October 25, 2021

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New Basque Wave: Images and Highlights

5 min read

Experimenting with simple storytelling and new narratives, a new wave of Basque film genius has begun to sink its toes into the international arena, landing on movie launchpads such as the Venice, Berlin and San Sebastian festivals.

The new generation solves the universal problems of small, local storytelling, achieving quality standards for studying in Spain and often in film schools in Europe and the United States.

The new director is emerging at a time when SVOD giants and private investors are expanding the range of financial possibilities as co-production options expand, especially with the rest of Spain.

“We come from different life experiences and we have very different paths, which enriches the scene of the current Basque film a lot,” said filmmaker Mider Olega.

Bask Audiovisual Coordinator and Communications Zara Ayakar argues, “In this sense, it is an ambitious generation that faces the challenge of remaining faithful to the creative attitude of their project.”

The current standout steps in the Basque Emerging Talent Figure include the Surveillance Feature Debut or Sophomore Project:

* A prominent member of the new film wave, Mikel Guria, who won the short “Fox” at the Montreal World Film Fest, has just appeared at the Venice Festival’s Horizons sidebar with the short “Heltezier” and finished his feature debut lensing in August. “

* Mayer Olega, winner of Doc Espaানারa at Valladolid International. The film festival, including “Verabredung” in 2017, is fighting for its feature documentary “Quartak Valley” at the world premiere in San Sebastian, for the Erizer Basque Cinema Award.

* Estibalis Uresola, who drew attention with his short “Adri” and his first doc “Vokes de Papel”, is preparing “20,000 species of bees”. It is set to roll out next year after being selected in Madrid’s The Screen-La Incubadora and winning Thessaloniki International. Film Festival Co-Production Award and Tallinn Black Knights Best Cinematographic Script.

David Perez Saudo, of Bilbao descent, is one of Spain’s most amazing filmmakers, having won his 2021 Spanish Academy Goa Award for Best Adapted Screenplay after his “An Is Missing” debut – teaming up with Attresmedia Scene for the film project. To direct a film adaptation of the acclaimed novel “Los Iltimos Romanticos” with Cava dos Fossas ”and the Seville-based La Claqueta and the leading Basque company Erosin.

* Paul Orcizo, whose first 2017 debut “Arramentary” was produced and produced by god Lex de la Iglesia and sold by Filmax, is launching major photography of the medieval fantasy “Irti” created by Ikusgari Films, supported by publisher RTVE across the country.

* Maddie Barber, of Navarre descent, will be part of the Case-Based Guardian Films-produced literary-film project “It’s Not a Poem” after it was screened at San Sebastian’s Jabaltegi-Tabakalera Dock “Land Underwater” in 2019. The department has featured two more of its works: 2018’s “Above 592 Meters” and 2020’s “Goria”.

In many cases, new Basque filmmakers share space, knowledge and experience through a context that allows them to grow and learn.

The San Sebastian Film Festival, the Short-Film Collection Kimuak, and the Tabakalera International Center for Contemporary Culture have taken initiatives such as the Ikusmira Bariak, a project-based training-accommodation program, and the Elias Carrejeta Ginescola Film School.

Lazy loaded pictures

Quartak Valley
Courtesy San Sebastian Film Festival

“There are many co-founders, enterprises, producers and organizations working for a complementary environment so that a new generation of filmmakers can emerge,” noted Mikel Guria, whose feature was made in the debut “Suro” Ikusmira Bariak.

For many years, the Basque country has been characterized by a conflicting political and social history, which is reflected in the picture. But Spain’s 2011 2016 Oscar-nominated “Lorek” proved to be a game-changer.

“Fortunately, the concept of film has grown in recent years and there are filmmakers making and premiering very diverse films,” Olega says.

Repeatedly argues, “We look for different ways to describe, sometimes from documentaries, experimental films or fiction.”

The most common thing among the new generation is the goal of reflecting human interaction with the natural environment. In his works, for example, the barber navigates the fairness of man and the bifurcated chart with nature.

“I am interested in stories of coexistence between humans, their environment and other species. And from there, create other details outside of the ethnocentric story, ”the barber added.

In anticipation of their first child in Guerrero’s thriller “Suro”, a couple – starring “Antidisturbios” Vicky Luengo and Paul Lopez (“or Historical Lament”) – decide to move from the city to the forest to reactivate a cork tree business.

Irusoin, a joint production of Barcelona’s Luster Media and Malmo Pictures, “Suro” north of Girona, was filmed in Catalan and Castilian, Spanish, French and Arabic.

“The more precise and clear the world and the more a film is presented, the more honest and sympathetic its appearance will be. Thus the experience of seeing it is universal. It works in all aspects, ”Guria explained.

Co-produced by Bilbao-based Kubelik Films and Madrid’s Pantalla Partida, the Olegar feature dock “Quartz Valley”, which this year stars Genemira At San Sebastian, combines universal and local elements. Its uniqueness lies in the unfolding story: two men from the Alavar Quartango Valley are making a Western film (“Algo más que morir”) with the help of their community.

Gariza Films, along with Urisola-owned Sirimiri Films, revolves around the gender identity of “20,000 species of bees” produced by Lara Izagir, which Uresola explored in her previous works.

“Locally there doesn’t necessarily have to be disagreements with the public. Uresola argues that finding locals for a story that connects all of us can create an added value in this time of globalization when audiovisual content is widely used and geopolitical barriers are easily overcome.

Emerging Basque talents also show a stronger commitment to the international reach of projects from the outset.

“In the current context, where more and more international writing labs are emerging and there is more flexibility in the creative process to communicate with people around the world, all of this is influencing the stories we create and the origins of more international look projects since then,” he says.

“From the beginning, we have seen that we need to open ourselves up to the international market and take the project to the world. That is why we are aiming to join the Berlinale in 2022 by trying to close the international distribution agreement. Since our plan is to reach the A Grade Festival, we are looking at the world, ”concludes Gariza producer Lara Izagir.

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