Our last days in Basque country are comprised of a day trip to San Sebastián, a jaunt to the beautiful villages a stone’s throw from France, and one final gathering of the SWS: Pamplona Superstars for some vino tinto, homemade pinxos, and laughs. We will miss everything about this place (even the two strange and lonely pieces of “art” in our apartment/film lab at 4 Calle San Nicolas) but I have a feeling we’ll be back, Pamplona!
It’s Sunday morning and those three kooky old timers with the red berets have just passed through the street below, waking everyone up with their drums and flutes. But we’ll stay in bed just a little bit longer, dreaming about last night’s incredible premiere of The Sound We See: A Pamplona City Symphony made by our beautiful friends Aizpea, Celia, Das, Eva, Garazi, Helena, Idoia, Iñaki, Ione, Irati, Javier, Jorge, Katxo, Maddi, Maite, Marina, Mirari, Patxi, Pedro, Ricardo, Rubén and Sandra with a dynamic live soundtrack by Mursago + Cano.
What a wonderful journey it’s been! A heartfelt thanks to our dearest Garbiñe Ortega and her wonderful team for making this dream come true. Viva Pamplona! Viva cinema! Viva Punto de Vista!
International Women’s Day in Pamplona: a general strike (women in solidarity nation-wide!), everyone and everything draped in purple, marches and gatherings all over the city from morning until night. Of course the capitalists tried to cash in (Ladies! We’ve got beer specials just for you!) but today the sisters were really doing it for themselves.
The secret theme for us at Day 2 at Punto De Vista is Feels Like Home. Filmmaker/DJ Luke Fowler (reunited after hanging out at International Film Festival Rotterdam way back in 2011!) presents his short Electro-Pythagoras (A Portrait of Martin Bartlett) that features several shots of our Vancouver neighborhood. Trinh T. Minh-ha’s Remembering Vietnam was shot the same year we were there for The Sound We See. Our lunch mate turns out to be Latvian filmmaker Laila Pakalnina whose film Hello Horse we’d seen and loved just that morning and whose previous work Waterfall we’d seen and loved when we were in Riga last July. Fellow Angeleno Rebecca Baron presents two of her own shorts (including the freaky tale of Ted Serios) and a cinematic present from Robert Frank.
After two weeks here, Pamplona is also beginning to feel like home. We’re digging the concept of “almuerzo”: the word doesn’t connotate lunch (the way it does in Mexico) but rather a little bit of food enjoyed somewhere between breakfast and lunch. A tiny cupful of egg salad topped with an anchovy and a crostini? A little slice of potato and cheese tortilla? An itty bitty hamburger that could nestle into the palm of your hand? Yes, yes and yes.
How about a housing protest that involves gentle singing and a dog wearing a soccer sweater? Don’t mind if we do.
And cap it all off with a couple of dance parties with good tunes, the most delicious cake you ever ate, and kisses hello and goodbye from all your new best friends? We may never leave…
We finish the Sound We See at 5 am (and it’s a beauty!!!!), sleep for four hours and hightail it over to Baluarte to pick up our insanely good goodie bags and immediately immerse ourselves in cinema mode. So proud of Sound We See: Pamplona participants Marina Lameiro and Maddi Barber who both have films in competition this year. Marina’s film Young & Beautiful is a moving five-years-in-the-making exploration of friendship and the quest for love, belonging and creative fulfillment; the film also includes Sound We See-ers Ione Lameiro, Das Perez and Nais in the cast! Maddi’s Yours Truly is an intimate look at the mesmerizing taxidermied wildlife collection at The Manchester Musem, made with her pals Christopher Murray and Charlotte Hoskins. Other highlights were a rare 16mm screening of Gregory J. Markopoulos’s Galaxie (looking good, Susan Sontag!) and See You Tomorrow, God Willing, the sweetest story about a group of feisty local nuns (JOFF!!!!!!!) getting through old age with humor and determination. Celebrity nuns in the audience were mobbed by adoring fans! Perfect “Opening” film for Punto de Vista 2018.
The weekend editing frenzy has set in! The challenge: each filmmaker must cut their segment down to EXACTLY 60 SECONDS. We’re all hopped up on pastries and cheese and coffee and we’re not stopping ’til this film is DONE!!!!!!!!