In its seventh edition, the X Films Project has selected three young filmmakers who represent the best of the most alternative, worthy and groundbreaking film that is currently being developed on the non-fiction film scene in Spain.
This year, María Cañas, Pilar Monsell and Omar Razzak have been chosen to make themselves known and present a filmed essay project based geographically in Navarra during the festival. This is the only condition that must be fulfilled. They have a free hand for everything else.
The X Films Project follows in the wake of the production company created by the entrepreneur and art patron, Juan Huarte, with which it shares a similar purpose: to finance and support film adventures whose starting point is an X for uncertainty. Furthermore, the festival will host the worldwide premiere of the project selected and made in 2016, Nuevo Altar (New Altar), by Velasco Broca, which focuses on the mythical figure of Tubal and records the landscapes and places that this person visited with his tribe.
The Selection Committee of the seventh edition of the X Films Project will be made up of the filmmaker, Sergio Oksman, the director and writer, Iván Pintor, and the producer and director, Víctor Candeias. During the festival, they will be responsible for analysing and judging the filmmakers’ proposals, whereby samples of their previous work will be presented in a session that is open to the public and they will defend these new proposals for documentaries filmed in Navarra in another session.
“Virgin Terrorist of Archives, arsonist of minds and videopath, audiovisual, wild and mediatic iconoclast…”, is how she defines herself in her biography, María Cañas practices a videoguerrilla that she introduces into the topics and genres to make them explode. Her façade is “laughing presence”: humour in all shades and the actions of the masses connected like an insurgence strategy or, at least, spiritual survival. She directs Animalario TV Producciones, a creative space devoted to the recycling culture, artistic appropriationism and experimentation. A staunch supporter of non-privatisation and the liberalisation of our historic and imaginary memory and an activist committed to archives as the tool for cultural development. She has exhibited her work at national and international festivals, fairs, events, art centres, museums and galleries and has won numerous awards.
Boasting a BA in Audiovisual Communication, a Diploma in Artistic Photography and a Master’s Degree in Creative Documentary, she combines her work as a professional filmmaker with documentary video and film teaching and participation in films by directors such as Eloy Domínguez, Adriana F. Castellanos, Pela del Álamo, Juan Álvarez Neme, Tamara Cubas, Alberto Fasulo and Adriana F. Castellanos. In 2014, she co-founded the Reversible Laboratory in Barcelona, a collective project devoted to analogue film creation and experimentation. Since 2016, she has worked as a documentary film mentor at the Madrid Film School – ECAM. Her first feature film, Distances, won the Audience Award at the 49th Festival dei Popoli 2008 (Florence). In 2009, she joined the Laboratory of Documentary Creation run by the Play Doc festival. In 2012, she made the short film, Pan, Trabajo y Libertad (Bread, Work and Freedom) and she participated in the 100jours collective French cinema project, directing the short film, + 46. In 2013, she won the Manuel Cintra Ferreira Fellowship from the Doc’s Kingdom International Documentary Film Seminar 2013. Her first feature film, Africa 815, was premiered at Doc Lisboa 2014. She is currently working on the post-production of her short film, Dos sueños después (Two Dreams Later), and is developing the feature film, Nisaiyat and the exhibition project, Cuidadoras de patios: lo íntimo-público (Patio Keepers: the intimate-public).
The Canarian director of Syrian origin trained in Madrid, Paris and Montreal, works in film and enjoys it from several of its sides. Sometimes he produces films (Stockholm, 2014, Rodrigo Sorogoyen) and sometimes he edits them (La Selva Inflada (The Inflated Jungle), 2015, Alejandro Naranjo). Paradise was the first film he directed and it was followed by La Tempestad Calmada (The Calm Tempest), which were both well received by critics and the public.
Journalist, filmmaker and producer. Professor in Documentary Film at the ECAM in Madrid. He has directed La Esteticién (2004), Goodbye, America (2006), Notes on the Other (2009), A Story for the Modlins (2012) and O Futebol (2015). His films have been screened at over two hundred international festivals, including Sundance, San Sebastian or the New York Festival, and they have won 95 prizes, including the Best Film at the Warsaw, Karlovy Vary or Clermont Ferrand Festivals. His work has been the object of retrospectives in the United States, Russia, China, Spain and Brazil. In 2013, Oksman won a Goya Award and was a finalist at the European Film Academy (EFA) Awards. In December 2016, the Popoli Festival in Florence presented a full retrospective of his work.
He has a Doctorate in Audiovisual Communication from the Pompeu Fabra University and is a member of the CINEMA research group. He is a Professor of Contemporary Film on the UPF Audiovisual Communication Diploma course and the University Master’s Degree in Film and Contemporary Audiovisual Studies at the UPF. As a programmer, he has directed many cycles for CaixaForum, as well as the Gesture Mutations in Contemporary Film conference (UPF, 2012). He has made audiovisual pieces for museums and television, written regularly in the “Cultura/s” supplement of the La Vanguardia newspaper and has given classes at universities in Italy, Colombia and Argentina. With his writings, he has participated in over forty books, including Werner Herzog, Mirages of Forgotten Dreams (2015, Shangrila Association Texts Apart), Mad Men (2015, Errata Naturae), Endo-Apocalisse. The Walking Dead (2015, Area Blu Edizioni) and On the Edge of the Panel. Essays on Comics Criticism (2015, Cambridge Scholars). He currently combines his academic work with that of scriptwriter in feature films, such as La Substància (The Substance) (2016), directed by Lluís Galter.
He has been both a producer and director of short films, documentaries and commercial videos since 1990. Some of his films have received festival awards, including the “D. Quijote” (International Federation of Film Societies) for the fiction tale, Night Story. He has a Master’s Degree in Film Studies concluded with the MultiFilm project and the thesis, A Model to Produce Multi-variant and Multi-linear Films (2011) in the field of experimental digital cinema research. He is currently studying for a PhD in the Arts (Digital Media) at KU Leuven, Belgium. Since 2002 he has been a lecturer on documentary and fiction subjects on the Lusófona University (Lisbon, Portugal) graduating course, as well as the international DocNomads - Erasmus Mundus Master in Documentary Film Directing course (since 2012), in which he is also the course director.
Proyecto X Films 2016
He is a graduate in Audiovisual Communication from the UCM. His trilogy of 16mm short films, Echos der Buchrücken (2001-2007), has won over 20 prizes and has been exhibited at international festivals, such as Cannes, Sitges, Torino, Stockholm, Worldwide and Belo Horizonte. Avant Pétalos Grillados (2007) stands out, winning the Grand Jury Award for the Best Experimental Short Film at Slamdnce, nominated at the Méliès de Oro and selected for the filmmakers’ Quincena in Cannes. Cameo Media has edited a DVD of his full works until 2008, which includes digital writings, sound compositions and video diaries. The short film La costra láctea (The Cradle Cap) (2003) also forms part of the DEL ÉXTASIS AL ARREBATO: 50 años de otro cine español (FROM EXTASY TO RUPTURE: 50 years of alternative Spanish film) anthology, backed by the CCCB. In 2010, he supervised the edition of Val del Omar: elemental de España (Cameo Media - Reina Sofía Museum, 2011). In the same year, he co-produced and edited True Love (2010), the first feature film by Ion de Sosa. He also edited Crumbs (2014), Miguel Llansó’s debut. Following his five-year retirement in India, he returned to 16mm with Nuestra amiga la luna (Our Friend, the Moon) and created the Dioses autonómicos (Regional Gods) series alongside Canódromo Abandonado.