Who Will Tell the Story? Beginnings of Documentary Film in Morocco and Gathering at the River will be the two retrospectives at the sixteenth Punto de Vista.
This year the series Who Will Tell the Story? Beginnings of Documentary Film in Morocco will be complemented by a publication, a Spanish translation of the book La Septième Porte. Une histoire du cinéma au Maroc de 1907 à 1986, written by Ahmed Bouanani.
Punto de Vista, the international documentary film festival of Navarra, to be held in Pamplona from 14th to 19th March 2022, announces the contents of the two retrospectives featured in its sixteenth edition. They involve two varied series about the history of Moroccan cinema on the one hand, and the life of rivers and those who live and work beside them on the other, taking in both the natural and the human - urban, social, political and economic - dimensions of these.
Who Will Tell the Story?: Series and publication about the origins of Moroccan documentary film
2020 saw the publication in Morocco of La septième porte: Une histoire du cinéma au Maroc de 1907 à 1986, by film-maker, researcher and writer Ahmed Bouanani (1938 – 2011). This is the first history of Moroccan cinema written after the end of Spanish and French colonisation: an essential work that has remained out of print for 35 years and forms the foundation on which this programme is based. Taking this publication as a starting point, Punto de Vista will pursue the theme in a series of screenings, discussions and talks on the history of documentaries in the neighbouring country, which will in turn act as a presentation of the book. The retrospective, entitled Who Will Tell the Story? Beginnings of Documentary Film in Morocco, is to be curated by the editor of the book and lecturer at Cooper Union in New York, Omar Berrada, as well as film-maker, programmer and researcher of the history of Moroccan documentary film Ali Essafi. It will also feature guests including Touda Bouanani, daughter of Ahmed Bouanani and the person responsible for his archive, and Léa Morin, former director of the Cinémathèque de Tánger and current director of L'Atelier de l'Observatoire in Casablanca. All of them will be present during the festival to take part in the different activities making up Who will tell the story?
The titles to be screened in the retrospective include Tarfaya ou la marche d’un poète (1966), 6 & 12 (1968) and Mémoire 14 (1971), all by Ahmed Bouanani, De chair et d’acier (1959) and Retour à Agadir (1967) by Mohamed Afifi and a selection of shorts filmed in the late 60s by a series of students who went on to become key figures in Moroccan cinema — Mostafa Derkaoui, Hamid Bensaid, Idriss Karim — during their time at the film school in Łódź (Poland).
The retrospective will be complemented by the publication of Bouanani's book in Spanish for the first time. This edition will join the collection of publications released every year by Punto de Vista as part of the festival.
Gathering at the River: the festival focuses on a key part of community life
This second retrospective represents a new direction in programming for the festival, with the intention of continuing in the future, of seeking to open up to the people of Navarra to encourage reflection on the basis of a broad approach to documentary to bring out issues that are highly familiar and everyday in the community. This is the case with the topic at the centre of this year's programme: rivers. Like this the aim is to encourage the public to take part in the festival through topics that might affect or interest them directly, to which end the series will feature guests who do not come straight from the film world, but are connected with the topic itself.
Gathering at the River will be curated by programmer and film-maker Miriam Martín, featured in the Punto de Vista official section in 2020 with her short La espada me la ha regalado. This retrospective will feature documentaries as well as fiction and the odd piece of experimental cinema to provide a journey visiting different rivers around the world. All the sessions will be followed by a discussion with the audience led by the programmer, and on an occasional basis there will also be guests from different backgrounds who help to care for rivers at local level, to share their experience in order to boost visibility, awareness and reflection concerning them.
The titles featured in the six screenings in the series include Fischfang in der Rhön (an der Sinn) (Ella Bergmann-Michel, 1932), The River (Pare Lorentz, 1938), La canta delle marane (Cecilia Mangini, 1961) and An-Nil oual hayat (Youssef Chahine, 1964).
Punto de Vista, the international documentary film festival of Navarra, is backed by the government of Navarra and organised entirely by the public company NICDO.