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Doc fest looks back and inward

Projects include intimist portraits, historical investigations

BARCELONA — Intimist portraits and the re-examining of recent historical events were two trends among feature-length docu projects pitched at the 10th edition of DocsBarcelona, which wrapped Sunday.

Standouts among the 24 projects included Buthina Cannan’s “Beyond Love,” an unflinching yet delicately handled project about honor murders in Palestine, and “Bucharest,” a knowing portrait of Spanish politician Jordi Sole-Tura, by his son, Albert Sole.

There was a good buzz on several other pics, including: Jose Pedro Carlo’s “The Calendar,” about a political prisoner determined to preserve his memories; Ivo Ferreira’s “Min Fen,” recording the journey of a young Chinese couple from their native rural town to Europe; and Jose Pedro Estepa’s “The Blind Photographer,” capturing Eugen Bavcar, a photographer, philosopher and art critic, blindness notwithstanding.

Commissioning editors attending included the BBC’s James Hayes, Jenny Westergard from YLE, SVT’s Vera Bonnier, TVE’s Jesus Gonzalez and Jordi Ambros from Catalonia’s TV3.

DocsBarcelona rolled off a mini docu-boom in Spain.

“While mass TV viewing is on the decline, documentaries can create faithful audiences,” said Gonzalez.

Broadcast at 11.30 p.m. on TVE second channel La 2, docuslot “Documentos TV” scores a 5% share, above the channel’s average.

“Spanish public funds for documentaries are growing. There’s a general feeling that they merit support as culture,” Sole told Daily Variety.

Last year, 40% of DocsBarcelona projects tapped financing such as broadcaster buys or co-production deals, organizers said.

An initiative of Denmark’s European Documentary Network and Barcelona-based production shingle Parallel 40, DocsBarcelona is supported by the EU’s Media Program, Terrassa Ciutat Audiovisual and the ICIC Catalan Cultural Industries Institute.

Event ran Feb. 1-4.

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