The #DirectedbyWomen events unfolding in Spain are invigorating. We had a chance to converse with Lucía Valverde & Rebeca Sánchez López two members of the amazing team of filmmakers organizing the #DirectedbyWomenSpain Film Viewing Parties in Madrid and Barcelona.
Please take a moment to read what they have to share, explore the programs they’re creating this month, then start thinking about how you want to engage in next year’s #DirectedbyWomen Worldwide Film Viewing Party. Let’s keep weaving connections as we build a deep culture of appreciation within the global film community!
DBW: #DirectedbyWomenSpain is happening again this year! What’s being planned? Who will be joining you? When and where are the events taking place?
LV: This year’s celebration is quite a bit bigger than last year’s! There was a first screening in Mataró, where Rebeca Sánchez comes from, and we have a very wide celebration in Madrid: screenings during three days in Cineteca, an amazing cinema in Matadero, one of the most important cultural spaces in Madrid, and two in Teatro del Barrio, our fantastic base from last year. We are going to do special screenings on Isabel Coixet career showing her film ‘Ayer no termina nunca’ and a documentary about her work by Elena Trapé. We have a wide selection of short films, to show the enormous diversity in the work of women directors, a selection of documentaries, talks with the directors and a fabulous flamenco concert to close this year’s celebration. We’re very excited!
And in Barcelona the celebration in La Caldera is joining the Mercè, the festivity of the city. There is also a Kino Cabaret were people from all around the world come to create short pieces in a day. Oh, and we also celebrated in Think Cinema Liverpool thanks to Monica Rodriguez and Scalarama. As you see, there is a lot going on this year in Spain!
DBW: I remember so clearly when we first connected back when you’d first heard about the original #DirectedbyWomen Worldwide Film Viewing Party. How DID you first hear about it? Do you remember? Your response was, “This is AMAZING!” Then you went off and created a 5 day, 2 city festival with screenings, Q&As, workshops, musical performances, receptions, etc. What was that experience like and how did it propel you toward this year’s events?
LV: When we discovered #DirectedbyWomen we were very excited about the concept of a worldwide celebration of films created by women. We are women, we work in film, and we know how difficult it is to be part of an industry dominated by men, so we are very pro defending the place of women in film and in art, culture and life in general. We love that this celebration is conceived as a party, because we like to celebrate our work with good humour and good vibes. That’s why we are very keen on making it a place for debate, for human encounters and for music to cheer up the atmosphere and create links between the participants. We can only believe in getting bigger, and more and more people are getting interested in the event and wanting to collaborate, so it seems like it is naturally expanding – because it is a necessary subject of discussion and visibility! Women need more protagonism in general, and in film in particular.
RSL: It’s been amazing to coordinate the whole Directed by Women Spain and make it grow every year, because now we are working for this edition but at the same time receiving chances to make it bigger next year. I never imagined how grateful I would be to manage all of this when I wrote Barbara last year in an impulse of encouragement, energy and “revendication” about our position in the cinema world. So when I gathered this enthusiastic team with Lucía Valverde, Georgina Oliva and María Gonzalez I knew that together everything could be possible.
DBW: This year you are putting a spotlight on Isabel Coixet. What is it about her work that inspires and excites you?
LV: Isabel is one of the most important Spanish directors, and we can say one of the most brilliant and celebrated female directors in the world. We admire her especially for her international career and her capacity to move a worldwide audience with such intimate and human stories. Her universe is very personal and she has had the ability to become internationally famous without changing her particular and unique vision. It would be amazing if she could come to the celebration, but she’s very busy with her last production ‘The Bookshop’.
DBW: Can you point film lovers toward any online resources that can help them connect with the work of the women directors your festival will be featuring?
LV: Unfortunately it is very difficult to find short films online, unless the directors decide to shown them in channels like Vimeo (but that is after the circuit around film festivals is over). That is why these kinds of showcases and short film festivals are so important. It is the only way that these pieces can find their audience. The same happens with most of the documentaries we are showcasing. They are independent and have little diffusion, so we are very happy that our celebration is a window for them.
DBW: What impact are you seeing #DirectedbyWomen Worldwide Film Viewing Party having in terms of your own filmmaking, the community of filmmakers/lovers in Spain, and internationally? I’d love to hear about the collaborations that have arisen with Liverpool Small Cinema via #DirectedbyWomen and #Scalarama… and whatever else you’d like to share.
LV: It is clearly a necessity. It seems like we, women of the world, are joining forces more than ever to talk about us, our problems, the inequalities we find in our professional and personal lives and make a lot of noise to let the world know we’re here, that we do a lot for the social and cultural community, that we have a lot to talk about and deserve more opportunities. What I love about this event is that its purpose is to ‘celebrate’ the work of women, that it is something happy and festive. I believe that is why we are getting so many connections and interested people. Monica Rodriguez heard about the project and contacted us to make a collaboration in Liverpool, and that is how #DirectedbyWomenSPAIN went to Think Cinema Liverpool to show the work of some great Spanish filmmakers across our borders. It is great that people want to join the celebration, which is how we started collaborating with the worldwide celebration Directed by Women. We are sure that more collaboration in Spain and across are about to come, we’ll let you know!
DBW: I know you have to go back to last minute organizing details for this year’s celebration, but could you please take a moment to share about your own filmmaking work? What are you focusing on at this time? And where can film lovers find YOUR work?
About my work, well, my last short film ‘The Heat Wave’ is making a very nice trajectory around international film festivals, we’re very happy that it’s being showcased all around the world. And now I am focusing on a new documentary project I want to develop in Cuba about women related to art. I am travelling there next November to film a short piece so I can edit a teaser of what I would like to produce, and ideally will get enough funding to film a feature documentary in the future. It’s a very exciting project!
I have many other projects in development, ideally they will happen soon, I hope! But it is a lot of hard work to produce films, sometimes it takes far more time that you would like to get the financing and the conditions for the production, but with hard work and perseverance eventually it happens, and I will never stop fighting!
RSL: About my work as a filmmaker now I’m focused in my documentary WE DIE produced by Kepler Mission FIlms and White Leaf Producciones. A transmedia project: interactive documentary and feature film about life and the conception of death around the world. We talk about tradition, culture, ethnic groups, women, power, economy, human rights, society, politics and for sure about the only, universal and equal happening for every single human: our ending.
Something I’m involved in is the development of educative and entertainment interactive contents for new audiences, such as the application for mobile and tablet devices Bombilla App about art for kids. My work can be found on my website and on my Vimeo channel.
DBW: Wish I could teleport in to be with you in person. Will be there in spirit. Have a spectacular time. Looking forward to what you share. Thank you SO much for your incredible work. I’m so inspired by you. Let’s keep going!
LV: It all happened because of you and your inspiring work, so it would be amazing to have you here in Spain with us! But you’ll be here with your energy and all the strength you are always sending us via online. Thank you for all, Barbara!
Explore the #DirectedbyWomenSpain | #DirectedbyWomenBCNMAD events…
Program runs through September 20 with events in Madrid and Barcelona
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Inviting the world to fall madly in love with films #DirectedbyWomen.