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San Sebastian: ‘Loba,’ ‘Fantasía,’ ‘Suro’ and ‘Calipatria’ Pitched at Ikusmira Berriak

Basque program offers training on innovative projects

SAN SEBASTIAN — Kiro Russo’s “Loba,” Amaia and Aitor Merino’s “Fantasía,” Mikel Gurrea’s “Suro” and “Calipatria,” from Gerhard Treml and Leo Calice, are the four projects selected this year at Ikusmira Berriak, a project-based training-residence program.

With some genre elements,  “Loba,” the second feature from Kiro Russo (“Viejo Calavera”) follows two men in two different times and places: one steals to make a living; the other is escaping from his wife who has turned into some kind of beast.

A follow-up to hit “Asier and I,” a docu-feature chronicle of Aitor Merino’s conflicted friendship with Asier Aranguren, his best friend and a member of ETA, “Fantasía” is an appealing autobiographical docu about a son and daughter trying to cope with aged parents .

In “Suro,” thanks to an inheritance, Iván decides to run a cork farm. But, as a foreigner, he faces ever greater challenges doing so.

Gurrea’s graduation film, “Foxes,” won best fiction in the students category at Montreal’s Festival des Filmes du Monde.

“Calipatria” delivers an intimate portrait of an inmate in a California state prision.

Part of the Basque government’s push to develop a support program for Basque cinema which goes far beyond just direct production subsidies and furthers the international reach of Basque films, Ikusmira Berriak is a training-residence program set up to support film and TV projects which are innovative in both artistic aspirations and production concept. It is organized by the San Sebastian Festival, San Sebastian 2016 European Culture Capital and the Tabakalera International Centre of Contemporary Culture, with the support of Donostia Kultura and the Basque Film Archive Foundation.

Four fellowships are granted each year. The winners are drawn from from the San Sebastian Festival’s 14th International Film Students Meeting (EIECINE), organized by the San Sebastián fest and Tabakalera; Kimuak 2015, the Basque Country’s prestigious shorts program; the Lab Competition at the 38th Clermont-Ferrand Intl.  Short Film Festival; and Basque Country film-makers.

Running Aug. 15 – Sept. 25, the selected directors or producers are provided with work space, and tutorship in project development, production and pitching. Participants also take one-to-one meetings with potential producers and opt for two prizes in post-production facilities: One valued at €10,500 ($11,700) for a short, another, for a feature film, valued at €35,000 ($39,000).

One of the selected projects last year, Pablo Álvarez’s medium-feature  “The Stranger,” plays at Zabaltegi this year; a second one, Xacio Baño’s “Trote” is in production.

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