Magdalena Orellana’s “Until The Place Becomes Improbable,” Eduardo Crespo “The Wind’s Cave,” Manuel Muñoz Rivas’ “Manantial,” Marina Palacio “And Thus It Will Go On” and Mina Fitzpatrick’s “Wandervogel” are the five projects selected for this year’s Ikusmira Berriak.
A project-based training-residence program, the development initiative has been launched by the San Sebastian Film Festival, the Tabakalera International Centre for Contemporary Culture and the Elías Querejeta ZineEskola (EQZE) film school.
With “Until The Place Becomes Improbable” Buenos Aires’ Magdalena Orellana, a second year EQZE film school graduate, offers up a fantasy tale of an expedition to investigate the mysteries of the North Pole, where the magnetic pole is moving away from its usual axis and scientists can’t explain why.
Selected for the main section at San Sebastian Film Festival this year with “We Will Never Die,” fellow Argentine Crespo will attend with his upcoming directorial effort “Cave,” about a reunion between a father and a daughter in the caves of Italy’s Tuscany region.
Now in its seventh edition, this year’s program drew from a pool of more than 400 project submissions, a 220% increase from last year.
Seville-born Muñoz Rivas, whose feature debut “The Sea Stares at Us from Afar” premiered in Berlin in 2017, brings “Manantial,” a poetic and naturalistic tale about time which tracks the final trip of an elderly married couple to the source of the Guadalquivir river in the Sierra de Cazorla.
Palacio is the hometown hero of the group, hailing from San Sebastián. This year, the filmmaker surprised with her short “I Don’t Sleep Anymore” which had a formal serenity and maturity not often seen in young filmmakers. Now she embarks on an a debut feature which hovers between reality and fiction to chart a reverse aging passage from adolescence to childhood of a group of friends from a town in Palencia.
From the U.S., Fitzpatrick (“A Letter for Sang-Ah”) was a 2017 participant at the international meeting of film students in San Sebastian with the short film which now inspires her upcoming feature. Wandervogel” will portray a young man accused of parricide who attempts to find his place amid the violence and strangeness of the Texas desert: A depiction of an ordinary man who became an activist, and how that change impacts his family and relationships.
The residency will run eight weeks if the course’s own standards and the local health authorities allow it. Filmmakers will arrive in San Sebastian on March 15 and have until 25 April to work on their projects.
Ikusmira Berriak is decisively increasing its importance within the larger ecosystem of year-round San Sebastian activities synching the festival, film school and cinematheque.
Some past participating features include Grigory Kolomytsev’s “Chupacabra”; Leonardo Van Dijl’s “Stephanie,” and Aitziber Olaskoaga’s “Jo ta ke,” all of which premiered in different sections of the festival.
Jamie Lang contributed to this article.