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LANZAROTE 2021

The 11th Muestra Internacional de Cine de Lanzarote gives festival season a second wind

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- Between 24 November and 5 December, the festival will be taking us down some intriguing paths, with the jury’s deliberations open to the public and a tightly curated selection of documentaries

The 11th Muestra Internacional de Cine de Lanzarote gives festival season a second wind
Taming the Garden by Salomé Jashi

Now that we’re into the home straight of what is always an intense run of festivals in Spain (more competitions take place between September and November than over the entire rest of the year), it’s time for the cherry on the cake: the inimitable Muestra Internacional de Cine de Lanzarote, one of the most delectable audiovisual treats in the film fan’s annual calendar. Directed with unwavering passion by Javier Fuentes, the festival is readying to embark on its eleventh edition, devoted to ... the wind. This year’s theme is in keeping with the ethos of an event that has previously paid homage to volcanoes and salt, two other essential elements that coalesce so dramatically in Lanzarote. Beginning on 24 November, it will run until 5 December, closing just after the official jury (Eva Sangiorgi, director of the Viennale; filmmaker Guillermo G. Peydró; and Jairo López, who heads up the Canary Islands Audiovisual Cluster), delivers its expert verdict and hands us our must-see list for the festive season.

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Always bursting with originality, this understated festival is a particular favourite of mine. Not only is it a treasure trove of undiscovered gems, it also has the benefit of a tremendous team and audience — don’t be surprised if you end up making friends for life. This year offers the added bonus of three excursions, all connected in some way with the wind and its influence on the local landscape. Visitors can explore wind mills, a desert (El Jable) and (but of course) the playful aeolian sculptures dreamed up by the great César Manrique. Another novelty: the festival’s very first honorary award will be presented to L’Immagine Ritrovata, a film restoration lab set up under the aegis of the Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna.

As for the programme, it’s been worth the wait. Organised by the non-profit Tenique Cultural, based primarily in El Almacén de Arrecife (with additional screenings in other parts of the island), the festival will present 36 documentaries — both full-length and short — with an official section featuring: Il [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Michelangelo Frammartino
film profile
]
Buco, a compelling Franco-Italian coproduction by Michelangelo Frammartino; Indian film A Night of Knowing Nothing [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
, directed by Payal Kapadia; El piso del viento, from Argentinian duo Gustavo Fontán and Gloria Periano; All Light, Everywhere, by Theo Anthony (USA), who will be taking questions from the public; Esquirlas (Argentina), introduced by Natalia Garayalde; and Taming the Garden [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Salomé Jashi
film profile
]
, directed by Salomé Jashi and presented by Tamara Mshvenieradze, the researcher behind this unique film.

As usual, there will be a special session with a spotlight on independent filmmakers based in the islands, such as Nayra Sanz Fuentes, Octavio Guerra, Víctor Moreno, Macu Machín and Elisa Torres; meanwhile, the Trasfoco section will host screenings of the short film Le tempestaire (1947), by Jean Epstein (France); Spanish shorts El último molino (1975, Roberto Rodríguez Castillo) and Si no hubiera viento (2016, Nadir Images); and a selection of appropriately themed feature films. These include Les vent des amoureux (The Lovers’ Wind) (France/Iran), by Albert Lamorisse; Winged Migration (France/Germany/Switzerland/Spain/Italy), by Jacques Perrin; Facing the Wind [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Spain/France/Argentina), by Maritxell Colell; and The Wind: A Documentary Thriller [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Michał Bielawski
film profile
]
(Poland/Slovakia), the work of Michal Bielawski. What’s more, directors will be in attendance to introduce their films.

That’s because every section of the Muestra de Cine de Lanzarote is carefully put together to ensure selected films are enjoyed in an atmosphere of reflection and public debate. As its director explains, “The Muestra always has three fundamental goals: to bring outstanding cultural content to Lanzarote, to draw connections between contemporary culture and the unique natural and historical identity of our island, and to help build Lanzarote’s reputation as a place of cultural excellence.”

A full programme for the Muestra, with details of all activities and venues, can be accessed here.

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(Translated from Spanish by Ruth Grant)

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