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Laura Citarella, Alexandre Koberidze, Elena López Riera, Damien Manivel, Kleber Mendonça Filho and Catarina Vasconcelos, project tutors at the ninth edition of Ikusmira Berriak

Filmmakers Sameh Alaa, María Alché, Maddi Barber, Naomi Pacifique, David Pérez Sañudo and Hikaru Uwagawa are now settled, since 6th March, in the Artists’ Space of Tabakalera international centre for contemporary culture, in San Sebastian,

where they will complete their stay as part of Ikusmira Berriak, the residencies programme for the development of audiovisual projects organised by the San Sebastian Festival, Tabakalera and the Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola (EQZE).

This week the residents met the members of the Ikusmira Berriak experts committee: the moviemaker Sergio Oksman, the consultant Olimpia Pont Cháfer and the consultant and member of the San Sebastian Festival selection committee, Javier Martín. Ikusmira Berriak also comes with another particular feature whereby the programme hand picks professionals to tutor the selected projects taking account of the filmmakers’ needs and requests.

Hence, this year, the Spanish filmmaker Elena López Riera, whose debut movie, El agua The Water (2022), was also developed at Ikusmira Berriak before its selection for the Cannes Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, will accompany Naomi Pacifique and her project questioning monogamy from the streets of Amsterdam (after the night, the night). The Portuguese moviemaker and producer Catarina Vasconcelos, director of A Metamorfose dos Pássaros / The Metamorphosis of Birds (2020), winner of the Fipresci Prize in Berlin and of the Zabaltegi-Tabakalera Award, will do the same with Maddi Barber and Claros de bosque Forest Clearing, a story weaving a connection between a woman, a man and three cockerels in the Pyrenees of Navarre and which began taking shape in the Noka Mentoring 2021 programme promoted by the Basque Government and Tabakalera. The French filmmaker Damien Manivel, winner of the best director accolade at Locarno and of a Zabaltegi-Tabakalera special mention for Les enfants d’Isadora / Isadora's Children (2019), will tutor the graduate from the fourth year of students at the Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola Hikaru Uwagawa and his Japanese take on Homer’s The Odyssey and the concept of home (Ulysses). The Argentinian producer Laura Citarella, acclaimed director of Trenque Lauquen (Venice, Zabaltegi-Tabakalera, Mar del Plata), will accompany David Pérez Sañudo as he follows a thirty-year-old on his return to Italy (La última noche de un Erasmus en Roma / An Erasmus Student's Last Night in Rome). Georgian filmmaker Alexandre Koberidze, awarded at Berlin, Mar del Plata and Tokyo for Ras vkhedavt, rodesac cas vukurebt? / What Do We See When We Look At The Sky? (2021) will mentor Sameh Alaa in his exploration of a woman reacting to a repressive society (I Can Hear Your Voice... Still). Lastly, the Brazilian moviemaker Kleber Mendonça Filho, winner of the Cannes Jury Prize for Bacurau (2019), will tutor the Argentinean director María Alché in her work on an intimate melodrama set parallel to the events that marked the history of Argentina from the 40s to the 60s (Te amo y hoy todo es hermoso I Love You and Everything is Beautiful).

As well as advice from the committee of experts and hand picked professionals for each project, the participants will enjoy an editing workshop given in person by Ariadna Ribas (PacifictionSuro) on 21 and 22 March, and the screenplay workshop, also given in person, by the consultant  Anna Ciennik (30 and 31 March).

The six filmmakers will have time to work on developing their projects until 16 April. On the 8th, as part of the annual Zinemaldia + Plus spotlight, the Ikusmira Berriak residents will reveal some of their earlier works to the audience in the Tabakalera cinema. The Egyptian filmmaker Sameh Alaa, who now works on his first feature film in San Sebastian, will show his short film, winner of the Palm d’Or at the Festival de Cannes, I Am Afraid to Forget Your Face (2020). María Alché, recipient of the Horizontes Award at the San Sebastian Festival for her first film, Familia sumergida, will do the same with Noelia (2012), her first short film, winner of awards in Buenos Aires and at IndieLisboa. The Japanese moviemaker living in Madrid, Hikaru Uwagawa, will screen Ulises, Telémaco y Penélope, one of the pieces from his full-length project Ulysses, on which he is working at the residency. The Swiss-Dutch director Naomi Pacifique will present after the room (2021), which competed in Nest and won the Silver Pardino at Locarno, and which also provides the starting point for her feature-length project after the night, the night. The Basque director David Pérez Sañudo, whose debut, Ane / Ane is Missing (2020), competed in New Directors, winning the Irizar Basque Film Award and the Goya for best adapted screenplay, will show the short film La colcha y la madre (2021). The moviemaker from Navarre, Maddi Barber, will present her piece 592 metroz goiti Above 592 Metres (2018), screened as part of the Zabaltegi-Tabakalera selection. 

In June, each resident will receive a development grant of 10,000 euros to continue working on their project between the two periods of their stay. In September, coinciding with the dates of the Festival, they will return to San Sebastian to complete the two last weeks of the residency. During that stage they can present their project to industry professionals and will have a personalised agenda of meetings with people interested in participating in their projects. In addition, the company Elamedia Euskadi will give the Elamedia Post-production Award to one of the selected projects. The award consists of the sound and colour post-production, the graphic work and the obtaining of a DCP master.

The Ikusmira Berriak programme has received, for the years 2022 and 2023, grants for creation laboratories and the development of audiovisual projects launched by the Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales (ICAA) in the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (RTRP) to promote the audiovisual Sector. This plan is intended to strengthen laboratories, incubators, residencies, platforms and similar initiatives that share the aim of supporting projects at the writing and development stage, with a view to achieving greater quality in the productions and improved access to the market and the audience with optimum conditions to guarantee their circulation and profitability. Thanks to these grants, Ikusmira Berriak has doubled the financial amount going to the projects at the residency so each filmmaker will receive 10,000 euros to work on their proposal instead of the 5,000 euros delivered to date.