Playing Lecuona will open the 16th Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival

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The opening ceremony, for the first time in the history of the Festival, will be chaired by a filmmaker, the Canarian Elio Quiroga, and will be hold at the Pérez Galdós Theater with a special performance by Michel Camilo, member of the opening documentary’s art team

The Film Festival, hold from March 4 to 13, will include among its contents the Monopol Music Festival

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Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Wednesday, February 3, 2016. The Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival (FICLPGC) will start its sixteenth edition next Friday, March 4, with the release in the Islands of the Montreal Audience Award-winning documentary Playing Lecuona, a work by Cuban Pavel Giroud and Canarian Juanma Villar that honors the most internationally renowned Cuban music, Ernesto Lecuona.

Among the great Latin Jazz musicians taking part in the production are Chucho Valdés, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Michel Camilo, having confirmed this last one his presence in the capital of Gran Canaria because of the presentation of the title at the Festival, in which, apart from performing in the opening ceremony, will offer an extraordinary concert in Trio, in March 5, that will be included within the contents of the islander festival.

Among the new things this Film Festival will offer to its fans, there is the intention of giving the chairing of the sessions only to filmmakers, starting with an opening ceremony chaired by Gran-Canaria-native Elio Quiroga and that will take place at the Pérez Galdós Theater.

Apart from the usual sections, Official, Informative, Bande à Part, the Freakiest Night, Magic Lantern, Déjà vu, and the one devoted to the films made in the islands or by Canarian people, the Festival will again include an international competitive section for short films, will hold one of its characteristic cycles, and will add as part of the schedule the Monopol Music Festival’s content. 

The International Film Festival’s 16th edition will start officially on Friday, March 4, with some screenings, but before that, from March 2 on, it will offer to its fans a prelude consisting of a Film Industry Conference, specially directed to those professionals who are, from the Islands, creating and consolidating an industrial fabric to provide support to those productions that choose the Archipelago as part of their locations. This conference will be, in fact, the “zero edition” of a film market, whose first edition will be hold at the 2017 Festival, with the aim of providing postproduction and distribution help to advanced projects.

At the press conference held at the Rodríguez Quegles Palacete, seat of the Festival and a space that holds yearly screenings, the Culture’s city councilwoman, Encarna Galván, and the director of the Festival, Luis Miranda, explained their team’s will of providing evidence of the cinema made in the islands’ qualitative growing. In that regard they continued that, keeping in mind the starting point of a Festival that is born and endures with an inescapable calling of international nature, the local production’s quality is so important that has turned global in its natural evolution throughout these sixteen years.

Miranda highlighted that “in parallel with a long recession that gravely impacts on the cultural industries, and with the novelty of a huge increase in the arrival to the islands of foreign productions as a result of a tax-incentive policy, a number far from negligible of risk films has emerged, both personal and attentive to contemporary sensitivity, both deeply local and strange to localism’s bad habits.”

Canarias Cinema will be the only competitive section showing during the first weekend of the Festival, coexisting with other non-competitive sections and cycles. The international competition starts on Monday 7, both in the feature films (12) and short films’ categories.

This usual selection of worldwide auteur-cinema releases will be shown until March 13 at the Monopol Multiplex’s screens.

Regarding the Monopol Music Festival’s contents assimilation, those in charge promised a later meeting with Víctor Ordoñez, director of this film event, which will not be screened simultaneously but as part of the FICLPGC’s contents, keeping its brand identity and schedule’s autonomy. In any case, Miranda revealed, “unifying the production means not only benefits both teams, but also the audience.”