The 8th Edition of Scotland’s Ibero-American Documentary Film Festival (Ibero Docs) focuses on “Art as a Need”

by Brit Es Magazine

IberoDocs, Scotland’s Ibero-American Documentary Film Festival, will be running for the first time online in the entire UK and Ireland from the 19 April to 2 May. The 2 weeks-long event will open with the UK premiere of Maricarmen by Sergio Morkin; in partnership with Instituto Cervantes Manchester & Leeds. The film is a close-up into the life of a blind cellist as she navigates love, loss and relationships in contemporary Mexico.

The Festival, which has consistently celebrated equality, diversity and accessibility as its core values, will apply them even further when bringing this years’ festival to life since all the feature-length films in the main programme will include subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing and the opening film will also have an audio description available.

“It’s crucial to us that art remains universal so as a festival we are deeply committed to break down barriers and make it as accessible and inclusive as possible”, said Festival director Mar Felices.

Reshaping the festival through an online format

The pandemic has brought on several challenges for the festival, but it has also allowed for the original team to be reunited for the first time since it was established in 2013 – as the first showcase of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin-American documentaries in the country – with Mon Rivas as Programmer and Isabel Moura Mendes as Festival Host alongside Mar Felices.

Moreover, as this year IberoDocs is reaching a wider geographical area by hosting the festival online, some of the films will be available to watch in 22 Ibero-American countries including Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, Peru and Brazil.


As the worldwide pandemic highlighted the vulnerability of the creative arts sector as well as its invaluable contribution, this year the main programme explores Art as a Need in 11 feature length documentaries which also challenge stereotypes surrounding society’s notion of artists.

The main programme includes films such as Free Color (Alberto Arvelo, 2020) a candid tribute to renowned Venezuelan kinetic artist Carlos-Cruz Diez, as he tirelessly pursues his dream project at 94-years-old; Discovering José Padilla (Marta Figueras, Susana Guardiola, 2020) a musical that rediscovers the composer behind Chaplin’s City Lights through a female gaze; When You Listen (Sergi Cameron, 2020) a controversial piece depicting visionary musician El Niño de Elche’s self-discovery journey through sound and play; Light Sensitive Ages (Pedro Sara, Violeta Pagán, 2019) a deep portrait of young people marked by migration, gender violence, the search for sexuality, family or art; or Nothing But the Sun, Arami Ullón’s most recent film about the hitherto silenced culture of the Ayoreo people; amongst other titles.

Accompanying the core programme, there is a special screening of the world premiere of Dreamed and Lived, by Ricardo Iscar and two short film programmes: A Spiritual Journey and The Endless Battle for which we have invited filmmaker Fernando Vilchez to curate a series of films around his work I Can Only Show you the Color; commemorating the bicentennial of Peru’s independence in 2021.

Out of the 21 films in the programme, which are all Scottish premieres, eight are UK premieres, four international premieres and one world premiere.

Other activities

In addition to the film programme, the festival will offer a series of complementary activities such as Q&As with filmmakers and artists – BSL interpreted – and a masterclass in collaboration with Scottish Documentary by Lupe Perez Diaz, winner of new waves best director at the Seville Film Festival 2020 with her film Never Look Back. Last but not least, this edition will include an accessible virtual exhibition of Martin Weber’s photographic journey across Latin-America alongside the screening of Map of Latin American Dreams. Both films are included in the main programme.

IberoDocs is funded by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, Camões – Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua/ The University of Edinburgh, Embassy of Spain in London, Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), Instituto Cervantes Manchester & Leeds and Scottish Documentary Institute (SDI) / Edinburgh College of Art.

Collaborators include: Indy Cinema Group, The Skinny, Heriot-Watt University, Screen Language, City of Edinburgh Council, SCILT (Scotland’s National Centre for Languages), Bilingualism Matters, Filmhouse, Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts, WomenBeing, Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival, Havana Glasgow Film Festival, Galician Film Forum, Orbita Studios, Filmhub Scotland, Brit Es, Indaba Deli, Orinoco, Zest Edinburgh, Tupiniquim, Pacari.

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