As part of its on-going drive to reinvent itself as a documentary film festival, the eleventh edition of Punto de Vista will include a programme entitled The Fifth Wall, which seeks to pursue documentary film in its new spaces or refuges, as a modern and necessary revision of the new collective ways of narrating reality we are now experiencing...
The Fifth Wall is a new wall located outside of cinemas, but where something is happening that we are indebted to: the narration of reality. And it responds to the necessary process of reinvention facing film festivals in the future, the first task on their ‘to do’ list. The days of simply showing films are numbered in the digital age. We don’t know whether the ritual of cinema as an event enjoyed by a group of people sitting in silence in the dark will be passed onto future generations. For that reason, The Fifth Wall believes that documentary film, or the way in which it is presented to us, will have a new habitat and format.
The title of this programme, The Fifth Wall, aims to break the traditional barrier of the theatre known as the “fourth wall”, the wall that prevents actors from seeing audiences, and will add a new wall, the fifth wall, so that audiences can be seen from the stage and vice versa, through interactive and totally transparent pieces that facilitate and advocate an exchange of gazes between the two sides. The aim is to bring these two areas – staging/performance and contemplation – closer together until the boundaries between the two are blurred and erased, creating a common space for encounter. In short, to create a stage where life itself and its documentation are offered to us behind the curtain.
The Fifth Wall will be a way of spreading the festival out into the city, taking it out of cinemas and offering it to a more diverse audience, not focused purely on cinema. Autoteatro, biodrama, performance and live cinema are a few of the formats included in this programme that looks at new ways of narrating.
Every year, Argentina produces a Biodrama, a play in which what you see on stage is real, following a script that has what is known as a minimal threshold of fiction. Specifically, Maruja in Love is a play about the hypothesis of love, a romantic documentary in which Maruja Bustamante relives all her amorous relations, those she had and experienced in reality without making anything up, as her family story progresses. The drama of the family makes this biographic material dramatic, thus constituting this staged experience. To tell her story, Maruja is accompanied on stage by Ignacio Ocampo (Iti el Hermoso). They are both from the musical Teamo. Each love, each lover lost or won, is a song, and that is how they are remembered, with notes that are at times bitter, and at other more nostalgic.
After the performance, Vivi Tellas will break down the ingredients required to be one of the most successful forms of theatre in recent years in Argentina. With one play produced every year, this theatre without actors, without performances, is based on people who go up on stage to recount their lives. An example of this is Maruja In Love, which will be shown that Sunday prior to the master class.
Vivi Tellas is one of the most prominent names on Argentina’s theatre scene. Her curatorial inventions, Museum Projects and Biodramas have been extremely influential on theatre production in recent years. She spent one semester as a Visiting Professor at New York University; she directed the Sarmiento Theatre for eight years, where she developed the Biodrama Project, based on theatre and reality; and she has curated performing arts at the Recoleta Cultural Centre. She regularly works in London, Dublin, Paris, San Pablo, Barcelona and New York.
Her directorial productions always seek out the fringes of theatre as an institution, from her revolutionary staging of La casa de Bernarda Alba to her dalliances with modern opera, staging the provocative John Cage. Her documentary theatre works include: Mi Mamá y mi Tía; Tres Filósofos con Bigotes; Cozarinsky y su Médico; Escuela de Conducción; Disc Jockey; Mujeres Guía; Rabbi Rabino (New York); O Rabino e seu Filho (San Pablo) and La bruja y su hija.
Documentary theatre piece about the experiences of Nadia Ghulam, a young Afghan woman who, having suffered the consequences of civil war in her country, arrived in Barcelona in 2006. She is the protagonist of this piece, explaining her real story, without performance, linking her dramatic past in Kabul with her present in Barcelona, and projecting a gaze of hope towards the future from her displacement. Using real images and documentary material shown through projections, Nadia talks about Nadia, but also about us, our beliefs, about information, friendship, education, freedom, and the crossing of cultures. Nadia is a dialogue that we need to have with ourselves.
When she was 8, during the civil war that raged after Soviet withdrawal, Nadia was seriously injured during a bomb attack. The determination of her mother saved her life. Once the Taliban regime was in place, and having suffered severe physical damage, she had to pass herself off as a boy in order to support her family. This incredible performance lasted almost ten years. In 2006, thanks to the work of an NGO, she travelled to Barcelona, now as a woman. She is currently studying social cooperation, has recovered her life, and is involved in all kinds of activities aimed at disseminating Afghan culture and the situation of women in her country: a television documentary, several books, and this theatre piece.
A proposal and an invitation known as Autoteatro, in which the audience members, divided into pairs, become the protagonists. Two people sit at a table in a café and interact according to the instructions they receive through their headphones. Who among us has not at one time or another put on an act and not been themselves while sitting at a table in a bar? This piece develops with various objects used as props, and each participant uses them in the way they are told to by the voice they are hearing. Two people enter into dialogue and interact with the objects around them, creating theatre within theatre, with tears, blood, and a house on a hill that promises to be a poisoned paradise. For the first time, Etiquette will be performed in Basque.
He put on his first show in 1998 entitled Rotozaza. His work, although varied in tone and content, has always played with a tension between vivacity and automation, especially through the provision of instructions to invited guests who have had no rehearsals, or more recently to the audience themselves ("Autoteatro"). He then partnered up with Silvia Mercuriali to found the Rotozaza theatre company, which they wound up in 2009 following the last production, Etiquette. Since then, Ant has worked with Glen Neath, Joji Koyama, Isambard Khroustaliov (Sam Britton), Tim Etchells, Gert-Jan Stam, Britt Hatzius and Christophe Meierhans. Other solo projects include his experimentation around the ‘documentary portrait’, such as Someone Else. Ant has also worked as a mentor on artist programmes such as MAKE (Ireland), A-PASS, Sound Image Culture (Belgium) and Dasarts (Netherlands). He has set up and directed workshops all around the world. He is currently working with Christophe Meierhans to develop an automatic workshop based on the ideas of Someone Else
Silvia Mercuriali has been working in theatre since 1998, creating events, installations, experimental theatre shows and immersive performances. Together with Ant Hampton, she co-directed the experimental theatre company Rotozaza, creating shows, events and installations from 1999 onwards, producing numerous shows that have toured the world. Rotozaza was the pioneer of Autoteatro, which began in 2007 with the show Etiquette. Silvia has continued to develop this new aesthetic style outside of Rotozaza.
A date with cinema as an act of faith, only suited to those who believe in what they cannot see. With the participation of pupils from the Colegio Público Vázquez de Mella and Ikastola Jaso.