Five projects presented at Tarragona
by Vladan Petkovic
- The 14th REC International Film Festival in Tarragona presented five projects at different stages of post-production to film professionals from all around Europe
The 14th REC International Film Festival in Tarragona, which took place from 3-8 December, for the first time included Primer Test, or “First Test”, a presentation of projects at various stages of development to international film professionals.
“With a clear commitment to innovation and continuous improvement, REC has spent a decade promoting young creators through our main international section, Opera Prima, under the slogan: ‘Through the works of the present, we talk of the creation of the future’,” says Xavier Garcia Puerto, the festival’s director. “Primer Test aims to create a space in which a small group of directors and producers can present their projects at the final post-production stage to a select group of experts who will assess the works and advise the creators.”
One of the projects that is already well known on the documentary circuit is Tchindas, by directors Pablo García Pérez de Lara (known for the 2001 Cannes Critics’ Week title Fuente Álamo and the 2007 Karlovy Vary entry Butterflies) and Marc Serena,who are working with executive producer Yolanda Olmos, under the company Doble Banda. The project took part in pitching sessions at DocsBarcelona in 2013 and Medimed in 2014, and won the HBO Best Pitch Award at ZagrebDox 2014. It is a story of transgender people (called tchindas in Creole) in Cape Verde, the only place in Africa where they are not persecuted, but instead respected, and we meet them in the month leading up to what is considered to be Africa’s best carnival celebration. The film is now in post-production and is looking for a sales agent, a distributor and a festival premiere in 2015.
A completely different kind of beast is the crowdfunded, collectively produced transmedia project The Funeral Dance (El ball del vetlatori), consisting of various artistic pieces based on the works of Valencian poet Vicent Andrés Estellés and focusing on the subversive power of traditional folk culture. At the heart of The Funeral Dance is a Mediterranean funeral ritual, today eradicated by the establishment: when a child died, the parents and the rest of the community kept vigil over the corpse with music and dances. Created by multidisciplinary group Compartir Dóna Gustet, the project consists of a live music show, stand-up comedy, a contemporary dance show and the film, written and directed by Marc Sempere, who also plays the lead role. The film is a 71-minute documentary-fiction hybrid employing all the music, dance and poetry elements from other parts of the project, and can easily work on its own without the transmedia part; nevertheless, the transmedia elements can, in turn, create significant added value for any festival that decides to screen it. The Funeral Dance is completed, and looking for a festival premiere, sales and distribution.
One of the members of the collective that made The Funeral Dance, Berlin-based director Alba Sotorra (best known for the 2008 documentary Unveiled Views), presented her new documentary film, Game Over [+see also:
film profile]. A co-production between Gaia Audiovisuals, Promarfi Futuro 2010, Dirk Mathney Film and Loto Films, with the participation of RTVE/TVC, it is the story of Djalal, a young man obsessed with video games. Raised as an only child in a middle-class family, he plays shooter games, collects weapons and has created a cyber identity, with thousands of followers watching his YouTube clips. As he follows his dream to the extreme, he decides to go to the Afghan front as a sniper. But the war is not as exciting up close and personal and, disenchanted, he returns to find Spain and his family in the midst of the economic crisis. Now he has to take real action in the real world. The film is in post-production, with the team working on music, and looking for sales and a festival premiere.
Primer Test also presented two shorts: firstly, the experimental fiction Teixonera by artist and photographer Natalia Lucia, shot on Super 8, using both colour and black and white, with a running time of 14 minutes. It is currently in post-production and is based on an imaginary female character who is focused on studying her environment.
The other short, a 20-minute documentary, is Casa cereza by Pau Ortiz. Set in San Cristobal de las Casas in Mexico, it is about Rocío and Alejandro, aged 13 and 18, who are facing the prospect of having to play mother and father to their younger siblings while their mother is in prison. Besides featuring interviews with the children, it also employs constructed scenes that reflect the daily life of the protagonists. The film is in the final stage of editing.