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San Sebastian: Glocal in Progress Frames ‘Dantza,’ ‘Erased,’ ‘A Decent Man’

Launched this year, the novel initiative focuses on a growth area in Europe: Movies made out of Europe in its non-dominant languages

MADRID — Basque Telmo Esnal’s “Dantza,” “Erased,” from Slovene producer-turned-director Miha Mazzini, and “A Decent Man,” the debut of Romania’s Hadrian Marcu, make up San Sebastian’s first Glocal in Progress competition, a showcase for films in post-production made in Europe but not in one of its “big six” languages.

Celebrating its first edition at September’s 65th San Sebastian Fest, Glocal in Progress adds another industry strand to San Sebastian’s already fecund Industry Days, running Sept. 25-27, which attract hordes of producers to its Europe-Latin American Co-production, which highlights 16 project from leading production houses in Latin America, and Films in Progress, another pix-in-post section – and one of the most established in Europe – focusing on Latin American movies.

Titles at Films in Progress – “Gloria,” “Ixcanul” – have gone on to win big prizes at big tests and sell worldwide.

Glocal in Progress also helps to position Basque Cinema and its leading production houses, whose latest movies are adding a new impulse at San Sebastian, in a clearly European context.

“Dantza,” for example, is written and directed by Telmo Esnai, whose social satire “Go!,” co-directed with Asier Altuna,won San Sebastian’s Youth Award in 2005 and brought down the flag of a modern Basque-language cinema, aimed at ample audiences. A fiction feature set in an atemporal rural world, “Dantza” is produced by Txintxua Films, created by Altuna and producer Marian Fernandez Pascal, and whose credits include Altuna’s San Sebastian 2015 competition player “Amama” and “Ghost Ship,” screened in the festival’s Zabaltegi section.

It proposes an act of revisionism of traditional Basque dance, aiming to suggest the sophistication and universal relevance of its sophisticated symbolism in a film of high production values fit, as Carlos Saura’s dance films, with which it is likely to draw comparison, for international export.

Launched after a meeting of cineastes and institutions last year at San Sebastian, Glocal in Progress also taps into industries which have grown robustly in recent years, led by a new generation of filmmakers which have a sense of common identity – catnip for critics – and a core of highly talented filmmakers which have achieved world fame. at least on art film circuits.

Such is the case of the so-called Romanian New Wave, which has seen production rise to 49 movies produced last year, the second-highest in Central and South East Europe.  Produced bu Romania’s 4 Proof Film, in co-production with Poland’s Madants, “A Decent Man” delivers a sense of the limited life perspectives in contemporary Romania through the tale of a man who is about to have a child with his girlfriend while still carrying on with one of his work colleagues.

Directed by Mazzini, who produced 2001’s “Sweet Dreams,” “Erased,” a Slovenia-Croatia-Serbia co-production, also has a Romanian touch to it in its vision of a Kafkian bureaucracy, which suddenly denationalizes a Slovene woman who has just given birth. That means that legally she doesn’t exist in Slovenia: So her newborn child is an orphan, who should be given up for adoption.

SAN SEBASTIAN 2017 GLOCAL IN PROGRESS

“Dantza,” (Telmo Esnal, Spain)

“A Decent Man,” (Hadrian Marcu, Romania)

“Erased,” (Miha Mazzini, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia)

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