If our first ‘CORTOMETRAJES’ event left us feeling profoundly grateful and touched, the second left us speechless; so much so, that three days later we still can’t quite process the scale of its success… We knew that the chosen titles for CORTOMETRAJES – 7 Spanish Short Films are seven cinematic gems in their own right. We knew that the London public have a real taste for cinema Made in Spain. We knew that we could count on the excellent work of our partners at Shorts on Tap to ensure that the event would run smoothly. We knew that there would be a good turn-out of our readers, friends and familiar faces as well as the film buffs, the curious-minded, the indie-artsy types, not to mention the East-End crowd. But the amount of people that showed up was beyond anything we imagined! The venue, 93 Feet East, was full to the brim and could barely handle the numbers of our devoted audience.
An audience who were left on the edge of their seats, jumping from shock to surprise, laughter to tears and who never stopped clapping each time the credits rolled. Standing, leaning against the railings, sat in the seating rows or on the floor — wherever there was space! Our fantastic host Rhys Williams presented the screening, which kicked off with Christina Pozo’s Oscar-shortlisted film Anonymous, followed by Para pero sigue (Stop but Carry On) by Lud Mônaco, who sent Alice Kemp over in her absence to explain the ins-and-outs of the film. Andrea Casaseca’s hilarious Sinceridad (Sincerity) starring Kiti Mánver managed to condense a great story into just 3 minutes and was one of the best-received films of the evening. The first half closed with Khris Cembe’s Viaje a pies (Travel by Feet), widely considered to be one of Spain’s best animated shorts of 2015.
With the interval came the crowdfunding campaign for The Future, with the film’s director (Enrico Poli), producer (Angelica Riccardi) and leading actress (Valerei Verau) explaining the premise behind their project, and how to help fund it via the website, Indiegogo. The event resumed with the Galician director Olga Osorio’s unsettling entry ReStart, which appeared in the Sitges Festival and gripped the audience throughout the tense 15 minutes in which Marta Larralde struggles to escape from a repeating loop in time. This was followed by Sergio Barrejón’s moving piece La media pena (Half as Bad) which got the audience laughing through its mixture of humour and tenderness, shot in black and white. The Valencian director Josema Roig had the task of closing the programme Starman, his final piece submitted at the prestigious American Film Institute.
Although the audience was made up of people of many nationalities, we were particularly delighted to welcome a strong representation from the Spanish cultural community at our London event, which included Beatriz Mérida and Jordi Cortés (Cultural Office of the Spanish Embassy), Vanesa Cejudo (Pensart) Lorenzo Hernandez (Photographer), Marta Moreno (Writer), Miguel Mallol (Art Commissioner), Maider Jiménez (Photographer), Peque Varela (Animation Director), Ricardo Pardo (Stage Designer), Pedro Merchán (Artist-Musician), La Beti (Burlesque Artist), Andreas Muñoz (Actor), Pablo Saura (Producer), Ariadna Fatjó-Vilas (Professor at Goldsmiths University), Agar Forján (European Film Bonds), Mira Cirera (Journalist) and Lorenzo Belenguer (Artist), the last of whom ended up giving a surprise performance, almost by accident.
We at Brit Es would like to once again thank each of the 230 attendees who helped us pack 93 Feet East to its limit!
We would also like to extend our thanks to all the filmmakers and producers of the seven chosen films and to our illustrious illustrator João Duarte Silva who didn’t want to miss the out on the chance to design the backcover of our programme.
We’re already lining up the next ‘CORTOMETRAJES’, so get ready BritEs* because this time we’ll be leaving you speechless!
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Photo © Noela Roibás