Alongside the many competitive sessions, FEST also includes a series of thematic screenings, expanding the scope of the event into other fields and spectrums. From regional retrospectives to new media formats, the demarcation lines that separate space, time and film are challenged to its core.
In our 17th edition, nothing less could possibly be expected.
Our opening and closing sections have often been the highlights of our programs.
Films such as Tangerine by Sean Baker (USA), Everybody Knows by Asghar Farhadi (Iran), 10.000 KM by Carlos Marques Marcet (Spain), Birth by Jonathan Glazer (UK), Tom of Finland by Dome Karukauski (Sweden/Finland), Dementia 13 by Francis Ford Coppola (USA) or Wes Anderson's debut feature, Bottle Rocket (USA), have caught everyone’s attention, starting and closing our previous editions in great style.
2021 will be no exception. And throughout the week, the event will showcase several other productions and formats, including screenings directly focused on children, teenagers and the elderly, completing our special screenings program in all the right ways.
Flavours of the World
With such privileged access to so many productions by new filmmakers from all around the world, different sorts of narratives begin to take shape quite naturally.
This quickly becomes apparent when some countries are particularly proficient in creating a good setting for the launch of new artists and the birth of new cultural movements. Sometimes it’s the sheer number of new directors appearing in a short period of time; other times it is the nature and power of the themes and perspectives on display; and in some cases it is the plain weirdness and surprise at unlikely areas who, out of the blue, find themselves in the vanguard of the cinematic world.
And from the need to let our audience discover these cinematography and global phenomenons, the Flavours of the World section was born. The section consists of short film regional retrospectives. In the recent past, several of the names that are now on the tip of many tongues in the international film industry were first brought to the attention of FEST audiences.
Artists like Radu Jude (Romania), Renata Gąsiorowska (Poland), Jacqueline Lentzou (Greece), Behzad Azadi (Iran), Tudor Cristian Jurgiu (Romania), Andrea Harkin (Rep. Ireland) or Konstatina Kotzamani (Greece) are just a few examples. We have previously covered countries like Norway, Puerto Rico, Canada, Sweden, Austria, Japan, Belgium, Lithuania or Iceland.
Over the years, we have always given great prominence in our programmes to Catalan filmmakers, such as Carlos Marques Mercet, Marc Crehuet, and Sergi Perez, among many other examples. However, it was especially in the last three years that it became obvious that Catalonia, a region with a very strong identity that has always been a meeting point of the arts, has been flowering with young film talents.
As such, FEST's 17th edition, which will host one of the most celebrated authors of the region, Isabel Coixet, will also focus its Flavours of the World section on the Catalan region, with a short film program screening some of the most promising new Catalan directors.
As a film festival grows, so does its scope, and its own perspective on the meaning of filmmaking in the 21st century. The spectrum of works crossing our path in the past few years, have left us begging for more platforms with which to fully showcase the new mood on the film scene.
With that fresh need in mind, Echoes was born: the brand new section where audiences will have the opportunity to dig in deeper, beyond our traditional competitions, and continue on the voyage of discovering new worlds on screen. Echoes aims at gathering an uncompromising selection of films from filmmakers whose works were selected in previous editions, alongside new films by authors whom we’ve been following with great interest, and are clearly engraving their own marks in cinema.
With so much focus on the future of cinema, you would tend to think that FEST has a one-track mind. Well, you’d be wrong.
Without understanding the past you’ll hardly get a proper sense of the future, and to make sure the past is not forgotten we created Be Kind Rewind, a section focused on retrospectives and/or thematic screenings, covering all sort of issues.
In the recent past, this section has been dedicated to subjects such as the Role of Women in Filmmaking, different political movements, the insanity of North Korean cinema, or simply deeper looks into the filmography of artists such as LM Kit Carson, among others.
In FEST's 17th edition, the Be Kind Rewind section will have its focus on the catalan filmmaker Isabel Coixet. During the retrospective some of the following films will be exhibited: The Bookshop (2017), Nobody Wants the Night (2015), Learning to Drive (2014), Ayer No Termina Nunca (2013), Elegia (2008), The Secret Life of Words (2005), My Life Without Me (2003); and the short No Es Tan Fria Siberia (2016).
Coixet is considered to be one of the pioneers of the fight for gender equality in the film industry, both internationally and on her home country. The existential conflicts of our times are almost always the focus of her cinema.