The fifth edition of the Ascaso Film Festival gets off to a flying start
by Alfonso Rivera
- The self-styled “smallest film festival in the world” begins its latest iteration today, buoyed by directors such as Jonás Trueba
Any initiative that brings alternative film closer to the more remote parts of the world is always welcome, as it can be tricky to enjoy this kind of cinema in these places. The Ascaso Film Festival is taking place in a small villa in the Pyrenees, in the province of Huesca, from today until Saturday. Unfolding in a spirit of collaboration and participation, this intimate and friendly event is a world away from those colossal, impersonal marathons of festivals we all know. Its unique setting and special way of allowing attendees to combine holidays and film have charmed filmmakers such as Jonás Trueba, who will make the journey to this breath-taking location to talk to the audience under the stars (the screenings are open-air) in order to discuss his recently released work The Romantic Exiles [+see also:
interview: Jonás Trueba
In addition, audiences at Ascaso will be able to see the excellent Icelandic movie Rams [+see also:
interview: Grimur Hakonarson
film profile] by Grímur Hákonarson, while there will also be a screening of The Hunt by Aragonese master Carlos Saura (winner of the Silver Bear for Best Director at Berlin 50 years ago), a true gem way ahead of its time – both narratively and formally speaking – as well as the latest opus by Marc Recha, A Perfect Day to Fly [+see also:
film profile], and the French documentary Tomorrow [+see also:
film profile] by Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent. Meanwhile, the “Ascaso en corto” section will host eight short films hailing from all over the world.
The gathering, which has a shoestring budget (€10,000) but a huge team of volunteers, has become a benchmark for the film industry in Spain. Néstor Prades and Miguel Cordero act as its directors, promoters and highest authorities – these two incurable film buffs have established one of the most curious and distinctive events in the overcrowded Spanish film-festival landscape, and they have done so with tenacity, enthusiasm and vigour. “Now we’d like to export this model to other places: we want the authorities to see that small things are also valuable and that they’re not fading away,” Prades explains.
(Translated from Spanish)