The Kimuak programme, supported by Filmoteca Vasca (Basque Film Archive) and the Etxepare Basque Institute, has been working for 20 years to boost the presence of Basque short films, bringing together a catalogue of the year’s best films to distribute to the most respected festivals and industry events around the world.
The selection for 2018 is here, backed by a jury made up of Carlos Plaza (Donostia Kultura), Ivan Miñambres (Uniko), Jorge Rivero (filmmaker and programmer), Lorena Martin (Canarias en Corto) and Ruth Pérez de Anucita (San Sebastián Film Festival).
After evaluating a total of 78 shorts – a record in terms of participation – the jury has selected these seven:
1. 592 METROZ GOITI, Maddi Barber
2. AMA, Josu Martinez
3. ANCORA LUCCIOLE, Maria Elorza
4. ESPEDIZIO HANDIA, Iban del Campo
5. KAFENIO KASTELLO, Miguel Ángel Jiménez
6. NO ME DESPERTÉIS, Sara Fantova
7. ZAIN, Pello Gutiérrez
The catalogue is made up of documentaries and works of fiction, in some cases, blurring the lines between the two. As for language, two of the short films are entirely in Basque, two in Basque and Spanish, one in Basque and French, one in Spanish and Italian, and one in Greek.
Maddi Barber, Josu Martinez, María Elorza, Iban del Campo, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, Sara Fantova and Pello Gutierrez are added to the long list of ‘Kimuak filmmakers’, along with names like Jose Mari Goenaga, Jon Garaño, Telmo Esnal, Asier Altuna, Nacho Vigalondo, Borja Cobeaga, Koldo Serra, Isabel Herguera, Izibene Oñederra, Koldo Almandoz and Luiso Berdejo.
Over 800 short films have been submitted to Kimuak and 137 are now part of the catalogue – giving a stamp of approval of their quality and distribution in festivals.
592 METROZ GOITI
This documentary, directed by Maddi Barber (Iruña-Pamplona, 1988), premiered at the prestigious Visions du Réel festival in Switzerland.
592 metroz goiti (Above 592 metres) began as the director’s final project for her master’s programme in Visual Anthropology. The film analyzes the possibilities of life that remain when a territory is completely altered, focusing on the land that was flooded in the 1990s after the Itoiz dam was built. Today, a strip of bare land at 592 metres marks a dividing line in the landscape of the valley. Below the level, the water; above, life goes on.
The documentary was produced by the Doxa Producciones in Leioa, Bizkaia. It was shot in Basque and Spanish on the slopes of the Navarrese Pyrenees in the summer of 2017. It is Barber’s fourth film; in 2015 she took part in the film collective Distantziak withing the Zinergentziak programme, and in 2017 she was the sole director of Ametsen egunerokoa / Diario de Sueños. She recently made the short film Yours Truly, together with Christopher Murray and Charlotte Hoskins.
Josu Martinez (Bilbao, 1986) directed Ama, part of the anthology film Gure oroitzapenak (Nuestros recuerdos), based on the work of Joseba Sarrionaindia. The project was produced by the Bilbao-based company Adabaki. Ama takes us to the summer of 1915 to the town of Baigorri in a remote corner of Basse-Navarre, France, where a woman sits at home awaiting a letter.
Josu Martinez is a researcher and teacher for the department of audiovisuals at the University of the Basque Country. He has directed six documentaries, including Itsasoaren alaba (2009), Sagarren denbora (2010), Prohibido recordar (2010) and Gure sorlekuaren bila (2015), the latter of which premiered at the San Sebastián Festival. He is also founder of the production company Gastibeltza Filmak, based in Lapurdi, and has authored three books of essays.
The new documentary by Maria Elorza, Ancora lucciole, blends Italian and Spanish to bring back Pier Paolo Pasolini words written in 1972 on the disappearance of fireflies. Pasolini was killed shortly after writing his article, and since then, the fireflies have continued to disappear. Even so, to this day there are still those who remember them.
This is Maria Elorza’s (Vitoria-Gasteiz, 1988) second time with Kimuak, after Gure hormek (Our Walls) which she made in 2016 together with Maider Fernández (part of the Las chicas de Pasaik collective).
Elorza has an extensive filmography. With Las chicas de Pasaik, she made Irudi mintzatuen hiztegi poetikoa (2014, co-directed by Aitor Gametxo), Agosto sin ti (2015), La chica de la luz (2016, as part of the Kalebegiak project), and Gure hormek. She has directed several documentaries on her own, among them Antología de conversaciones cotidianas (2011).
Maria Elorza earned her undergraduate degree in Audiovisual Communication in Barcelona and holds a master’s certificate in Art Research and Creation from the University of the Basque Country. She currently works in Donostia at Tabakalera, the Center for Contemporarty Culture, is a member of the documentary showcase Muestra Documental LUPA, and teaches at the Larrotxene cultural centre.
This is also the second time with Kimuak for Iban del Campo (Arrasate, 1971), who entered his documentary Dirty Martini in 2009.
Espedizio handia (The Great Expedition) is a work of sci-fi starring the L’Estrange family. Del Campo follows the L’Estranges on their journey to space to study the human desire to be more than just stardust.
Iban del Campo teaches Audiovisual Communication at Mondragon Unibertsitatea and is also promotor and coordinator of the Basque short film festival Huhezinema, organized by students at Mondragon. He has directed shorts including Un tal Eusebi (2003), Lo bakarrik (2008), Katebegitik (2011), Con Tramontana (2012) and Tigger! (2016).
The fictional documentary Kafenio Kastello is directed by Miguel Ángel Jiménez and produced by Kinoskopik from Vitoria-Gasteiz. The film follows a small group of people who live in the centre of Athens, surrounded by crisis and general destruction. Their sense of fraternity is what keeps them going in the face of a dark destiny.
Jiménez (Madrid, 1979) presented Khorosho at Kimuak in 2010. He made his first short film in 2001 with help from Aki Kaurismäki and in 2007 created Kinoskopik alongside Gorka Gómez Andreu and other partners. In 2008 he made the documentary short Días de abanico and in 2009, his first feature film, Ori, shot in the Eastern European country of Georgia. His second feature, Chaika, was premiered in the New Directions section at the San Sebastian Film Festival in 2012. Jiménez is now working on Sumendia, a fiction film which will be shot in Bilbao and Grecia.
NO ME DESPERTÉIS
No me despertéis is the first project by the young filmmaker Sara Fantova (Bilbao, 1993). Filmed in Basque and Spanish, it is Fantova’s final project at the film school ESCAC. The screenplay is based on her own personal experience.
Jone is a 10th grade student in Bilbao in 2009, in the height of fierce Basque nationalism. Strikes and demonstrations are part of teenager daily activity at school but Jone’s reality is very different.
Pello Gutiérrez (Donostia / San Sebastián, 1979) directed Zain, a sad comedy. Along the lines of Kaurismäki aesthetics, Guitérrez paints a raw and tender portrait of loneliness.
The Donostia-born filmmaker is co-founder, together with David Aguilar , of the production company Zazpi T’erdi. Since 2007 they have worked with borderline and non-fiction genres, and have garnered numerous international awards with their productions (Nao Yik, Mara mara, Converso). Heroínas sem nome (2011), Abuztua (2014) and Ozpinaren sindromea (2017) are some of the films Gutiérrez has directed himself.