Session after session the pitch forum organisers and participants talk about the financial crisis in the European documentary market, mostly exemplified through the cutdown in budget, staff and time slots for documentaries in the public broadcasting companies.
It was therefore quite refreshing, on a cold saturday morning in Barcelona, to sense warm winds coming from Latin America. At the second Latin Forum for documentaries held as part of the DocsBarcelona 2012. One after one the filmmakers from Argentina, Bresil, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico and Ecuador gave their brief intro to the situation for the creative documentary in the respective countries. And there was no crying! Well, you could always wish for more but the impression was definitely that things are going in the right direction when it comes to public film funding, film education, film festivals for documentaries, and also some tv stations were mentioned positively.
The 6 filmmakers presented their film projects to representatives from YLE (Finland), Lichtpunt (Belgium), WDR (Germany), idfa forum & Jan Vrijman Fund (the Netherlands), Colombian television, TV3 Catalunya.. All projects were well received as projects of a high professional and creative standard. Several were close to rough cut and/or post production, and will for sure be going for festivals and broadcast in some stations worlwide.
David Rubio has filmed brilliantly inside a university prison in Argentina where inmates and guards are equally taught as classmates, ”13 Doors” is the title. Wanadi Siso is almost ready with a fine cut of ”El Laberinto de lo posible” about the blind art photographer Sonia Soberats. Siso was given first prize for his pitch of the project at DocMeeting Argentina last year. The brothers Federico and Martin Aletta is finishing a film that brother Federico shot one year ago when the tsnunami hit the NorthEast of Japan, titled ”Ishinomaki, Rock n’Roll City”. Nuria Ibanez (photo) is also close to have ”I’m Eleven Years Old” ready for international release, the teaser she showed was a heartbreaking scene with mother and her daughter, who wanted to take her own life. Bresilian producer Luciana Freitas came with a fresh proposal called ”Lan – Box of Hopes”, referring to Lan houses, internet cafés, that take the kids away from the street corners. Finally, Nicolas Alonso took us, with excellent cinematography, to ”Monte Adentro”, to a small society of muleteers in Colombia. Watch out for these films!