Alauda Ruiz de Azúa’s Lullaby has been described by Pedro Almodóvar as “without doubt the best debut of Spanish cinema in years”. The Divine Spirit by Chema García Ibarra type As “one of the standouts of the 2021 Locarno Film Festival”. David Pérez Sañudo’s “Ane is Missing” won three Spanish Academy Goya Awards last year.
The three Spanish films, all first films, have in common that they all passed the ECAM Madrid Film Academy incubator, a six-month mentorship program for producers.
When its fifth edition completes the final corner, type It analyzes what its projects say about the state of cutting-edge young cinema in Spain, and what the talent behind it says about the state of contemporary filmmaking.
filmmaker with attitude
On the face of it, the five projects developed this year are all very different in type, tone and problem they solve. Gabriel Azorín’s “Last Night I Conquered the City of Thebes” explores male friendship while connecting two modern teenagers with the young Roman soldiers who used the same baths in the Spanish countryside 2,000 years ago. “Ripli” has been implicated in ADHD, depression and processing anxiety. As “Lente” director Carlos Villafaina points out, “Macramé” focuses on sex and power games, “Festina Lente” focuses on functional diversity, and “Disposable” focuses on social isolation. What the projects have in common, however, is that they are, at least in part, problem-driven. This is true of most of the new Spanish generation: think “Alcarràs”, “Lullaby” or now “La Maternal”.
A new talent feeding the heat?
In the new platform world, the battle for success is the battle for top talent. Everyone, from CAA Media Finance (which will be meeting with film students during the San Sebastian Film Festival in September) to the most microscopic local producers, are looking for fresh voices. “It’s very encouraging to see how streamers are looking for emerging talent to lead original films and TV shows,” said Miguel Molina, who produced “Disposable” with Pablo Gómez Salamanca. The Spanish film industry is now focusing on new voices and diversifying the film stakes,” agrees ‘Ripli’ producer Eva Moreno. However, the search for new talent is now heating up. “With a limited public funding budget, there’s’ Too many ‘new voices,’” says “Macrame” producer Barbara Magdalena. “Thebes” producer Carlos Pardo adds that there’s also the potential for new talent fatigue risk.
What ECAM’s Incubator Brings
The incubator receives more than 250 submissions each year, said project manager Rafa Alberola. “It’s interesting to find people who are responding to a moment in the creator’s life or to the historical and socioeconomic context in which we live. It shows a willingness to talk about us and our place in the world.” If there were so With so many new talents, the incubator acts like a radical filter. This means that Spanish industry will stand up and pay attention to the selected few. The incubator is betting on stories and creators “to allow riskier projects to resonate in the industry and find their place,” said Iván Luis, producer of “Macrame”, which explores Japan The art of erotic bondage and the need for a “sinister hug”. ”
Animation: Building Problems
The Colombian and Spanish co-production of “One Time” is the first animated feature film from the Incubator. This is unlikely to be the last time. At the Creative Investors Conference in San Sebastian, three of the 10 films selected to pitch to the international industry were cartoon images. France’s Annecy Animation Festival has doubled its audience in ten years. “One-off” producer Gómez believes animation also has a creative impact. “I wanted to make a movie that was as explosive and nuanced as the best punk songs,” he said. “Animation, ‘One Shot’ has all the ingredients I need for narrative and visual experimentation in this direction.”
push the envelope
“We all wanted the same thing — to do something different, to mix genres, to explore new formats and narratives,” Molina said. So the producers and directors of the incubator lamented a certain conservatism in the Spanish film industry. “I want to see crazier movies with a high level of mastery of the narrative,” said “Thebes” director Gabriel Azolin. We missed out on more brave films,” agrees “Ripli” director Elena Tara.
Will the platform support Arthouse?
Whether that madness is a viable option, at least for big movies, is another question. At present, the attendance of art galleries in Spain is mostly due to the outbreak of the new crown epidemic. After Spain’s state-funded big films, platform financing or international co-productions remain the most obvious options to close the gap. Aside from Filmin, platforms appear to have a limited appetite in Spain for the straight-arrow art that makes up most of the output of the country’s film industry. Event art such as Carla Simon’s 2022 Berlin Golden Bear winner “Alcarràs” fetched a staggering €2.15 million ($2.17 million) at the Spanish box office, making it the second-biggest Spanish film of 2022 so far. “Lullaby,” the big winner in Malaga, took home €717,000 ($724,000). “‘Alcarràs’ and ‘Lullaby’ can encourage platforms, distributors and production companies to invest in independent films,” Villafaina said. He might be right. Of course, optimism is an important industry driver.
John Hopewell contributed to this article.