To Punto de Vista, a documentary is a meeting point.
The term documentary refers to the subjective relationship we establish as spectators with a specific audiovisual object. The documentary is, therefore, a meeting place.
Punto de Vista is a space where encounters occur at different levels, in an innovative, groundbreaking spirit.
The International Documentary Film Festival of Navarre, Punto de Vista, is a meeting place on several different levels. Firstly, it is a space for audiences, filmmakers and theorists to relate and interact around the documentary genre and all trans-frontier manifestations and heterodoxies of non-fiction. Secondly, it is a spatial and temporal meeting space. Punto de Vista aims increasingly to become a place where documentary film from all around the world can converge. But it also strives to offer a space for dialogue between the past and future of documentary film. A space where the most diverse traditions in non-fictional film can embrace the most daring and innovative proposals. Punto de Vista, therefore, sees itself as a dialogic space where all these encounters can occur with an ambitious and innovative determination.
Punto de Vista focuses on those filmmakers who take risks and make bold statements with their work, always on the quest.
One of the fundamental aims of the Festival is to attend to audiovisual creators who turn their work into a daring proposal, a kind of search or quest; those who conceive their work as a process of knowing and understanding human beings and their living conditions in specific social contexts; authors who, through their work, reflect on reality and the ethical relationship formed with both the subjects of their formal proposals and their audiences. The Festival aims to be a stopover for filmmakers that will broaden their perception of reality and the ways in which they express it and conceive it through the audiovisual medium. Ultimately, the Festival is open to all documentary films that represent a reflection and an endeavour to understand reality.
Punto de Vista appreciates filmmakers' moral commitment to the subjects in their films and the audiences that watch them.
For Punto de Vista, the essential ethical commitment of the documentary maker to reality passes through the triangular relationship established with the subjects of the works and the audiences through the audiovisual medium.
The Official Selection of Punto de Vista encourages the understanding of reality and the independent forms of expression.
Through its different sections, but especially through its international competition, Punto de Vista raises awareness of films that understand non-fiction as a truly independent and socially necessary means of expression.
Punto de Vista celebrates non-fiction film.
Finally, the aim of the Festival is to foster encounters between filmmakers and audiences through the proposal of shared knowledge represented by their films. The Festival will attempt, at the same time, to spark debate and theoretical reflection. The Festival is a celebration of documentary film and non-fiction in general.
Every year, Pamplona becomes the gravitational centre of international documentary film for seven days in February, and, as of the 2017 edition, in March. Productions from all around the world compete in their different formats, capturing reality from a different point of view: that of independent and socially necessary expression. The Official Selection is thus open to a wide range of contemporary non-fiction film registers and styles. Punto de Vista is one of the first events on the film industry's calendar, picking the best of the previous season and planting the seeds of the most interesting future trends.
Over 1.2000 films are submitted every year, of which the festival selects a maximum of twenty to take part in the competition.
The spirit of the competition is clear: the competing filmmakers must try with each film to steer away from the well trodden paths and do it with a clear ethical commitment. From there on, they have total freedom in content and form. All non-fiction audiovisual formats that provide a reflection on reality can take part in the Official Section. The Jury is to assess films for quality, originality and, above all, their capacity to "open our eyes and help us see beyond appearances," in Jean Vigo's words.
Beyond current affairs, film memory, the look across, reflection. Since its first edition, Punto de Vista has known that it is one of the main tasks of a film festival to work very closely with the people, inviting them to think about film and helping them deepen their knowledge. This is why the Festival has always created spaces to focus on names, trends, countries, or movements that are worth having a closer look at.
Right from the beginings, Punto de Vista accepted one of the main responsibilities of any film festival: to perform an educational role for the general public and rescue the memory of film from oblivion. Retrospectives was the section that took up this challenge. At every subsequent edition, Punto de Vista has attempted to raise awareness about the classics, provide access to filmographies under construction and give an airing to work from schools, currents and unknown cinematographies. Retrospectives provide the epicentre of the festival and define its tone, ambition and spirit.
These cycles can revolve around an author or a country or current. At the 2005 edition, for example, the spotlight was turned onto the French director and photographer Raymond Depardon, and in 2010, the work of Jem Cohen took centre stage. In 2006 it was Japan's moment of glory. The Film of a Thousand Years was a retrospective that recovered classic Japanese documentary films from the last 60 years. In the 6th edition, Las afinidades Vigo/Vigo affinities led us to rethink the French non-fiction film of the past decade, whereas Esencial James Benning/The Essential James Benning discovered the work of this American experimental filmmaker in 2009.
Other cycles might be organised around a common denominator, which could be a theme, an anniversary, an ephemerid or an historical event. They are transversal cycles that offer a cross-reading of the history of documentary film. The film-essay was the motif chosen for the 2007 edition. Entitled The thinking form, this cycle was the first retrospective on the contemporary film-essay organised in Spain, and one of the first in Europe. Two years later, in 2009, this section focused on found footage and appropriation in The afterlife of images, while in 2011, Personal is politics offered a tour of the intersections between feminism and documentary.
In 2013 Punto de Vista focused on two filmmakers: the retrospective Fragments of Seeking, about the german documentary filmmaker Thomas Heise, a chronicler of the continuities and changes in the unification of Germany; and Gaze and Voice, about the work of Eduardo Coutinho, the greatest Brazilian documentary filmmaker of the last three decades.
After a hiatus in 2014, when Punto de Vista was offered as a seminar, in 2015 there were three retrospectives: Chez les Basques, about Basque customs and traditions; Margaret Tait, Scottish filmmaker; and Islands, about man in extreme situations, on the edge.
In 2016, on the occasion of Punto de Vista's 10th year, there will be a retrospective about Time, a concept inherent to film language, and another focusing on French filmmaker Jean-Daniel Pollet, whose artisan films abound in time references.
In 2017, FLYING was programmed, a cycle about the human being’s desire to fly, but also about what the flight of birds hides, the composition of the air, the daily life of an airport, how an astronaut feels, the acrobatics of trampoline jumpers, the hypnotic power of the clouds, the passion of Arabic sheikhs for halcons, the attempts to become a winged creature and news from other pedestrians of the air... Furthermore, the Luciano Emmer non-fiction work has also been programmed, particularly his essays from 2000, is one of the best examples of the essay approach to the filming of art.
Punto de Vista has screened the following retrospectives:
Expanding the concept of documentary beyond film screenings. This is the main purpose of the special sessions in Punto de Vista. They also focus on the work of the Festival's special guests, screening their films and planning complementary activities.
The concept of documentary goes well beyond film to encompass a never-ending array of other aspects. In an attempt to include these aspects of documentary, Punto de Vista has created a space for those activities and events that cannot be part of the Festival's traditional sections. This space is the one made up by special sessions.
Unique special films, panels, discussions of unexplored topics or new trends, live music, shows that blend images with words and music, master classes, tributes, workshops and seminars. A wide range of activities that Punto de Vista considers necessary to draw a full map of documentary film. The special sessions are reinvented every year, making them an ever-evolving and fresh window onto the festival, rich and provoking in their confluence of styles and proposals.
Inviting reflection on heterodoxy in documentary filmmaking in Spain, on the margins of the canon. This is the purpose of Heterodocsias/Heterodocsies, a project developed in Punto de Vista with the intention of being provocative. It was created as a springboard for the boldest, most provocative unknown contemporary documentary filmmakers in Spain. And also to unearth buried or cursed names and look at the history of Spanish film from a different point of view.
Heterodocsias had the honour of being inaugurated in 2007 by the outspoken Basilio Martín Patino with the presentation of his works A la sombra de la Alhambra and El grito del sur. Patino described this transgressive point of the heterodox documentary openly and frankly. "My films are documented stories based around a concept from reality that is sometimes taken directly, but most of the time, I learned to make it up. I have difficulty distinguishing between truth and lies in film, where everything has always been a lie. Wonderful lies that have shaped us. But, in any case, making such tremendous cinema does give you a special kind of feeling. You spend the whole day in a trance".
Heterodocsias returns every year like a temporal game, revealing to us an unfamiliar memory, a restless present and a promising future.
Although Heterodocsias gave its name to a section of the festival that included a dual programme (Heterodocsias-rewind and Project X Films) in previous editions, this will be separated from Proyecto X Films, which is now an independent section.