The Navarra International Film Festival has already revealed the first part of its competition programme with two recently finished, yet to be released films that will see the light at the Navarra festival. The 10th edition of Punto de Vista will include the premiere of the films Writing on the City, by Keywan Karimi and Oleg and the Rare Arts by Andrés Duque in its competitive Official Section. The rest of the titles that will form part of this section, which has been called The Central Region since last year, will be revealed in the middle of December.
Writing on the City (Keywan Karimi)
On its tenth anniversary, Punto de Vista will host the world premiere of a much awaited film which is sadly in the news due to the political situation it has provoked: Writing on the City by Keywan Karimi. The latest film by the Iranian filmmaker is currently at the centre of a huge international campaign to defend and support its author, who has been sentenced to six years in prison and 223 lashes for this project. In the sentence pronounced by the Iranian Revolutionary Court in October 2015, he is accused of “spreading propaganda against the ruling system and insulting religious sanctities”. The film, which will be screened for the first time in Pamplona, is a historic stroll through the city of Teheran since the 1979 revolution to the present day through the graffiti and political murals that its inhabitants leave on the walls to indicate their dreams and demands, which is often the only place where they can express their desire for freedom and the anger repressed by the authorities. The filmmaker’s computer and various hard drives have been destroyed and confiscated by the police following a house arrest, but a copy of this film has been saved and is now in the hands of the Punto de Vista Festival. Keywan Karimi spent two weeks in prison and after appearing in court eight times to declare in his defence, he was condemned just over a month ago. This filmmaker joins the list of Iranian artists who have been prosecuted in recent times as their work is considered to be subversive and against the established order. His lawyer has presented an appeal request, but the sentence may be final in a few weeks. In his defence Keywan Karimi has said: “Don’t judge me, watch my films”. In light of this situation, an international support campaign has been launched, which includes the collection of signatures on the change.org platform and communiqués from diverse film festivals, such as Zinemaldi in San Sebastian. In these circumstances, the presence of Keywan Karimi at Punto de Vista 2016 is an absolute enigma.
Of Iranian Kurdish origin, Keywan Karimi graduated in Communication Sciences from the University of Teheran. He has made 13 short films, such as The Adventure of a Married Couple (2013) which took him to 40 festivals and he participated in this year’s edition of the San Sebastian Festival. Broken Border (2012) is another of his best known short films, focusing on the smuggling of petrol on the border with Iraq and which also led to political problems.
The philosopher Raoul Vaneigem, one of the most prominent members of the Situationist International – along with Guy Debord, among others – wrote a text for the film and for filmmaker Keywan Karimi. [Read text].
Oleg y las raras artes (Andrés Duque)
Punto de Vista will also premiere the latest work by one of today’s most important filmmakers in non-fiction films in our country: Andrés Duque, a director whose career has developed in parallel with the festival. After participating in the 2008 edition with the documentary short film, Life Between Worlds Not In Fixed Reality within the framework of the Heterodocsias programme, and taking away the Public Prize in 2011 for the full-length film Colour Runaway Dog, Andrés Duque will return to Punto de Vista in 2016 with Oleg and the Rare Arts, in which the filmmaker approaches Oleg Karavaichuk, a musician, who at the age of 89, continues to be such a controversial and enigmatic figure for the Russian culture. Who is this man who appears to have been taken out of a Gogol tale? Is it a servant of Tsar Nikolas II who was entrusted with the palace piano to keep the spirit of former times alive? Oleg has this historic privilege, that of playing the grand imperial piano kept in the Hermitage, which is portrayed in Duque’s film, but he also has a more contemporary privilege: that of challenging the identity of his country each day with his art, transforming it and reinventing it at every moment.
With Oleg and the Rare Arts, Duque presents a vindicatory film of art as a means of liberation and the testimony of a genius composer who still lives to defend it. Before this film, he directed Iván Z, his best known work, a portrait of the cult filmmaker, Iván Zulueta which earned him a nomination to the Goya Academy Award. In 2011, he made his first full-length film, Colour Runaway Dog, which was also premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and, two years later, received the City of Barcelona Award for his film Dress Rehearsal for Utopia, a film which revolves around the disappearance and death of his father and which was also screened in Pamplona during the 1st Punto de Vista Seminar.