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International documentary film festival DocsBarcelona to feature 42 films from 26 countries

The 18th edition of the international documentary film festival DocsBarcelona will open its doors on 25 May. This year, 42 films from 26 countries will be screened in 3 different locations: the Aribau Cinema Club, the CCCB (Barcelona's Contemporary Culture Centre) and La Pedrera's cultural centre, located in Antoni Gaudí's famous building. Through the rich selection of this edition's programme, a wide range of human and social issues will be explored. These will include individual and family stories, pieces on historical memory, films to do with fundamental rights, as well as reflections on the environment and the economy. 'Falciani’s Tax Bomb' by Ben Lewis will open the festival, while the event closing will take place on 31 May with the screening of 'Dancing with Maria' by Ivan Gergolet.

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30 April 2015 08:44 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The 18th edition of the international documentary film festival DocsBarcelona will open its doors on 25 May. This year, 42 films from 26 countries will be screened in 3 different locations: the Aribau Cinema Club, the CCCB (Barcelona's Contemporary Culture Centre) and La Pedrera's cultural centre, located in Antoni Gaudí's famous building. Through the rich selection of this edition's programme, a wide range of human and social issues will be explored. These will include individual and family stories, pieces on historical memory, films to do with fundamental rights, as well as reflections on the environment and the economy. ‘Falciani’s Tax Bomb’ by Ben Lewis will open the festival, while the event closing will take place on 31 May with the screening of 'Dancing with Maria' by Ivan Gergolet. This year’s main attraction will be the creation of the DocsBarcelona Documentary School in collaboration with Barcelona’s Blanquerna-Ramon Llull University.


The Festival is "a very multifaceted event covering a vast array of issues. From the capitalist system to ecology, through human struggles and emotions", DocsBarcelona's Director Joan Gonzalez said. In less than a month, the contest will kick off and nerves have begun to be a little frayed, he admitted.

The event will open with the screening of the investigative documentary-thriller 'Falciani’s Tax Bomb' by British director Ben Lewis. The film (a Catalan-German co-production) follows the story of Hervé Falciani – the enigmatic bank whistle-blower – considered by many to be the Edward Snowden of the banking sector. Falciani stole from HSBC highly-sensitive client data listing the name of millionaires and billionaires (some of them quite famous) with bank accounts in Switzerland, leading to the biggest banking scandal in history. Gonzalez stressed that it is the first time that the festival opens with the screening of a Catalan production. "This film will have a huge impact", he said. Other documentaries on the economic crisis will be featured as well, such as 'The Forecaster' by Marcus Vetter and 'Greece: Days of Change' by Elena Zervopoulou.

On Sunday 31 May, 'Dancing with Maria' by Ivan Gergolet will close the festival. The film tells the story of 93-year-old Argentine dancer María Fux fighting the limitations imposed by her body. "It is a small and tender story taking place in Buenos Aires", said Gonzalez. Other documentaries that stand out for the strength of their main characters are: 'Game Over'; 'Concrete Love - The Böhm family', 'The Mulberry House', 'Ne me quitte pas' and 'Tea Time'.

Joshua Oppenheimer returns to DocsBarcelona with 'The Look of Silence'

Two years after winning the DocsBarcelona Award for Best Film with 'The Act of Killing', Joshua Oppenheimer will come back with a powerful companion piece, 'The Look of Silence'. While the former portrayed the perpetrators of the Indonesian massacre in 1965, his new work focuses on the genocide’s victims. Historical memory will also play a key role this year in two other documentaries: 'Temps de Caritat' – a portrayal of Barcelona's ancient charity house – and 'Las Sinsombrero', an account of how women took part in the so-called Generation of 1927's cultural revolution in Spain, in which authors such as Federico García Lorca and Luís Buñuel were involved.

Post-globalisation will be another leading theme. While documentaries such as 'Virunga', 'Good Times Awaits', 'Bikes vs Cars' will focus on the exploitation of natural resources, 'Spartans', 'Alentejo', 'El Tram Final' and 'Monte Adentro' will shed light on climate change.

More than 30 international executive producers will take part in Speed Meetings

Speed Meetings will be the main professional activity of the event, where filmmakers and industry professionals from around the world will meet more than 30 international executive producers who may be willing to invest in their projects. This year, 40 projects have been selected to have one-to-one meetings of 15 minutes with potential financial sponsors. Speed Meetings will be held on Thursday the 28th and Friday the 29th of May from 9.00 am to 2.00 pm at the CCCB. A Speed Meetings Workshop will take place two days before. There, selected filmmakers will be able to improve their project presentation with the support of international tutors such as Mikael Opstrup from EDN, the European Documentary Network, and Catherin Olsen, International Documentary Consultant.

DocsBarcelona creates DocsBarcelona Documentary School with Blanquerna-Ramon Llull University

This year’s main attraction is the creation of the DocsBarcelona Documentary School in collaboration with the Faculty of Communication and International Relations of Blanquerna-Ramon Llull University. The School will offer a wide training programme in the field of documentary film, starting in the academic year 2015-2016. It will include an International Master’s of Direction and Executive Production of Documentaries and a Specialised Diploma in Interactive and Transmedia Documentary.

A specialised course “Mi Primer Documental” (My first documentary) will also be held within the framework of the festival. Conceived as a short course for beginners, it will focus on how to identify a good story, write a script from an attractive angle and create portfolios to find financers for projects. It will be held from the 18th to the 21st of May.

Finally, a special session at the event will be called “The Documentary of the Month 10 years” and will rescreen 4 titles from previous years of the festival: '5 Broken Cameras', 'Elle s’appelle Sabine', 'Nömadak TX' and 'Sins of my father' (Pecados de mi padre).

DocsBarcelona is to continue expanding throughout the world. The contest already has editions outside of Catalonia: one in Colombia – DocsBarcelona+Medellín – and one in Chile – SurDocs – in Puerto Varas. Currently, work is underway to launch a third edition in Gramado (Brazil).

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  • The presentation of this year's DocsBarcelona Festival (by P. Francesch)

  • The presentation of this year's DocsBarcelona Festival (by P. Francesch)
International documentary film festival DocsBarcelona to feature 42 films from 26 countries