. Terror is the unknown. Continue this sentence: what urban myths really want to reflect... ...is that people want to have a good time. We want to be shocked by stories that fascinate us, that’s what urban myths are. This will to enjoy originates from the beginning of times. Centuries ago, fear was useful in that it made us defend ourselves in case of attack or war; today, what are the dangers that make us alert? Hardly any. Unless an extraordinary situation occurs. Fear is a physical defence system. We feel fear in order to activate a survival mechanism. In the past it used to work but now it’s rarely necessary. That’s why we love being told these stories playfully. We activate an atrophied sensation. The happiness of a joyful family who live in an idyllic environment makes me feel an insurmountable panic and I don’t know why, can you help me? (Funny Games, 1997, Michael Haneke) Obviously, you know perfectly well that in film any situation of happiness will be violated. The more happiness, the more punishment and violation. Imagine that in 20 years time you shoot [REC] 18. What horror elements do you think would change? None of the main elements of horror would change. At the end of the day, what’s really scary is the way you tell the story. The result will depend on how you manage the information. And I think that soon we will go back to classic elements. 3D will disappear, in fact it’s already going down. And we will return to the essence of telling stories without artifice and effects. Do you have in mind another genre to work on? Yes. I’d like to try more things. I’ve always said that I’d like to make a musical film but I don’t have the core idea yet. During the shooting of Sleep Tight I mentioned this interest to Tosar and Etura and they were both up for it.
[Rec] A scary reality of everyday life. There are many, too many. The fact that hundreds of thousands of children die of hunger every year is scary. But it’s a lot scarier that we don’t care. We should take the streets and demand justice against hunger, but… Totally scary. Salvador Moré
Shot in ca
BARCELONA CATALUNYA FILM COMMISSION
Shot in catalonia
Pa negre Director Agustí Villaronga Cast Marina Comas, Francesc Colomer , Nora Navas Producer Massa d’Or Produccions Locations Mataró, Cànoves i Samalús, Talamanca , Mura (el Puig de la Balma), El Pont de Vilomara i Rocafort, FigaróMontmany, Olot, Manlleu, l’Espunyola , Puig-reig, Santa Fe de Montseny, Tavertet, Guixers
Shot in catalonia
Tres metros sobre el cielo Director Fernando González Molina Cast Mario Casas, María Valverde Producer Antena 3 Films, Zeta Cinema Locations Argentona , Barcelona , Canet de Mar L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Santa Cristina d’Aro, Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Sant Boi de Llobregat, Sant Adrià del Besós, Teià
Shot in catalonia
Red Lights Director Rodrigo CortĂŠs Cast Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver , Cillian Murphy Producer Versus ENTERTAINMENT Locations Barcelona , El Prat de Llobregat
MEDIA Antena Catalunya 20 Years Supporting Audiovisual Arts MEDIA Antena Catalunya is the representative in Catalonia of the European programme for support for audiovisual industry. During its 20 years of activity, MEDIA has supported all areas of the arts: development, distribution, training, exhibitions, festivals and markets, and all genres (animation, documentary, fiction) and formats (television and cinema). The MEDIA Programme gives special attention to new technologies as well as support for interactive works and digitalisation of cinema theatres, or distribution via Video on Demand platforms. It also provides bridges to other territories, uniting, via the MEDIA MUNDUS programme, European projects with the rest of the world, including Latin America, Canada and Asia. One of the other aspects which is also emphasised by the European Commission is in the education of audiences of the future, encouraging Film Literacy and promoting media education skills for all age groups. The MEDIA Programme has a total of four offices in Spain: Madrid, Seville, San Sebastian and Barcelona, where advice and support is given to the sector, its professionals and their activities. In 2010, MEDIA distributed over €100 million in joint meetings in all its tender projects in the main participating countries. Spain received more than €7.3 million (6.98% of the total) with distribution (in selective and automatic support) receiving the most aid (42% of the total in Spain) followed by support for development projects (with 14.49%, just over €1 million). As for Catalonia, in the past year, there was more than €500,000 in aid to VoD platforms, and another €561,000 in support of development projects, among other lines of funding. In the budget of MEDIA Antena Catalunya (€235,490 per year), Catalan industry professionals receive aid worth more than €2 million, including receipts from the cinema chain, Europa Cinemas, which owns eight cinemas in Catalonia, with a total of 50 screens.
MEDIA Antena Catalunya C /Mestre Nicolau, 23, Entl. E-08021 Barcelona Tel. 34-93-552-49-49
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Tweets from Catalan Films & TV
@ Late July, V. Pons and L. Miñarro invite us to the first showings of their latest productions, Year of Grace (original title: Any de Gràcia) and the documentary Hollywood Talkies respectively.
@ Sections of Europe Distribution, the Industry Office and Open Doors, as well as the selected films by A. Serra and J.L. Guerin are waiting for us.
@ Early August congratulations to Escandalo Film, Eddie Saeta and Versatile film for their selection at the Venice Festival. @ First week of August, J.L. Rebordinos informs us sotto voce that there will be 12 films with Catalan participation in San Sebastian. @ All summer we have been working on the iPhone, iPad and Android applications for the Catalan Films website and the database. @ The summer heat did not stop us from posting the basis and forms for the line of subsidies. The deadline is 30 September. @ 22 August we welcome Helena Moreno Nuñez as the new head of the MEDIA Antena Catalunya.
@ Working on the roadmap with André Sturm and Rachel Monteiro from Cinema of Brazil. Possible co-production agreement. Benefits of tax shelter.
#Venice @ Felix Riera, Director of ICIC accompanies Jaume Roures (Versàtil Cinema) to the premiere of Carnage by R. Polanski at the Venice Film Festival. @ Felix Riera congratulates Lluis Miñarro (Eddie Saeta) for the presence of “Hollywood Talkies” and “Girimunho” in the Orizzonti section. @ The International Association of Independent Critics distinguishes L. Miñarro with the Bisato d’Oro for his career devoted to independent auteur films. @ The press gives a favourable welcome to screenings of Eva in the official noncompetition selection. The whole team from Escandalo celebrates it at the venue.
75 #San Sebastian
@ A.Villaronga receives the National Film Prize. He talks about “the little box of surprises” in San Sebastian and all the successes of 2011. He thanked the media for its special support.
@ 3 October we are collaborating with Televisió de Catalunya in Cannes on the Catalan deployment at the MIP.
@ Presenting the 13 productions involving Catalan participation at the Industry Club at the Kursaal in a successful happy hour with industry people. @ “Double Steps” (Los pasos dobles) by Isaki Lacuesta, have been awarded the Concha de Oro. Congratulations!!!!
#Sitges @ Co-organising the double bill on 10 October. Morning: 4th video game conference (a wink at Gamelab). Afternoon: Video on demand. @ Like each year, MEDIMED features the participation of Catalan Films, skilled at matchmaking between documentary makers. @ Closing the advertising schedule for the Festival catalogue. It is so full of Catalan productions that we are having problems with the layout.
@ Animation is going strong. Presenting: Fred Lucky, 4 Friends & Half, Glumpers, Lila, Flowerpower, Kuda-Yhana, Barça Toons... wow! We’ve run out of characters!
#Coming soon @ 23-S we see the latest tests of the Catalan database application for Android and iPhone. Ready to upload it to the online stores. Free app. @ from 17 to 19 October, Québecois directors and producers will visit Girona as part of the “Tapis Rouge” initiative. Returning our visit from 2010. @ Preparing the informative event on Brazilian tax shelter schemes for the end of October. @ Keen to start working with the recently created (25-O) association of producers of documentaries. @ “Black Bread” (Pa Negre). has been selected to represent Spanish cinema at the Academy Awards. We congratulate them.
we proudly congratulate BLACK BREAD PA NEGRE Agustí Villaronga Massa d’Or, Televisió de Catalunya Candidate 84th Oscar Academy Awards and Ariel Awards
DOUBLE STEPS LOS PASOS DOBLES Isaki Lacuesta Tusitala PC, Bord Cadre Films Concha de Oro Donostia Zinemaldia Festival de San Sebastiáin
Coming soon: Catalan Films Database for Android, IPhone and IPad