While the Spanish film business is being buffeted by the country’s economic crisis, it’s still producing local hits. One champion of Spanish film is Xavier García Puerto, who became the Spanish-language film advisor for the Black Nights Film Festival in 2011.
Garcia Puerto said that a new generation of Spanish helmers is energizing the local business, nabbing garnering on the international festival circuit.
“One of the reasons for this change would be that the former generation of auteurs, like, for instance, Isaki Lacuesta, showed the new crops of filmmakers that it was possible to do this kind of cinema”, said García Puerto. “But what is also important is the fact that they decided to go ahead with their projects without any backup or help from the (traditional Spanish) institutions.”
When selecting Spanish works for the Black Nights Film Festival, he tries to illustrate the wide range of styles in Spanish film. In his opinion, this year’s selection of Spanish works (“The Bride” and “Food and Shelter” playing in the Official Competition and the Tridens First Feature Film Competition, respectively) is diverse yet reflective of the current situation. “I tried to find more films that have the premiere potential, that will be seen outside of Spain for the first time. Not only do we have two international premieres but we also present two works in progress,” he said, adding that for the Official Competition, there is now a need to select for an International Competition, which obviously cuts down the range of films he can choose from.
His selection, he feels, not only exposes new audiences to Spanish film, but also helps boost the careers of emerging Spanish helmers.