Tarragona hosts the most international edition of the REC Film Festival yet

The film ‘Lluvia en los Zapatos’ (‘Rain in the shoes’) by the Catalan director Maria Ripoll, will officially inaugurate the REC International Film Festival in Tarragona (southern Catalonia) this Thursday. In its sixteenth and most international edition yet, the REC International Film Festival seeks not only to introduce “new voices and talents” to the Catalan audience, but also to project Tarragona outward “as a generator of content”, the director of the event, Xavier Garcia Puerto said. From this Thursday and until the 6th of December the Festival will screen some twenty films from eleven different countries, five of which are premieres in Spain and eleven in Catalonia. 

The director of REC Festival in Tarragona, Xavier Garcia Puerto, intervening between the Catalan cinema director Maria Ripoll (right) and the director of CaixaFòrum Tarragona, Glòria Olivé (left) (by aCN)
The director of REC Festival in Tarragona, Xavier Garcia Puerto, intervening between the Catalan cinema director Maria Ripoll (right) and the director of CaixaFòrum Tarragona, Glòria Olivé (left) (by aCN) / ACN


December 1, 2016 07:25 PM

Barcelona (CNA).- The REC International Film Festival in Tarragona (southern Catalonia) lifted the curtain on Wednesday on its more international flavoured edition yet. Until the 6th of December around twenty films from eleven different countries, five of which are premieres in Spain and eleven in Catalonia, will be screened. In its sixteenth edition, the Festival of Tarragona remains committed to bringing the best international films from new directors to the city. “We want to present new voices and new talents that we believe will fill the screens in the coming years” said its director, Xavier Garcia Puerto. However, the main goal of the organisers is “to start projecting outward Tarragona as a generator of content”. 

Eight local authors have already participated in the first day of the International Film Festival in Tarragona, on Wednesday, in the framework of the section ‘Authors of Tarragona’, which this year offered six films: 'Sombras' (‘Shadows’) by Adrià Guxens, ‘Alícia i jo’ (‘Alice and I’) by Esther Sánchez, ‘Noah’ by Sara Venque and David Lleixà, ‘Serendípia’ (‘Serendipity') by Marc Solé and Ariadna González, ‘El día que perdí la cartera en Tokio’ (‘The day I lost the wallet in Tokyo’) by Gerard Gil and 'Sick Fuck’ by Pablo Carlosena.

On Wednesday, the CaixaForum Auditorium in Tarragona also hosted a conference by the Catalan director Maria Ripoll, who is the protagonist of the section 'My First Time' with her first film ‘Lluvia en los Zapatos’ (‘Rain in the Shoes’) (1998). The movie, which features performances by Lena Headey of ‘Games of Thrones' and Penélope Cruz, will officially open the festival this Thursday night at the Metropol Theatre. “I'm very happy to be here and, especially, to be here due to ‘Lluvia en los zapatos’, because my latest film, ‘No culpes al Karma de lo que te pasa por gilipollas’ [‘Do not blame on karma what happens to you because you are a foolish], is similar to my first. So it’s like closing the circle”, Ripoll said.

Furthermore, the director pointed out that with ‘Lluvia en los zapatos' she was very “lucky”, because nowadays “it is a miracle to make cinema” and the film was sold in forty countries. According to Ripoll, current filmmakers are “more prepared and know what they want”, but there is more competition and less space in the market. For this reason, she encouraged directors to “invent a new language” and deepen on circuits and alternative media the cinema’s rooms, taking advantage of new technologies and the power of networks.

Award-winning films

Of the eighteen films to be screened, some have been awarded at Cannes, Berlin and Venice Festivals and some are in the race for the Oscars. A total of eleven countries will be represented at the festival and some of them debut this year, like Paraguay with ‘La última Tierra’ (‘The last Land’) and Egypt with ‘In the Last Days of the City’.

In total, eleven films will compete for the award for the opera prima, with a programme devoted to personal conflicts in unfavourable contexts. In this edition there will be up to five Spanish first releases, such as that of ‘Distancias cortas’ (‘Short distances’), 'AKA Nadia' and 'Caina'. There are also other premieres, like 'One week and a day', a tragicomedy awarded in Cannes in which mourning the death of his child takes an Israeli to have fun by aggressively defeating children in ping-pong, arguing with his neighbours and smoking marijuana; and the aforementioned 'The Last Land’, which received the Jury Award at the Rotterdam Film festival. 

A special programme devoted to the effects of the European Project

This year’s edition of the Festival also includes a special programme, 'Across The Line', a series of films that revolve around the effects of the European project. For example, 'Park' shows how a group of marginalised people living in the ruins of the Olympic Games facilities of Athens 2004 have fun with tourists of Greeks resorts. In 'House of Others' (the Georgian nomination for the Oscars), the survivors of the war in Georgia have to occupy the home of broken-hearted people, where they cannot escape the ghosts of the conflict. For its part, ‘La mano invisible’ ('The Invisible Hand') presents the harshness of the working world, when a group of blue-collar workers are exhibited as a show and have to face austerity measures.

Projections outside of the competition

The special screenings outside of the competition are on the one hand, 'Mimosas', winner of the Critics' Week of the Cannes Film Festival. This movie by Oliver Laxe transports the spectator to the geographic paths of faith through the Atlas Mountains. On the other hand, 'La Reconquista' (‘The Reconquest’) by Jonas Trueba will close the festival with the story of a couple who are reunited after fifteen years, offering a look back from adulthood.

During REC, many renowned directors will visit the festival. Among them, Maria Ripoll, Ado Arrieta, who has returned to directing after 25 years; the Spanish producers David Macián and Nely Regueira and the Italian Stefano Amatucci, who just released worldwide his film 'Caina'.

Saturday will be the turn of the Professional Conference, an initiative that seeks to develop and provide tools for all aspects of video production. The event will be devoted this year to transmedia. On Saturday, it will also kick off RECLaNuí, with the double concert of the Catalan bands ‘Hidrogenesse’ and ‘Tarde, Mañana Noche’.