Kogonada and Simone Grau, at the Festival’s Workshops


Within the next few days, the Workshops of the Festival receive two prestigious figures in its program, the video artist Kogonada and the art director Simone Grau. The first one will teach a master class on Wednesday, March 9, at the Rodríguez Quegles Palacete, and his videos will be screened in the Banda à part section on Friday 11 and Saturday 12, too; the second one offers a workshop on art direction on Thursday, March 10, and Friday, March 11, at the Pérez Galdós Street’s building, seat of the festival.

Greatest exponent of a film-essay-exploring generation, Kogonada, member as well of the official jury of the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival’s 16th edition, is author of certain pieces that have thousands of followers, and his works, available on Vimeo (https://vimeo.com/kogonada), are shared in social networks. Little is known about this Korea-native author of American nationality apart from his sensibility when approaching projects that reflect his particular way of looking at the cinema.

Kogonada’s short films find singularities in the eyes of different authors, from Anderson’s symmetry or Kubrick’s central vanishing point to Tarantino’s low-level shots, Bresson’s tactile world and Aronofsky’s sound.

Kogonada, according to what he revealed to the Filmmaker magazine, thinks of his work as “a way of seeing”, as a response to his father’s words, who, with a piece of wood in his hands, would tell him “to look, to see.”

Simone Grau: creativity in art direction

The express workshop on “Creativity in art direction” taught by expert Simone Grau will begin next Thursday, March 10, at the Rodríguez Quegles Palacete. Directed to people who already know the field or has some experience in it, it is a workshop that happens to be ideal, too, for those related to art direction in cinema, television, advertising or theater, as well as to filmmakers and short-film directors and art, filmmaking, production or dressing students.

Simone Grau, a regular in the fact sheet of Lars Von Trier’s films, with whom she has collaborated in titles such as Breaking the Waves, Antichrist, Dancer in the Dark or Nymphomaniac, for which she was in charge of the production design, or Melancholia, in which she worked as art director, among others. Simone Grau’s filmography includes a long list of works such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The House of the Spirits or Smilla’s Sense of Snow. 

The cost of this workshop is 50 euros, 25 if student. and its schedule is from 10am to 1:30pm and 4 to 7:30pm.To register for this workshop is required to send an email to programación@lpafilmfestival.com.

Last showings of filmmaker Jane Weiner’s works about her mentor, the documentary filmmaker Richard Leacock

The festival screens on Wednesday, March 9, the last showing of Jane Weiner’s two feature films about documentary filmmaker Richard Leacock: Ricky on Leacock (6pm) and A camera that goes anywhere (8pm). The first one is a feature film made from her close relationship with her mentor, the documentary filmmaker Richard Leacock. According to the director’s words, it is a 38-year journey that she began in 1972, “as a young filmmaker and, shooting off and throughout many years, I filmed many and various encounters between Ricky, his friends and contemporaries, including Henri Langlois, Jean Rouch, Jean Luc-Godard, D.A. Pennebaker, Robert Drew, and others.” An example in which she mixes her own footage with “film clips and rare images from Leacock’s personal film archives”, with whom she worked at the prestigious M.I.T. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). This film, concludes Weiner, “pays homage to my mentor and, most importantly, allows him to tell us the story of his long film making career in his own words.” Richard Leacock, a British documentary filmmaker and one of the Direct Cinema and Cinéma Verité pioneers, provides the name, since 2013, of the Awards granted in the Canarias Cinema section of the festival. A tribute of the Festival to he who held a close bond  with the Canary Islands during his entire childhood.

Jane Weiner

Jane Weiner

A camera that goes anywhere (2015) deals with the process of how five pioneer filmmakers, Richard Leacock, D.A. Pennebaker, Robert Drew, Terence Macartney-Filgate and Albert Maysles, got together at the end of the 50s in order to create a new film language. Two works, Ricky on Leacock (2012) and A camera that goes anywhere (2015) that provide the historical testimony and a view from the inside of the work carried out by the British artist.

All the Canarias Cinema short films, in a showing at the Rodríguez Quegles Palacete

 

Those interested in watching the competing short films in the 2016 edition’s Canarias Cinema section are still on time. On Wednesday, March 9, at 8pm, the Rodríguez Quegles Palacete’s courtyard will hold their screening in a single free-admission session. Thus it will be possible to enjoy the awards granted on Monday, March 7, by the jury made up of Víctor Iriarte, Ana Pahissa and Luis Aller: El imperio de la luz, by Macu Machín, Richard Leacock Best Short Film Award; Les poids des ailes, by Marine Discazeaux, Special Jury Award; and Viejo, by Christian Lage, International Distribution Digital 104 Award.

The showing will include, too: El barbero (Francesca Phillips, Spain, 2015, 27 min.), Juana (Miguel G. Morales and Silvia Navarro, Spain, 2016, 7 min.), Ave feliz (Víctor Moreno, Spain, 2015, 5 min.), El retrato de Antonio (Cayetana H. Cuyás, Spain, 2016, 6 min.), Agujero (Amaury Santana, Spain, 2015, 2 min.), Desayuno con Pastillas (Zac73dragon, Spain, 2016, 10 min.), Isføre (Ayoze García, Spain, 2016, 15 min.), Fiesta de Pijamas (David Pantaléon, Spain, 2015, 7 min.) and Náufrago sin Isla (Fernando Alcántara, Spain, 2016, 10 min.).

Pablo Hernando presents Berserker, in the Panorama Spain section

Berserker, de Pablo Hernando

Berserker, by Pablo Hernando

Spanish director Pablo Hernando comes to the Festival to present his feature film Berserker –Panorama Spain-, a title that has already been at the Seville European Film Festival and at the Márgenes Festival, featuring Julián Génisson (Magical Girl, by Carlos Vermut) and Ingrid Garcia Jonsson (Goya-nominee by Hermosa juventud, by Jaime Rosales). Producer, screenwriter, editor and director of photography of his film, too, Hernando will present Berserker to the audience on Wednesday, March 9, at 6pm, at the Monopol Multiplex’s 4th screen.

A detective plot lived by thirty-year-old men still sharing an apartment and told with humor is the result of the story lived by the protagonist of Berserker, Hugo Vartan, who, in search of a subject for his next book, finds a human head stuck to the steering wheel of a car.

Portuguese director Hugo Vieira da Silva comes back to the festival to present Posto Avançado do Progresso in the Official Section

Posto Avançado do Progresso

Posto Avançado do Progresso

The competitive section presents as well the musical film Office, by Johnnie To, and the second group of short films’ screening, which will be graced with the presence of director Kei Chikaura, too

Office, de Johnnie To

Office, by Johnnie To

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Portuguese director Hugo Vieira da Silva comes back to the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival, where he already participated in 2007 with the film Body Rice, to present in the Official Section his last feature film, Posto Avançado do Progresso (Portugal, 2015, 122 min.). Selected as well at the Berlinale Festival, the film is a free adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s tale “An Outpost of Progress”. In it, two civil servants from the Portuguese colonial period arrive to a faraway ivory trade post in Congo. Their presence and clothing mark them as ghosts to the eyes of the natives. It will be screened at 12:15pm at the Monopol Multiplex’s 3rd screen, and its director will present it to the media at 2:30pm, after the showing, at the Pérez Galdós Theater. Furthermore, Vieira da Silva, whose previous works have been selected at festivals such as BAFICI, IndieLisboa or Locarno, will present it to the audience in the evening, at 8pm, at the same screen.

The Official Section will begin the screenings in the morning, at 10am, with the musical film Office, by Johnnie To. With it, the Hong-Kong-native filmmaker moves towards a new genre in his career and offers to the audience a spectacular musical film about the high-level business world’s schemes. Office presents a cast led by Chow-Yun-fat (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Bulletproof Monk), at the renowned production designer William Chang’s settings. The film has already been in other festivals, such as Toronto, Busan, London, Mar del Plata and Goteborg.

Competing Short Films

Tomorrow Wednesday, March 9, carries on the screening of the competing short films in the Official Section, too. The second group, containing five out of the fourteen participants, will be screened at 8pm and will be graced by the presence of Japanese director Kei Chikaura, who will present his short film Nagori-Gaki (Japan, 2015, 15 min.). The showing includes, too: Dear Director (Marcus Lindeen, Sweden, 2015, 14 min.), Rate Me (Fyzal Boulifa, United Kingdom, 2015, 17 min.), Freud und Friends (Gabriel Abrantes, Portugal, 2015, 23 min.) and Yúyú (Marc Johnson, USA, France, 2015, 15 min.).

We insist on reviving beauty. Today with Rocco and his brothers and Zangeki Monogatari

Rocco y sus hermanos, de Visconti

Rocco and his brothers, by Visconti

We keep on insisting on retrieving beauty. The festival’s Déjà Vu section schedules for Tuesday, March 8, two of the recently restored films included in this 2016 edition and whose common connection, as Luis Miranda, the director of the festival, points out, is that they are “three of the most beautiful stories ever told”: Zangiku Monogatari (1939), by Mizoguchi, Rocco and his brothers, by Visconti.

Rocco and his brothers is one of Visconti’s masterpieces, awarded at the Venice Biennale, that will be screened, in its digital restored version, on Tuesday, March 8, at 7pm, at the Monopol, thanks to the work of the Cineteca di Bologna. Alain Delon leads the cast of this story, featuring Renato Salvatori, Annie Girardot and Claudia Cardinale, too.

Historia del último crisantemo, de Mizoguchi

Zangiku Monogatari, by Mizoguchi

Zangiku Monogatari will be screened, too, on Tuesday, March 8; a story in which Mizoguchi transcends the Japanese melodrama in search of a strictly film realism. From its terrific long-take system emerges a time perception that the great Asian masters of our day have been able to update. It will be at 10pm at the Monopol Multiplex’s 4th screen.

The director Nacho Bello presents Bregando historias, included out of competition in the Canarias Cinema section, about the filmmaking craft

Bregando historias

Bregando historias

Telling stories is the objective of the filmmakers who are behind the camera; doing it in times of recession can turn it into a particular hard activity. Nevertheless, there are some who keep on betting on it. The documentary Bregando historias (Nacho Bello, Spain, 2015, 81 min.), which the Festival includes out of competition in the Canarias Cinema section, speaks about all that. Its director and its screenwriter, Nacho Bello and José Acevedo, respectively, will present Bregando historias to the audience today Tuesday, March 8, at 6pm at the Monopol’s 2nd screen.

Panorama presents Tangerine, a Sean Baker’s feature film, shot entirely with an iPhone5

Tangerine, de Sean Baker

Tangerine, by Sean Baker

Tangerine meets all the ingredients for having become a film phenomenon in 2015: two non-professional trans actresses, Mya Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, and its entirely mobile-phone (iPhone 5) shooting. But, in addition to this, Sean Baker’s fifth feature film has been at the Sundance, London, Mar del Plata and Karlovy Vary festivals, among others, and its actress Mya Taylor has won last February the Best Actress Award at the Independent Spirit Awards. The Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival has included it in its Panorama section, and its first showing will be on Tuesday, March 8, at 10:15pm at the Monopol Multiplex.

In memory of “a profound rule-free feminist”: the filmmaker Chantal Akerman

The screenings of the titles included in the Festival to remember the works and figure of the Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman, recently deceased, begin on Tuesday, March 7. Akerman, who was a member of the 2008 Festival’s jury, left behind “an original and rule-concession-free life’s work”, in Luis Miranda’s words, “a rule-free feminist in a deep sense.”

Chantal Akerman

Chantal Akerman

From her filmography, the Festival has selected different periods in time: Je, Tu, Il, Elle (Belgium, France, 1974, 86 min.), Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai Du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Belgium, France, 1975, 201 min.) and No Home Movie (Belgium, France, 2015, 115 min.). Je, Tu, Il, Elle’s first showing will be at 5pm at the Monopol Multiplex’s 5th screen.

Argentinian director Fernando Salem presents Cómo funcionan casi todas las cosas in the Official Section

Cómo funcionan casi todas las cosas

Cómo funcionan casi todas las cosas

  • The competitive section presents as well the Polish-Irish coproduction 11 minutes, by veteran filmmaker Jerzy Skolimowski, and the screening of the first group of short films
11 minutes

11 minutes

A veteran and a new director in the Official section screened today Tuesday, March 8: the Polish Jerzy Skolimowsky and the Argentinian Fernando Salem. This last one comes to the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival to present its competing feature film to the Official Section, Cómo funcionan casi todas las cosas. The film, which has already won the Best Director and Best Screenplay Awards at the Mar del Plata Festival, is Salem’s first feature film. It will be screened at noon at the Monopol Multiplex’s 3rd screen. Besides, Salem will present it to the audience in the evening, at 8pm, at the same screen.

The Official Section will start the morning screenings, at 10am, with the Polish-Irish coproduction 11 minutes, a feature film of one of this edition’s veteran filmmakers, Jerzy Skolimowsky, who was also the 2011 Festival’s president of the official jury. Selected as well at the Venice, Toronto, London, Thessaloniki and Rotterdam festivals, 11 minutes tells the stories of different urbanites whose lives and romances interweave a certain day in Warsaw.

Competing Short Films

On Tuesday, March 8, starts as well the screening of the competing short films in the Official Section. The first group, with four out of the fourteen participants, will be screened at 8pm. The showing includes: Jay parmi les homes/Jay Amongst Men (Zeno Graton, France-Belgium, 2015, 28 min.), Figure (Katarzyna Gondek, Poland, Belgium, 2015, 9 min.), Paulina (Ricardo León, Peru, 2015, 20 min.) and Notre Dame des Hormones / Our Lady of Hormones (Bertrand Mandico, France, 2015, 30 min.).

The fourteen works presented to this edition are a panoramic view that shows the existence of a less-duration auteur cinema in which there are different and varied stories and ways of storytelling, told by filmmakers with a clear knowledge and intuition of the film medium.