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“Nous voyons le MECAS non pas comme un forum de la coproduction traditionnel, mais plus comme un événement où les gens peuvent se rencontrer dans une ambiance détendue”

Dossier industrie: Produire - Coproduire...

Lorena Morín • Directrice, MECAS


Sa directrice nous parle de l'événement professionnel organisé à Las Palmas pour soutenir les projets d'auteurs plus fragiles, d'Europe et d'Amérique latine

Lorena Morín • Directrice, MECAS
(© Gina Pérez)

Cet article est disponible en anglais.

A few days after the end of this year’s MECAS (19-21 April), we met up with Lorena Morín, the director of the Las Palmas-based industry gathering. During our chat, we touched on the types of projects and partners that MECAS seeks out, its efforts to support “fragile”, auteur-driven films, and its future goals. The event for professionals took place during the Las Palmas International Film Festival, which continues running until 28 April.

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Cineuropa: Could you touch on MECAS’s mission and the types of projects you seek out?
Lorena Morín:
First of all, we see MECAS as a place for exchange and networking, not like a [traditional] co-production forum, but more of an event where people can meet in a very relaxed environment. We also try to highlight the [importance of the] creative process, and that’s why we always try to form a personal connection with the filmmakers. So, it’s not only a place for producers, but for filmmakers, and that isn’t usual for other gatherings of this type.

This year, we received more projects focusing on social issues and human rights. So, the selection has to adapt itself to the projects delivered, but within that, we focus on films bearing a personal vision. We look for fiction, non-fiction or hybrid films, as long as they’re compelling enough in terms of storytelling.

Could you talk us through the two types of projects you showcase?
MECAS kicked off with the Almost Finished Films section in 2017, and the Films to Be Made strand was launched in 2021. Regarding the first type of projects, most are in post-production and are close to being completed over the next few months, while others are still filming but are also going through editing – and that’s a very different way of producing films that may be more fragile, as the director may also be the producer. The important thing is that they can show the first 17 minutes of their work, so they really know and feel confident about what they’re screening. […] Meanwhile, Films to Be Made focuses on projects at various stages of development.

What types of partners are you seeking?
We aim to spread MECAS’s outreach in Europe. We’re here on an island, and there are so many markets around the world, but we want to find places that share a similar way of embracing films. We try to connect with these markets, festivals and training programmes. So far, we’ve got four collaborations in place. We aim to expand the visibility of our name. […] First, we’re collaborating with Cartagena’s FICCI. They host an industry event, and one Canarian producer is working on an international co-production and was there while MECAS was taking place here. On the same day we announced our awards, they announced theirs. We handed out a prize to a young, emerging producer from Colombia who will visit Las Palmas next year to take advantage of the opportunities we can offer. […] We also partner with Gijón’s FICX Pro and Barcelona’s L’Alternativa. FICX Pro’s partnership consists of an exchange of projects: they award one of the projects we showcase and invite it to their event. A similar agreement is in place with L’Alternativa. Finally, MECAS is also one of IFFR Pro’s partner organisations. We nominate one emerging regional producer to take part in the five-day Rotterdam Lab programme.

How many reps attended MECAS this year?
I’d say about 100 people, including participants, experts and producers.

Thinking about next year’s edition, what are you working on next?
We’re in talks with two more markets – one is based in Latin America and the other in Europe – and we have also received a proposal from a Spanish festival. So, there’s potential to see new collaboration agreements [in the pipeline]. Overall, we’re trying to strengthen MECAS in terms of quality and how we’re organising everything, highlighting our peculiarities and identity. […] We don’t aim to grow in size, but in terms of outreach and quality. Of course, I’d love to bring some partners on board that could help us achieve these goals. These partners would really help us, as in the end, we’re a team of three people managing things, along with two external selection committees. There are many activities and many people to work with.

Speaking of selecting projects, it hurts me a bit every time because many films come in, you see many movies, but there’s a lot of cinema that remains undiscovered. That being said, we felt that every project we chose was fresh and honest. Finally, I’d like to highlight the fact that four Argentinian projects were brought to MECAS this year. We did that on purpose, and there are a lot of talents there. […] We decided to give them more room owing to the situation unfolding there with INCAA [Argentina’s state funding body, which has recently been defunded by Javier Milei’s far-right government], as probably in the next few years, there will be no projects coming from there.

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