Saturday, June 29, 2013

PUNTO DE VISTA FESTIVAL—Oskar Alegria Appointed New Artistic Director

One of the definite highlights of my participation in the recent San Francisco International Film Festival was befriending Oskar Alegria and having the opportunity to watch his transcendent experimental documentary In Search of Emak Bakia (2012) three times, which proved the charm. I'm delighted to announce the following, cribbed from the Punto De Vista Festival website.

Taking over from Josetxo Cerdán, Oskar Alegria will be the Artistic Director of the Punto de Vista Festival for the next four years. The festival is maintaining its policy of having two directors, an Artistic Director, a position that is periodically renewed, and an Executive Director. Ana Herrera will once again be the Executive Director in this new period, having previously held this position between 2005 and 2010. The festival is organized and funded by the Regional Government of Navarre, through Fundación INAAC. In February of 2014, Punto de Vista will be holding an international seminar, the dates for which will be announced soon.

Having trained as a journalist, he began working as a reporter in Madrid for the Canal Plus and CNN+ news programmes. He has been an editor for cultural programmes and coordinated literary programmes on the TV channels Telemadrid (Los Cinco Sentidos) and Euskal Telebista (Sautrela). In 2010, he produced a series of five documentaries entitled Maestros de la cocina vasca for ETB-televisión with the chefs Arzak, Subijana, Aduriz, Berasategui and Arbelaitz. For over a decade, his travel features have been published in the supplement El Viajero de El País and he is the author of an artistic photography project called Las ciudades visibles (Visible Cities), endorsed by the writer Enrique Vila-Matas, who praises the fact that he has "the gaze of a modern-day Marco Polo."

In the academic sphere, for the past five years he has been teaching and coordinating the documentary module of the MA in Audiovisual Screenplays taught at Navarre University and he has led a Workshop on Abstract Photography for children at the Chillida-Leku Museum. His first full-length feature, La casa Emak Bakia / The Search for Emak Bakia (which tells of the search for a mansion on the coast of Biarritz where Man Ray spent his holidays and shot his cine-poem Emak Bakia) premiered at the Zabaltegi section of the San Sebastián International Film Festival in 2012 and in the year following its release it toured 25 festivals (Morelia, Telluride, BAFICI, FICCI Cartagena de Indias, DOC Lisboa, San Francisco International Film Festival, DOXA Vancouver, Shanghai International Film Festival, Sydney International Film Festival), picking up four awards along the way (Best Film 2013 at FIACID Lima, Honorary Mention at RIDM Montréal, Special Mention at PAFID Patagonia and best documentary ex aequo at Nantes CINESPAGNOL). In Pamplona it was presented at a special session during the last Punto de Vista Festival together with an exhibition held in Condestable, entitled: "Emak Bakia, found objects."

Recently, Variety magazine included Oskar Alegria among the 10 most promising Spanish film-makers in its latest special issue dedicated to Cannes. These are some of the many prominent figures that have welcomed his first film.

John Banville: "Is this a poem or a film? I believe it is both."
Frédéric Beigdeber: "Exciting and wonderful, like one long magic show."
Víctor Erice: "A film that would have delighted Man Ray."

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