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The five filmmakers selected for Ikusmira Berriak share their experiences at the Tabakalera residencies

The residencies running for the second edition of Ikusmira Berriak, a programme providing support to audiovisual projects organised by San Sebastian, European Capital of Culture 2016, Tabakalera-International Centre for Contemporary culture and the San Sebastian Festival, with the collaboration of Donostia Kultura and the Filmoteca Vasca, began on August 15th. During the residencies, lasting for six weeks, filmmakers Leo Calice, Mikel Gurrea, Aitor and Amaia Merino and Kiro Russo will develop the four selected projects in Tabakalera’s Creators’ Space. To help them with the process, during the first four weeks masterclasses have been organised by Fernanda del Nido, founder of the independent production company Tic Tac Company, the filmmaker John Paul Sniadecki, whose films push the limits of the documentary genre, and Manuel Arranz, former director of the Spanish RTVE network’s La2 channel and producer of television programmes. In addition, the residents will have carte blanche to programme a film forming part of their movie references at Tabakalera.  

In the fifth week of their stay, coinciding with the start of the San Sebastian Festival, the participants will prepare a pitch - a detailed presentation of the audiovisual project to international producers and sales agents potentially interested in co-producing and distributing their work - to be made in the Festival’s industry space, where 1,496 accredited guests gathered last year. The residents will have the opportunity to organise meetings with Industry Club attendees, participate in its activities as professionals and will be issued with a pass to attend all screenings at the event. Their stay will end, precisely, on September 25th, the day after the end of the Festival. 

Over the six weeks the participants will be accompanied and advised by the same expert committee responsible for selecting their projects from among the 33 submitted: Paz Lázaro, head of programming for the Panorama section at the Berlin Film Festival; Sergio Oksman, Brazilian film director (Goodbye America, A Story for the Modlins, O Futebol) and head of the production company Dok Films, and Ada Solomon, film producer and founder of HiFilm Productions. “I think the programme is a real boon for any artist. It is a great opportunity to research and create peacefully, away from home and everyday obligations, in the extraordinary setting of San Sebastian and with the support of an incredible Festival”, analysed Solomon, who found it difficult to choose between the different projects. “I was impressed by the quality of the proposals and thought it would be impossible to choose only four of them. To make the selection we considered them globally: the originality of the proposal, the quality of the project, the filmmaker’s ability to transfer their idea to cinema and their talent and experience”, explained the Romanian producer.

These are the first impressions after ten days’ work at Tabakalera of Leo Calice, selected in the Lab category (Clermont-Ferrand Festival’s experimental short film section); Mikel Gurrea, from the Kimuak short film selection; Aitor and Amaia Merino, from the Basque Autonomous Community Filmmakers category; and Kiro Russo, chosen from among participants in the International Film Students Meeting (EIECINE) running yearly at the San Sebastian Festival.