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San Sebastián: Women’s Docs Top 13th Lau Haizetara Forum

Laura Sisteró's 'Tolyatti Adrift,' set up at Barcelona's Boogaloo Films, wins 1st IBAIA prize

SAN SEBASTIAN — Social-themed projects focused on women proved highlights Thursday at the 13th Lau Haizetara Documentary Co-Production Forum, part of the San Sebastián Festival.

One of the objetives of the forum is to reflect changes in society through the documentary projects it selects. Gender identity has become a key global social issue.

Directed by Spanish filmmaker Chus Gutiérrez (“Return to Hansala”) and produced by Turanga and Revolution Films, “Rol&Rol” analyzes the roles portrayed in the media by women, asking prominent Spanish and international people about what happened in the last three decades regarding the gender policies.

In “Get Settled!,” a Story Farm production in Sweden, director-producer Karin Wegsjö shows four women in China with different ways of handling the conflict between their own dreams and ambitions and their family pressures.

Addressing the desperate situation of women from Asia and Africa, exploited as domestic servants in Beirut, Madrid-based AlemDoc, run by Fátima Subeh and Edu Martín, presented “I Am Not Your Slave,” which broadcaster TVP1 has pre-bought for Poland.

Organized by Basque producers lobby Ibaia, Lau Haizetara is strengthening its profile as a international meeting for auteur docu-makers, as it becomes a shopwindow for the local production sector.

Among the 12 projects pitched at Lau Haizetara edition, three are Basque. “There are strong creative docu-makers here with international ambitions,” said Catherine Ulmer, the forum’s pitching and workshop head.

Leading Basque film and TV company Irusoin, producer of San Sebastián competition player “Handia,” is backing “El sonido del ‘crack,’” a project pitched by Ander Iriarte, aimed at analyzing, in a holistic way, the evolution, incidence and consequences of torture in the Basque Country and, with it, in the whole Western world.

Patxi Basabe’s “Nombre en Clave: Maverick,” produced by Vitoria’s Zinema Varietes and Contrasentido, promises new insights into the Spain’s political transition after WikiLeaks informations.

Set up at Bizkaia’s Marmoka Films, “Mr. Ripley, el arte de la estafa” follows Rodrigo Nogueira, a Spanish online thief who was active for over 20 years before final arrest. The documentary, directed by Gentzane Martínez de Osaba and Alejandro García de Vicuña, will interview cybercrime specialists trying to look for answers for the longevity of his criminal spree.

According to co-ordinator Silvia Hornos, Ibaia launched this year a €3,000 ($3,600) cash prize for Lau Haizetara‘s best project, aimed at increasing the event’s visibility.

The award went to Barcelona’s Boogaloo Films for Laura Sisteró’s “Tolyatti Adrift,” about the Russian city of Tolyatti, once a symbol of socialist pride, known for the legendary Lada car, nowadays among the poorest in the country.

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