12th edition of the Curtocircuito Film Festival kicks off today

The Curtocircuito International Short Film Festival, held in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, celebrates its 12th edition this year, which is set to take place from 6-11 October in the North-West of Spain. It is a comparatively small event but one with an outstanding international reach, and it has always been committed to experimenting with the short format. Once again, Curtocircuito has selected a list of original and daring movies from contemporary authors, which span every film genre and are aimed at different kinds of audiences.

The festival has maintained its competitive sections this year: Radar (an international selection of fiction and non-fiction titles), Explora (focused on experimental cinema) and Planeta GZ (local productions). Across all of these sections, this year Curtocircuito is presenting more than 40 movies hailing from 15 different countries. The 12th edition brings together renowned filmmakers such as Mark Rappaport, Ben Russell, Jennifer Reeder and Lois Patiño, with new talents such as Jan Soldat and Don Hertzfeldt also involved. In addition, the festival is always interested in bringing the year’s newest releases to the city: therefore, there will be a total of 19 premieres across all of its sections.

The Cinema and Moving Image Research Assembly (CAMIRA) is also invited to Curtocircuito this year. Its experienced jury, comprising relevant members of the specialist media, will be in charge of awarding a prize to one of the movies competing in the Official Section (namely Radar and Explora). Some of the contestants for this award are Hotel Straussberg by Soldat, Waves '98 by Ely Dagher, which won the Short Film Award at the Cannes Film Festival, and the eccentric Sound of a Million Insects, Light of a Thousand Stars by Japanese director Tomonari Nishikawa.

Also welcomed will be Danish filmmaker Jørgen Leth and Finland’s Aki Kaurismäki, the two directors honoured and invited by the organisation. The former is a visionary of the documentary genre, who has worked with both film and television, producing works such as The Perfect Human (1967) and The Five Obstructions (2003), while the latter is one of the biggest names in Nordic cinema, famous for his portrayal of extravagant characters and situations, and revered around the world for titles like Drifting Clouds (1996) and Le Havre (2011).

These are just a few of the novelties for this edition, and the festival certainly appears to have renewed strength. The promoters are trying to establish a new and personal approach, which will allow them to remain as an important meeting point for new filmmakers making innovative leaps in short production. Besides this, they have just added a night-time music programme for Curtocircuito, consisting of both local and international bands, thus providing the event with a much richer dimension.

The Curtocircuito Film Festival dates back to 2003, and throughout its 12 years of existence, it has gained a prestigious reputation in the European market, working closely with several festivals from the continent. But it has mainly been during the last two editions, directed by local filmmaker Pela del Álamo (who was interviewed by Cineuropa Shorts last year – read more), that the project has started to draw up its defining guidelines that it aims to follow in future. In del Álamo’s words, the gathering “has to be reinvented from time to time and we, just like the filmmakers, have to pay attention to the environment in order to keep the festival from being far from the real world”.

06 October 2015, by Jesús Silva