Cineuropa – “Las cartas que no fueron también son” at Punto de Vista

Punto de Vista’s 15th edition opts for a blended format
by Alfonso Rivera
15/03/2021 – The Navarra International Documentary Film Festival gets under way on 15 March, with a vibrant programme of events in Pamplona and online

It’s been a whole year since the Navarra International Documentary Film Festival, Punto de Vista, had the unhappy honour of being the last “real-world” Spanish film festival before the COVID curse drove everything online. Now, it’s back for a 15th edition, having lost none of its edgy, alternative and boundary-pushing spirit. Running between 15 and 20 March, the festival will follow a blended format, with online screenings complementing events and activities scattered all across Pamplona. Those lucky enough to attend in person will find a brand-new venue: La Plaza, a big tent pitched front and centre outside the Baluarte, the festival’s headquarters. Meanwhile, an online component will be delivered through the platform Festival Scope.

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Headed up by Artistic Director Garbiñe Ortega and Executive Director Teresa Morales de Álava, the festival team have announced that this year’s closing film will be Las cartas que no fueron también son, a new project in which a diverse coterie of contemporary filmmakers (Beatrice Gibson, Nicolás Pereda, Deborah Stratman, Lynne Sachs, Raya Martin, Jessica Sarah Rinland, Alejo Moguillansky and Diana Toucedo) each present a cinematic homage to a colleague they have never personally met, from Jean Vigo to Chantal Akerman to Michelangelo Antonioni.

As per previous editions, the line-up for Punto de Vista 2021 is divided into seven main sections: the Official Section will host 32 titles selected from submissions from all over the world; Retrospectives is dedicated to influential film curator Amos Vogel and artist Nancy Holt; DOKBIZIA presents an interdisciplinary kaleidoscope of work by artists including Lois PatiñoCW WinterMaría SalgadoVera ManteroXabier ErkiziaFermín Jiménez LandaOier Etxeberria and Sam Green, each exploring their own ways of relating to reality; Punto de Vista Labs offers a privileged space for cocreation and sharing expertise; and Artists in Focus will include a project shot on 16-mm film by Robert Fenz, the latest project by Gonzalo García Pelayo and Pedro G RomeroNueve Sevillas, a Point of View session with researcher Nicholas Zembashi from Forensic Architecture and a discussion with sound artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan. Other highlights are a series of special screening programmes including X Films, Paisaia (curating recent work by Basque/Navarro filmmakers) and the festival’s annual Education Programme, which seeks to inspire the budding cinephiles of tomorrow.

Punto de Vista 2021 will kick off with Dardara [+], by Navarra-born director Marina Lameiro, which documents the farewell tour of rock band Berri Txarrak. It will also present the world premiere of Tengan cuidado ahí fuera by Galician filmmaker Alberto Gracia, winner of X Films 2020 (read more here). The official section will also showcase a number of short and mid-length titles, such as Sisters with Transistors [+], the work of artist Lisa Rovner: an enthralling story of how electronic music was shaped by a talented troop of pioneering women. Also in the running is feature film The American Sector, directed by Courtney Stephens and Pacho Velez, a road trip shown in snatches that hunts down various sections of the Berlin Wall now installed as public monuments in the USA and The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin) [+], by CW Winter and Anders Edström. This coproduction between the USA, Sweden, Hong Kong, Japan and the UK, the winner of the Encounters section at the 2020 Berlinale, clocks in at a runtime of eight hours, offering an insightful portrait of a farming family in the lush Kyoto mountains, their lives shifting with the seasons and the times.