Punto de Vista is more than just a festival; it is a hub of ideas that make cinematographic production possible in the form of audiovisual essays and film diaries. Commitment to non-fiction is this way shifted to a future time, which backs the drive for contemporary creation and asserts exploration.
X Films was created ten years ago with the aim of supporting emerging documentalists and shining light on new films in this region. The collection of films generated through this project reveals a Navarre narrated – until now – by ten Spanish filmmakers: a fundamental archive through which a portrait of the region has been configured, and which already forms part of its cinematographic heritage.
The Navarran production company founded in the 1960s by Juan Huarte was the inspiration for the project, from which we borrowed the name. It was an essential initiative for understanding production and the development of ideas within the artistic avant-garde. Driven by the same spirit, each year the Festival invites three producers to present an audiovisual essay project to be filmed in Navarre. The jury chooses the winning proposal, which is premiered in the following edition of Punto de Vista. This year, the tenth winning X Films project will be shown, Gorria, by Maddi Barber. In addition, Maider Fernández, Alberto Gracia and Laida Lertxundi will be invited as candidates for X Films 2020.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the X Films Project, a special session will be held to screen all the winning films. We will also celebrate with the publishing of a book that includes a reflection by Miguel Fernández Labayen–member of the television and film research group Memory, Representation and Industry (TECMERIN), from the University Carlos III Madrid–in which he identifies X Films as one of the highlights of the Festival’s history.
“X Films can be understood as a corpus of films produced by a specific festival (Punto de Vista) according to specific running time guidelines (over 20 minutes), themes (the production must focus on topics relevant to Navarra), and funding (around 5 000 euros). This logic generates a series of connections and genealogies among the films. For instance, the delightful variety of physical, human and sound landscapes that depict Navarra in X Film productions: from the multilingual guesthouse in Pamplona in Notas de lo efímero (Chus Domínguez, 2010) to the exhilarating and noisy analysis of goitiberas and radio-controlled airplanes in Goitik behera, behetik gora (Usue Arrieta and Vicente Vázquez, 2011), the desert landscapes of Bardenas in Dime quién era Sanchicorrota (Jorge Tur, 2012) or the disturbing coexistence of technology and nature in La vía flotante (Zazpi T’erdi, 2018). A cross-section of X Films productions would also reveal other connections and interpretations of social issues, traditions and subcultural manifestations from Navarra, combined with intense approaches to gender and sexual dynamics, as explored in La casa de mi padre (Francina Verdés, 2013), Carretera de una sola dirección (Xiana Gómez-Díaz, 2015) or La cosa vuestra (María Cañas, 2017). Ultimately, watching the ten films produced by X Films, with their shared interests and different formal and cultural strategies, is a pleasure that, once again, benefits from the breadth and depth of the Punto de Vista initiative.
I was part of the selection panel from 2010 to 2013 and, during that time, I always found X Films to be one of the highlights of Punto de Vista. From the selection of the three participating artists for each edition of X Films to the presentation of the projects and their trajectories during the festival, not to mention the dialogue that connects the public presentation of the projects, their assessment by a jury selected for the occasion, and the participation of the audience in discussions about the candidate projects, X Films reveals Punto de Vista’s firm commitment to play an active role in cultural debates in Pamplona and about documentary film and video in Spain. Participants in X Films screenings will remember these sessions as professional gatherings, which were never elitist but always rigorous and entertaining. The Festival is an enriching event, which embraces and generates new ideas, materialized in the aforementioned meetings and in the films created. Punto de Vista applies the same approach to initiatives such as La mano que mira (2008), a project where seven video artists film a five- to ten-minute project on a N95 mobile phone.
Ultimately, the memories and relationships created by audience and participants in the X Films project underline the importance of this type of initiative. As a result of the experimental nature of the project—in its effort to unite aesthetically and socially radical sensitivities—and of its ability to overrun the strict framework of the Festival, the aforementioned expanded vision should be honoured and treasured. Those moments, when viewers, filmmakers and juries celebrate “the eventual,” in the sense of the potential and yet-to-be-produced films, are the moments that determine the collective connections and the social fabric that underpin our existence.”