Behind the cinema and beyond

Silence. The lights are turned on, people stretch themselves on the armchairs. They look at each other, ask how it was, meet again their friends, go to drink something before coming back… And then, again, they rush, choose their films… For some days Tarragona becomes the capital of alternative cinema, and crowds of people inundate the city for a weekend.

The Rec Festival is one of the most consolidated cultural proposals of Tarragona, and within ten years of existence, it has achieved to transform the city into the reference point of the national and international cinema for three days. Moreover, the films are projected at Antiga Audiència, one of the most iconic buildings characterised for being a place which always welcomes film series, of which we talked already in this blog, and where the offer of Kino Cinema Contemporani and others was projected in original version with subtitles some time ago.

Cultius Culturals, moreover, went to the premiere in Catalunya of the feature film El camí més llarg per tornar a casa (“The longest way to go back home”), directed by Sergi Pérez, film that came directly from the XI Festival de Cine Europeo de Sevilla. It is a human drama that represents a metaphorical journey, but at the same time realistic and painful, that people who suffered an important lost or a radical change in their lives go through. Starting from the assumed illness of the dog, he becomes the metaphor and reference point which guides us through the whole plot and through which we see all the changes that the character Joel suffers, played by Borja Espinosa.

This film was originally born as a short film, from the same author, and a second part was later created. Imitating the structure of a play, this film is divided in two parts: the first one, that was the short film, and the second one, in a way of turning it into a standard film and becoming the first full-lenght film directed by Sergi Pérez. It took a year to shoot it but they only filmed during 16 days. This fact hindered the logistics as well as the actors; especially because the film represents a natural day in the life of Joel, so the coordination of costume design, setting, etc. had to be really accurate.

Cultius Culturals could also interview some members of the production team of the film: Aritz Cirbián and Martin Samper from the film producers Niu d’Indi and No hay banda respectively, collaborating and being part of a visual arts cooperative. We talk for a while in front of the republican graffiti, the call for Lenin, where the mockup of Tarraco lies nowadays. Timeless space, or multi-time space. They tell us about the cooperative as a company, democratically organised and where everyone owns shares, that is to say, where the investors also work, as a more horizontal than hierarchical way, valuing themselves for their work.

In this case, moreover, one part of the capital grants has been possible thanks to a verkami, that is to say, through crowdfunding: the direct contribution of anonymous people. We have already talked about the crowdfinding model in our blog: in that post where we reflected on whether the Louvre really needed popular money to repair the Victòria of Samotràcia; whether it was fair that a museum with such a big budged as the Louvre is did it, or whether it is this feeling of belonging, of seeing and knowing that every person that paticipated owns a little piece of Victòria, or a little piece of film, in this case. This human feeling of wanting to feel important or excited with projects in which we take part, no matter how much involved we are.

This is the second film that Primitive Films produces – the first one was Tots els camins de Déu (“All the ways of God”), done also with verkami –. Aritz and Martin tell us about this phenomenon, explaining that they consider it to be an additional tool toEl_camino_m_s_largo_para_volver_a_casa-814718363-large get the budget but that this should not be the main part or it should not question the value of the piece. “The problem of the verkami is the perception that many people have, seeing the financial method as an even sick thing, and this can overshadow the artistic quality”, says Martin. However, this is a small problem, given that it is a big opportunity for young emerging people who, without this method, would not have the same possibilities to keep their projects going. “A new talented and daring generation arises”. Perhaps nowadays, in this context of crisis, we see crowdfunding more often, or we give it more importance, “but the important thing is to create new formulas, not to stop from moving. Maybe the crisis is even creating a new energy and working attitude which causes that achieved projects bring a special pleasure to their creators”. Either way, people always find their ways to overcome the challenges.

We finish then thanking Aritz and Martin for having spent some minutes of their precious time to talk with us, as well as all the other staff members of the film, and we encourage you to go and watch the film in their next projection; it is hard and startling, but for sure it will not leave you indifferent.

By Guiomar Sánchez Pallarès

Translated by Laura Macià Valero

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