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65th San Sebastian Film Festival
22/30 September 2017 - #65ssiff

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You are in: Home > 2012. 60th Edition  > Festival Diary > IBAIA joins the docs
Festival Diary » THE INDUSTRY CLUB
IBAIA joins the docs
Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Friday’s documentary co-production forum, organized by the festival and IBAIA, brought together a broad range of projects looking for financing.

Several commissioning editors acknowledged that the years ahead would be tough.

“Times are not good,” said Andrés Luque Pérez, exec producer at Spanish pubcaster TVE.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen in the next year,” admitted Jordi Ambrós Hortensi, co-production commissioning editor at Catalan state TV net TV3.

But, nevertheless, all were keen to find hot new projects.

Catherine Alvaresse, an exec at French-German broadcaster Arte, stressed that her channel wanted to see more docus that had an online dimension.

One project, Europe in 8 Bits, demonstrated the potential of docus to crossover from broadcast to online. It focuses on the growing number of musicians who use old videogame consoles to create music. The documakers have created a web doc to promote the film, which has been viewed 150,000 times online.

Although many broadcasters like to have a local dimension to the projects they buy, this can be addressed by the border-crossing nature of some docus.

El Rey de Canfranc, for example, focuses on a train station on the French-Spanish border that was one route for goods going from Spain to Germany during World War II.

But what everyone wanted were docus with strong central characters and a narrative thread that audiences could relate to.

“We are always interested in small stories based on a character,” Alvaresse said.

One such tale was Las guerreras afganas, which focused on Sadaf Rahimi, who is Afghanistan’s best female boxer.

“I could program it,” said Isabella Pisani, head of acquisitions and co-productions at LCP Assemblee Nationale in France.

However, others cautioned that as Afghanistan was in flux, with foreign troops about to leave, the docu could be overtaken by events.

Alvaresse suggested that the documakers could follow up with a web doc.

Although commissioners appreciated the artistic merits of poetic docus, such as Chile’s La promesa del minuto, they said they had to entertain too.

“I have to think about my audience what they like and what they need,” said Pentti Valiahdet, executive producer, documentary programmes, for Finland’s YLE.

One component that helps is to have a promotional hook, such as an anniversary.
Guerrilleras, una otra historia de la Revolución Cubana, for example, looks at the part played by women in the Cuban revolution, which started in 1953, so the 60th anniversary will be next year.

J.H.

 

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