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Raven Jackson, Martina Juncadella, Alberto Martín Menacho, Aitziber Olaskoaga and Michael Wahrmann will develop their projects in the fifth edition of Ikusmira Berriak

Five projects from Argentina, Spain, United States, Brazil and Switzerland have been selected out of the 174 offerings, the highest figure since the residencies programme started.

Five projects from Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Switzerland and the USA have been selected in the fifth edition of the Ikusmira Berriak development and residencies programme for audiovisual projects. Of the 174 proposals sent in, the selection committee—comprising representatives from the International Centre for Contemporary Culture Tabakalera, the San Sebastián Film Festival and Elías Querejeta Film School—has selected Jo ta ke by Aitziber Olaskoaga, a film maker from the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country; Antier noche (The Night Before Yesterday) by Alberto Martín Menacho, in the Spanish film makers section; Sin dolor (Painless) by Michael Wahrmann, in the international category, and; two from among the participants in the most recent editions of Nest Film Students—All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt by Raven Jackson, and Un personaje volador (A Flying Character) by Martina Juncadella.

The residency programme has received a record number of proposals (12% more than last year and 427% more than in the first edition) and for the first time will be divided into two residencies in February and September, enabling the film makers to get the most out of their time.

The residents will develop their projects over four weeks between February and March, during which they will attend workshops for producers and directors and will be guided by members of the expert committee. In 2019the latter will comprise the Executive Director of TorinoFilmLab and of Scuola Holden in Turin, Savina Neirotti, the Brazilian director and script writer Sergio Oksman, and the German film maker Valeska Grisebach, new to this year’s programme.

From March to September the film makers will continue working on their projects and will receive online tutoring from the experts. In September they will return to San Sebastián to complete the final two weeks of their residency with their project more fully developed and ready to be shared with the film industry. During this last phase, residents will have the chance to attend a learning workshop on market conditions and will be prepped for their pitching session with a view to securing meetings with the industry professionals attending the Festival.

In Jo ta ke (Rise up to win), the visual artist Aitziber Olaskoaga (Bilbao, 1980)—director of the medium-length film La sonrisa telefónica (The Telephonic Smile) and collaborator on the films Faux Guide and Al Nervión (To The Nervión )—brings us a video essay on nationalism and the construction of national identity in the Basque Country. The short film starts out with the Negu Gorriak concert in 1990 outside Herrera de la Mancha prison and gives a first-hand account of the director’s awakening and personal search. It examines images from memory and thoughts on the political discourse of the Abertzale Left and discusses her father, from whom she has ‘inherited’ her political activism.

Alberto Martín (Madrid, 1986), director of Mi amado, las montañas (My Beloved, the Mountains) (Best Short Film at the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival), uses Antier noche to depict youth in today’s Southern Europe. The world of hunting meets mobile applications in this documentary feature film.

Michael Wahrmann (Montevideo, 1979) has already taken his first feature film (Avanti Popolo, 2012) to festivals such as Rotterdam and Marseilles, and premiered his short film The Beast (2016) at the Directors' Fortnight in Cannes. In Ikusmira Berriak he will develop the fictional feature film Sin dolor (Painless), co-written with Diego Lerer, about a retired French diplomat and his Brazilian wife who purchase an abandoned farm on an idyllic island in north-east Brazil, only to discover that it is inhabited by the descendants of an old German colony. The director describes the film as a social terror thriller which poses questions about limits, borders and the class war.

In All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt, the poet, photographer and film maker Raven Jackson (Tennessee) takes a poetic look at the nature of memory and at how events from one woman’s youth are reflected in her adult life, since she is 3 until she is 60, in Mississippi. Jackson's short film Nettles was premiered in the Nest Film Students section of the last San Sebastián Film Festival.

The short film Fiora by Martina Juncadella (Buenos Aires, 1992) was selected in the International Film Students Meeting at the 2017 San Sebastián Film Festival and won Best Short Film at BAFICI. In Un personaje volador, a writer attempts to work on his new book in the Ritz—a legendary hotel in central Buenos Aires—after separating from his partner and still grieving over the death of his mother.

Four projects selected from previous editions of Ikusmira Berriak have been completed and screened in San Sebastián: the short films El extraño (The Stranger) by Pablo Álvarez, Calipatria by Leo Calice and Gerhard Treml, and Gwendolyn Green by Tamyka Smith were screened at Zabaltegi-Tabakalera in 2016 and 2017, and the feature film Trote directed by Xacio Baño was shown at Zabaltegi-Tabakalera following its screening at the Locarno Festival. Maider Oleaga from Bilbao, another resident from the first edition, has just premiered Muga deitzen da pausoa (The Step Is Called Limit) at the Gijón International Film Festival.

Ikusmira Berriak is a programme that seeks to involve new talent as well as producers and representatives from the audiovisual industry who support innovation and new languages. It is organised by Tabakalera, the San Sebastián Film Festival and Elías Querejeta Film School in collaboration with REC Recording Studio and the Basque Film Archive, and is part of the legacy of San Sebastián 2016 European Capital of Culture.

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