Strange feeling… DocsBarcelona opened last night, online, with the director of it all, Joan Gonzalez (the man in the middle, as toastmaster) calling upon the Head of Program and the Head of Industry to come with comments on what is going to happen. Online. I talked from our garden house in Copenhagen, rain outside – oh, I would have loved to be in Barcelona because of Barcelona, the weather, 25 degrees, the atmosphere and all the good friends in and outside the festival team, and film directors. To sit in a full cinema hall and enjoy.
But… I enjoyed the informal and professional opening, produced by Helena Alabart and her team including filmmaker Eric Motjer as technical boss. Not only the middle aged men above were on screen, Helena was also there as was Salima Jirari, who is running the amazing Documentary of the Month distribution in the empire that Joan Gonzalez has built. Go to www.docsbarcelona.com and you will see what I mean. And there you can see the opening ceremony with clips from the films chosen. An English subtitled version is on its way.
Cut to a quote from Gonzalez from yesterday, interview in Cineuropa, 19.5.20:
”There’s no substitute for the big-screen experience, but as history has placed us in this unique situation and we have a plan B – because technology enables us to have one – let’s make the most of it. But let’s not leave a void, and next year we’ll be straight back in the cinemas. I think that the digital world is going to change something: for example, this year, in our industry section, the number of professionals who will be looking for films to support has grown by 50% because it is happening online. That’s why the experience of this edition of DocsBarcelona is going to be very interesting – there will be some elements of it that we’ll keep and others that we’ll leave to one side, I’m sure.”
The festival opening completed, the audience was invited to watch the opening film, “Letter from Masanjia” by Canadian director Leon Lee, screened on TV3, prime time…
It was watched by 264.853! A scoop with the collaboration with the public broadcaster in Catalunya – and a great start on the festival. The online festival is available for people in Spain. Enjoy!