Directed and produced by Zaragoza native Javier Senz, ‘Manchester Keeps On Dancing’ is a documentary that takes a look at how house music got started in the city of Manchester during the 1980s. It serves as a reminder of just how important this city was as the first music scene in Europe to import house music from the north-eastern United States, before going on to expand this brand-new genre. The story is told by the DJs themselves, not to mention the managers of nightclubs like The Haçienda, which were responsible for taking house music to the heights it reached. It also features names from today’s scene, who are keeping the spirit of house music alive.
Guido Benedicto’s (Brussels, 1983) story shares many elements with so many other up-and-coming creative figures, who come to the British capital in search of the opportunity that will put their career definitively on the right track. Guido is part of that generation that grew up in the global age, with the possibilities offered by the Internet, a firm grasp of foreign languages and expertise in technology, but with few (if any) professional openings in their own country. He was born in Belgium to Spanish parents, and until the age of twelve he studied at an international school in Strasbourg, later studying Audio-visual Communication at the University of Valencia, before leaving the country once again, this time to learn how to be a film director.
“You know that this cameraman job isn’t going to last forever. It’s more of a vagabond’s job — it may last six months or a year, maybe more, maybe less”. Louis didn’t want to encourage his cousin, because he knew that he was a passionate young man. He didn’t want him to get his hopes up, and he reminded himself, in passing, that many had previously attempted similar ventures, without much success. They had to be realistic.
They met in London. Perhaps in Spain it would not have been possible. But they felt the sort of connection that is only possible when you are removed from the familiar and open yourself up to the world.
The first time I went to a screening of one of Ariadna Fatjó-Vilas’s films was during a festival of short films back in 2007. The film in question, Yours Truly (AKA Head Over Heels) was a short, animated masterpiece which saw Frank and Charlie looking for nothing more and nothing less than love, over eight intense minutes. Her first visual and narrative work ended up winning awards in Chicago, Clermont-Ferrand, IndieLisboa and Hamburg to name just some of the most important festivals in the short-film industry. It was also nominated for a BAFTA and it won a British Animation Award for best animated short film.