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MiradasDoc Highlights and Award Winners

Top Spanish doc-meet attracts filmmakers from around the world who converged on the largest of the Canary Islands for its festival and market

In the shadow of snow-capped Mount Teide, on Spain’s Canary Island of Tenerife, MiradasDoc embarked on its 12th edition over Jan. 26 to Feb. 3.

105 films were showcased from around the world, with 20 coming from Africa as part of a push to inspire international co-production. The Canary Islands seem the ideal place to promote such co-operation as a Spanish community, on an African island, 62 miles into the Atlantic Ocean.

Two participating films announced deals made at the market, with more sure to come: Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane’s Ireland-Spain co-production “School Life,” which follows a year in the lives of two inspirational teachers, inked a deal with Swedish educational network UR Channel, and Sara Maurin’s Senegalese musical documentary “Percussions” was picked up for international sales by Colombia-based Preciosa Media.

Distributors, broadcasters and buyers from across Europe, Africa and Latin America were present at the market representing major companies, events and institutions like Movistar+, RTVE, Canal Encuentro, DocsMX, Ibermedia. Below are four main take-aways from the market and festival:

Main Competition

This year’s main competition consisted of 13 films from producers representing 17 countries. Rati Oneli’s “City of the Sun” garnered top plaudits as this year’s best feature, adding to an impressive festival run which includes selection at 2017’s Berlinale, and wins at the Sheffield and Madrid documentary film festivals, to name a few.

The award for best Spanish doc went to Raúl Capdevila, Juan Carrano, Raúl Egües and Alejandra Vera’s “Judas,” set in a townie bar in an increasingly touristy neighborhood of Barcelona, and featuring its regulars.

“Since You Dance,” from Beatriz Osorno and Álvaro Torrelli won the Movistar + Award, which comes with the purchase of broadcasting rights by Spain’s largest broadcaster. A full list of winners can be found below.

Pitching Workshops and Awards

Nine projects were introduced during the pitching sessions at this year’s market. The Chile-Argentina co-production “Olympic Village” was one of the most buzzed-about films to pitch at MiradasDoc, having already been presented at Ventana Sur and ChileDoc, and picked up both the Elamedia Post-Production Prize, and the Canary Islands Connection International Distribution Award in Tenerife.

The film focuses on a community of Latin American exiles which took over the Olympic Village left behind after the 1968 Mexican Olympic games, before a shift in government forced the next generation of those exiles to be removed from their native home.

Director Sebastian Kohan talked to Variety about the significance of the award: “When the reception of the projects is good and when the returns are good, what they do is strengthen the project and give it added value.”

The big winner at the pitching sessions however, was the Spanish film, “My Other Me.” Jose Victor Fuentes, better known as Zac73dragon, won both the IFIC Prize, which provides professional consulting on the project, and the previously mentioned Development Award and its cash prize.

“On the one hand, a prize gives value to all the work you have been doing in the shade. It helps in the market and more people know your work,” Fuentes told Variety, adding, “On the other hand, a prize is a rush, a huge joy that you immediately want to share with all the people who have helped you get there.”

Produced by Canary Islands-based Chukumi Studio, the film documents a series of major life changes made by the director after the birth of his son.

Other award winners were Paula Gomes and Haroldo Borges’ Brazilian film “Sam,” which won translating and dubbing services, Simon Casal’s Spanish film “The Fight,” which received a distribution prize and Sara Maurin’s Senegalese film “Percussions,” which took home the Latin America Co-production Forum Consultancy Award.

CREDIT: Patricia Glez Campora

African, Latin America Team Up

Running from Friday Jan. 26 through Monday Jan 29, The African – Latin American Co-Production Forum hosted a series of events for attendees from the regions. A large array of subjects were covered at the workshops such as: Pitch preparation, internationalization strategies, promotion and marketing plans and finding co-production funding and contests.

African or Latin American projects, including those from Spain and Portugal that had African components, were invited to participate, and five films were selected: “Hurricane Dolores” and “I’m Very Much in Love With You” from Mexico, “Percussion” from Senegal, “SOS” from Spain and “Sugar Islands” from the Dominican Republic.

Animated Documentaries Draw New Attention

New to this year’s event, MiradasDoc partnered with Bridging the Gap (BTG), a Canary Island-based intensive animation workshop held each July, for the inaugural edition of the Animated Documentary Project Development Lab.

Participants were given the opportunity to meet and learn from industry professionals, and accumulate knowledge necessary to take their projects to fruition. The workshop focused mainly on business and production, with a format established to combine presentations and private tutoring for the students.

Four projects participated this year: Manuel H. Martín’s “30 Years of Darkness” (Spain), Chloé Mazlo’s “Beiroot” (France), Bastien Dobois’ “Faces From Places” (France), and Jairo Eduardo Carrillo and Oscar Andrade’s “Pequeñas Voces” (Colombia).


International Competition:

Best Documentary:

“City of the Sun,” Rati Oneli (Georgia, U.S., Qatar, Netherlands)

Special Mention Feature Documentary:

“Last Days in Shibati,” Hendrick Dusollier (France)

Best Short:

“Heimat,” Sam Peeters (Belgium)

Special Mention Short:

“I’m Still Here,” Tana Gilbert (Chile)

Best First Film:

“Dust,” Jakub Radej (Poland)

Special Mention First Feature:

“Kawasaki Keirin,” Sayaka Mizuno (Switzerland)

Audience Award

“The Rebel Surgeon,” Erik Gandini (Sweden, Norway)

Spanish Competition:

Best Spanish Documentary:

“Judas,” Raúl Capdevila, Juan Carrano, Raúl Egües, Alejandra Vera (Spain)

Special Mention Documentary:

“The Sea Stares at Us From Afar,” Manuel Muñoz Rivas (Spain, Netherlands)

Movistar + Award:

“Since You Dance,” Beatriz Osorno, Álvaro Torrelli (Spain)

Canary Competition:

Best Documentary:

“Sub Terrae,” Nayra Sanz Fuentes

Special Mention Documentary:

“Phantom Archipelago,” Dailo Barco

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