The REC Film Festival awards Primer Test’s works in progress
by Vassilis Economou
- The 4th edition of the Tarragona-based gathering’s lab has presented a hand-picked selection of works in progress that are aiming to have a major presence at international film festivals and markets
Primer Test, the most active industry event at Tarragona’s REC Film Festival, has concluded its fourth edition by handing out awards to the works in progress that took part this year on 6 and 7 December. The laboratory, which was hosted for two days in the historic Casa Joan Miret, offered Spanish productions the possibility to be presented to a seven-member jury comprising international experts, including sales agents, festival programmers and distributors.
Aida Bañeres, coordinator of Primer Test, stated: “We consider Primer Test as a meeting point between up-and-coming directors and producers and film experts. During these four years, we have received almost 100 projects, and 20 of them were submitted this year alone. We hope that these meetings will enable the projects to have a successful journey to the international market and festival circuit.”
Some of the previous discoveries at Primer Test include the Berlinale Generation hit Summer 1993 [+see also:
interview: Carla Simón
film profile] by Carla Simón, Elena Martín’s feature debut, Júlia ist [+see also:
interview: Elena Martín
film profile], and the Best Documentary Gaudí winner, Game Over [+see also:
film profile] by Alba Sotorra.
The selected work-in-progress projects and winners of the fourth edition of Primer Test are as follows:
Thirty Souls [+see also:
interview: Diana Toucedo
film profile], the sophomore feature by Diana Toucedo (En todas as mans, 2015), produced by La Soga Films (winner of the Colour Correction Eclair Award). A documentary/drama hybrid film shot in Galicia, which follows 12-year-old Alba, who wants to discover the mysterious, fascinating and unknown reality of death. Accompanied by her best friend, Samuel, she explores abandoned houses, travels through forgotten villages and discovers remote mountains that harbour a parallel world. Their journey aims to reveal the conflict between the living and the dead.
Figures [+see also:
film profile], directed, written and produced by Argentina’s Eugenio Canevari, his sophomore feature after 2015’s Paula [+see also:
film profile] (winner of the DCP and Sound Eclair Award). Following a real-life couple who re-enact their relationship on screen, the film follows Stella, an Argentinian immigrant in Spain, who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Always by her side is her ever-loving partner, Paco, who, despite his own problems with alcoholism, wants to support her every step of the way, while Stella’s daughter also manages her day-to-day care. The film attempts to depict a distressing but poignant subject matter, seen from a point of view of extreme sensitivity, complete with humour, love and conflict.
The Perseids, directed by debutants Alberto Dexeus and Ànnia Gabarró, and produced by Boogaloo Films (winner of the Catalan Films Award). The project was developed at Pompeu Fabra University and now has the chance to visit the 2018 Rotterdam CineMart through an accreditation that comes with the award. The film narrates 12-year-old Mar’s summer, as she spends 15 days with her father in a village between the Ebro River and the Monegros region, where he grew up.
Finally, Jorge Acebo Canedo presented his film Occidente, produced by El dedo en el ojo, which follows H, a film director in exile who returns to his industrial home town. There, he will re-encounter Gloria, the woman he left behind and whom he still loves. Unable to adapt to the new situation, H will kidnap her so that they can flee together to a place that nobody remembers: beyond civilisation.
Apart from the works in progress, the Primer Test experts had a chance to familiarise themselves with nine Catalan projects during one-to-one meetings, giving local directors and producers the opportunity to seek further advice and present their works. The event was organised in partnership with Catalan Films.
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