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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Spain

L’Alternativa revs its engines in the year of the pandemic

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- With Catalonia’s theatres shuttered because of health-and-safety measures, the 27th Barcelona Independent Film Festival is gearing up to take place online, via various digital platforms

L’Alternativa revs its engines in the year of the pandemic
The Year of the Discovery by Luis López Carrasco

Today, The Year of the Discovery [+see also:
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, which has only just won an award at the 17th Seville European Film Festival (see the news), will open the 27th L’Alternativa Barcelona Independent Film Festival – with an added master class set to be given by its director, Luis López Carrasco, to boot. Given that movie theatres in Catalonia have been closed for weeks, on this occasion, the gathering will unspool entirely via the digital platforms Filmin, YouTube and Vimeo. Epicentro [+see also:
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(Austria/France) by Hubert Sauper, the winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the most recent Sundance, will be the event’s closing title and will be shown on Sunday 29th.

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In its Official Section for International Features, audiences will be able to watch ten titles that are duking it out for the €4,000 Award for Best Film. Standing out among them are Camagroga [+see also:
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, a documentary filmed in the Horta of Valencia, by Madrilenian helmer Alfonso Amador; The Fever [+see also:
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interview: Maya Da-Rin
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(Brazil/France/Germany), a jungle-set drama by Rio de Janeiro native Maya Da-Rin; Merry Christmas, Yiwu [+see also:
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interview: Mladen Kovačević
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(Sweden/Serbia/France/Germany), a documentary about the peculiar titular city in China, directed by Mladen Kovacevic; Oeconomia [+see also:
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interview: Carmen Losmann
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(Germany), a scathing analysis of modern-day capitalism by Carmen Losmann; Petit Samedi [+see also:
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interview: Paloma Sermon Daï
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, a non-fiction film about a mother-son relationship by Belgium’s Paloma Sermon-Daï; and Victoria [+see also:
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interview: Liesbeth De Ceulaer, Isabel…
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(also hailing from Belgium) by the trio comprising Sofie Benoot, Liesbeth De Ceulaer and Isabelle Tollenaere.

In the Official Section’s National sidebar (in which a €2,000 prize will be up for grabs), 15 short films will be competing alongside another six features, which are as follows: La Mami [+see also:
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(a Spanish-Mexican co-production), a documentary set in Mexico City’s Barba Azul cabaret, directed by Toledo-born Laura Herrero Garvín; Last Days of Spring [+see also:
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interview: Isabel Lamberti
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]
, a Spanish-Dutch joint effort by Isabel Lamberti, shot in the Madrilenian shanty town of La Cañada Real, which won big in the New Directors section of the most recent San Sebastián Film Festival; On the Names of the Goats [+see also:
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interview: Miguel G. Morales and Silvi…
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, a film made up of archive images, put together by Canary Islanders Silvia Navarro Martín and Miguel G Morales; Big Big Big, a witty exercise in meta-cinema helmed by Carmen Haro and Miguel Rodríguez Pérez; Tiempos de deseo by Portuguese director Raquel Marques; and Video Blues, a cinematic exorcism about the past by Madrilenian director-editor Emma Tusell.

Furthermore, in the Special Sessions strand, audiences should not pass up the chance to see the epistolary documentary by Cuban filmmaker friends Patricia Pérez and Heidi Hassan, In a Whisper [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Patricia Pérez and Heidi Ha…
film profile
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(Spain/France/Cuba/Switzerland); Camino incierto, a heartfelt tribute to a number of maestros of cinema, courtesy of Barcelona’s Pablo García; and A Stormy Night [+see also:
trailer
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, a black-and-white film about a gay encounter, shot in New York, which was written and directed by David Moragas (who also stars in it).

Lastly, of particular note among L’Alternativa 2020’s professional activities (which are also all set to be held online) are the eighth edition of its Mentoring Projects (a programme of events aimed at fostering creative potential and exploring possible avenues for the completion and circulation of 20 projects, listed here); the seventh Pitching Forum of the GAC (Associated Screenwriters of Catalonia), a meeting point where screenwriters, production companies and platforms can come together (in which eight projects at the writing stage are taking part – more details here); and a conference scheduled for tomorrow, 17 November, which is dedicated to providing creative support during the development of projects, and which will focus primarily on the role of the advisor, mentor or consultant.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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