Over the course of its existence, PLAY-DOC has become something more than just a festival: it has found a way to open up, encourage, foster, and protect a space for freedom and curiosity, where both practice and reflection can come together, where we have all been able to experiment, try things out and think with the help of the camera and the cutting room, while still working intuitively, setting challenges for ourselves, becoming absorbed by those challenges, sketching out solutions, communicating these, making mistakes, learning, moving forward by means of this process and being able to grow. This is howwe have created this valuable space, where what is important is the link between cinema and reality, the discovery of one’s own voice together with, and thanks to, the voices of others. It is a space in which to enjoy the company of others and share with them.
And sharing is what this is all about. We have the privilege, honour and pleasure to present to you three films which, in one way or another, derive from or are linked to what may become a kind of school of acertain gaze – the one which we have built together, the one which PLAY-DOC has represented and we hope it will continue to represent.
O lugar dos avós by Victor Hugo Seoane and Salóme by Yrsa Roca Fannberg formed part of the “Docs in Progress” workshop, an editing and re-writing retreat which took place over two weeks in December 2010. Africa 815 is a film by Pilar Monsell, who formed part of the “Docs in Progress” workgroup and was one of the filmmakers participating in the Laboratory of the Filmed Portrait held inTui between 2009 and 2013.
Besides the fact that these filmmakers shared their journey and their gaze with us at one stage or another of the production process, what these three films have in common could be said to be the following.
Strangely, all three reflect on the subject of that which precedes us and in a way determines who we are: our parents, our grandparents, our origins, our life-stories and our history. “We are that which others who came before us were.” This is the mark we bear, this is our legacy in one way or another, and it is our gain and our loss at the same time. It is both our inheritance and our burden to carry.
The three films we are going to see put forward three different and original ways of approaching this. The three different ways of making films set out their own definition of themselves, are personal and therefore are easily recognizable: a certain evocative serenity; the incisiveness of conflict; and the tantalising desire to get to know someone better. A cinema which feels, provokes, reacts and thinks.
Paradoxically, these peculiar features do not distance the films from each other but bring them together again: the three films have found their own way, but they are examples of a compromise struck between the one who sees and what is seen, between form and content. The three works are the result of a process in which commitment, ceaseless work, high standards, continual questioning and the most honest and stark fragility have all played a role. And when they look and show us the world, they do so in a way which is candid, unadorned, beautiful and enormously generous.
Pilar Monsell | 66' | 2014 | Spain
Director, Writer, Cinematographer, Editor: : Pilar Monsell
Text & Photo Archive: Manuel Monsell
Producers: Rita Dessinger, Proxémica
Sound: Jonathan Darch
Going in depth into her father’s photo archive and diaries about his experience during the military service at the Sahara spanish colony in 1964, Pilar spots the lost paradise where he always would try to come back. But all these trips reveal much more about the place of departure than about the place of destination.
O LUGAR DOS AVÓS (Work in Progress)
Victor Hugo Seoane | Galicia
Director, Cinematographer, Editor: Victor Hugo Seoane
Producer: Isabel Seoane Eiró, Grupo de Creación Vaivén (Iván Marcos, Jaione Camborda y Victor Hugo Seoane)
Camera Assistant: Iago Seoane
Editing Assistant: Diego Santomé
After many years searching far away from home, I decided to come back.
One day, in the living room, my father (approached me and) put in my hands a videotape he had recorded 20 years ago” This is how begins a journey to the origins (roots). An inmersion of 5 years in the everyday life of my grandparents; in their place, a lost village in the mountains, which is slowly depopulating (?). The place where a family is born and keeps growing up and changing generation after generation.
Yrsa Roca Fannberg | 59' | 2014 | Iceland
Director, Cinematographer: Yrsa Roca Fannberg
Producer: Skarkali, Helga Rakel, Rafnsdóttir, Marta Andreu (Estudi Playtime)
Edited with the help of: Catia Salgueiro, Federico Delpero Bejar, Núria Esquerra, Stefania Thors
Music: Ólöf Arnalds
Art was an important factor of my childhood, where I would spend time watching mama, through the threads. Today I am back in Iceland, watching her again - this time through the camera. We have not lived under the same roof since I was a teenager. I am 35, without children and a strong desire to make a film about her. Mum is not interested in being filmed. The film does not only deal with a mother - daughter relationship, but also a filmmaker and a subject with their own will.