Jaume Ripoll • Director, Atlàntida Film Fest
"High season for tourism doesn’t necessarily mean low season for culture"
- Cineuropa had a chat with Jaume Ripoll, head of the Atlàntida Film Fest, a European-focused festival that kicks off on 27 July on Mallorca and will also unspool for a whole month on Filmin
The Atlàntida Film Fest is about to reach a nice, round age: its tenth edition gets under way on 27 July on Mallorca, and at the same time, it will start unspooling on Filmin. Physical proceedings on the Balearic island will continue until 2 August, while on the web they will carry on until the 27th of that month. We marked the occasion by chatting to Jaume Ripoll, who heads up both the gathering and the VoD platform.
Cineuropa: How do you intend to celebrate this special anniversary?
Jaume Ripoll: With mixed feelings: we’re satisfied that we have got to this point while maintaining such a high level of quality, in an unusual year when it’s proven more complicated to put together the programme we wanted, and we are also very anxious to find out what the results will be like for this very peculiar year.
What are the festival’s selection criteria?
Since 2016, we have centred the festival’s focus on Europe, with titles that are unreleased in Spain and which talk about the continent from various thematic perspectives – politics, identity, generation, historical memory, privacy, walls and borders, and so on. From that starting point, we search for films at festivals – both national and international ones – that we like and that we can programme, in Mallorca as well as online. It ends up being quite complex because we are talking about 110 titles, which is not to be sniffed at.
How did this partnership between the island of Mallorca and the festival itself gradually take shape?
Since the very first year we came here, with 20 titles (a number that now stands at 54), the city and the institutions have accepted and embraced what we’ve been about: a festival clearly gunning for quality, which does not need famous stars to fill up the venues, but rather unreleased movies, without needing to resort to star-studded, mainstream flicks. They have fully endorsed our editorial policy and our offering, which is based on it being a free festival for local audiences and for those who come from further afield, and a multidisciplinary event, with conversations, workshops and concerts. This year, we’ll have reduced capacities on account of the health-and-safety measures, but I’m sure we’ll still manage to pack out the screenings.
In addition, the gathering is being held in the summer, slap bang in the middle of the holiday season: just another incentive to draw people to Mallorca.
Of course, we’ve always been of the opinion that high season for tourism doesn’t necessarily mean low season for culture. Also, the majority of the screenings take place in unique spaces – a medieval castle or 18th-century cloisters – where the surroundings engage in a dialogue with the film being screened, which makes the logistics and the budget more complicated.
The festival is also unspooling on Filmin, a platform that you also run: are they like two relatives who get on really well?
Yes, it’s true that Atlàntida is like the offspring of Filmin, as it was born three years after we officially launched the platform. Thanks to the festival, we’ve had a bigger impact in the media, which has helped up to consolidate the brand.
Through Filmin, Atlàntida has been a trailblazer in something that’s actually been fairly standard during this year marked by the health crisis: the fact that festivals are also moving online.
It’s very possible that the increase in the audience figures will work in the festival’s favour, without a doubt, but I’ll confirm that at the end of August, when it wraps. Last year, we had 150,000 online viewers, a very high number, and we hope to beat that.
Which activities, besides the film screenings, is the Mallorca-based festival including?
The concerts allow us to attract younger members of the public. With the sidebar for conferences, we enhance the pensive aspect of the documentaries that we show, linking the movie with the present and the future. And in addition, we will have the third edition of the Mallorca Talents Lab, a four-day script workshop, where six writers will be tutored by top professionals, who will guide them as they develop their feature debut.
There will even be visits from exciting figures such as Stephen Frears.
He is one of the most eclectic and most fantastic filmmakers in the world, the auteur behind various masterpieces: I’m tremendously excited that he’s coming to pick up an award. We’ll also have Tom Cullen, an actor from Weekend [+see also:
film profile], who’ll be presenting his directorial debut – Pink Wall [+see also:
film profile] – and who will take part in a chat; Eoin Macken, the director of Here Are the Young Men [+see also:
interview: Eoin Macken
film profile], an adaptation of the Rob Doyle novel, will be coming along; Sergio Caballero will talk about the short film Je te tiens; Iñaki Mur and Oriol Puig will present A Place for Otto [+see also:
film profile]; and the director of Surge [+see also:
interview: Aneil Karia
film profile], Aneil Karia, will pay us a visit.
Lastly, which three European titles in particular do you have a soft spot for? What should we not miss on Filmin?
Last and First Men [+see also:
film profile], the only film by composer Jóhann Jóhannson, narrated by Tilda Swinton, which is an excellent movie and whisks you away on a unique journey: it’s a huge achievement that it’s debuting here because various Spanish festivals wanted it. Another one is The Painter and the Thief [+see also:
interview: Benjamin Ree
film profile] by Benjamin Ree, a documentary – or a fiction – about the world of creation and art that I think is fascinating. And lastly, Beware of Children [+see also:
interview: Dag Johan Haugerud
film profile], a feature that screened at Venice last year; it’s a two-and-a-half-hour-long marvel, but I hope that people will have the guts to come and get acquainted with it.
(Translated from Spanish)
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