As part of the Signals section, the International Film Festival Rotterdam aims a spotlight on new films and filmmakers connected to the influential Máster en Documental de Creació (MDC) of the Universidad Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. With teachers such as José Luis Guerin and Ricardo Íscar, the Master has spawned filmmaking talents such as Abel Garcia Roure, Isaki Lacuesta, Carla Subirana and German Berger.
The IFFR presents recent Catalan documentary films from both current or former teachers and film students from the Universidad Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. Over the past decade, the university master film course’s take on documentary filmmaking cinema has influenced a vital new generation of filmmakers such as Mercedes Alvarez (El cielo gira) and Isaki Lacuesta.
The program introduces several new works. These will include Ricardo Iscár’s documentary Dansa als esperits (Dance to the Spirits), shot in the jungle of Cameroun and Victor Garcia’s El ex-boxeador (The Former Boxer), a contemplative account of the way former European boxing champion Santiago Rojas spends his day.
Other recent works include Carla Subirana’s Nadar (Swimming), a quietly haunting film on the continuing influence on her family of the execution of her grandfather in the wake of the Spanish Civil war. B-Side by filmmaker Eva Vila (who is also a coordinator at MDC), is a kaleidoscopic documentary film on Barcelona’s music scene; Ich bin Enric Marco by Santiago Fillol & Lucas Vermal, a film that follows the ex-president of Spain’s main WW2 deportees’ association on a demythologizing journey into his past; and La terra habitada (The Land Inhabited) by Anna Sanmartí, a tactile and sensitive film in which she gets to the essence of travelling produced by MDC-coordinator Marta Andreu.
Also in the festival, former student Isaki Lacuesta, who’s La leyenda del tiempo (The Legend of Time) was part of the Tiger Awards Competition in 2006, presents his first fiction feature, Los condenados (The Condemned), that deals with the aftermath of the revolutionary struggle in an unnamed South American country.
The program is brought together by Rotterdam festival programmer Gerwin Tamsma.