Black and Paper exclusive interview with Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival Creative Director Sandra Seeling.
Would you say filmgoers are looking for different stories and narratives?
In my experience as a festival programmer, filmgoers want to be surprised and inspired. They want to be taken out of their daily routines and experience new adventures and new point of views.
As a woman, why do you think there are so many challenges for women to direct films?
Women do not get the same opportunities as men. As a woman, we are instantly thought of as less capable, emotional and not as efficient. Unfortunately those attributes are deeply imbedded into the male think pattern (not only in the film industry) and make it harder for women to even get the chance to prove themselves. The challenge also lies in the century long history of the film industry. We as women have to simply keep pushing forward, to do an exceptional job, stand together, and support each other.
Why did you choose Paul Haggis this year as an honoree?
Paul is an incredible social justice advocate and his vision fits really well with EMIFF’s mission; BRIDGING CULTURES – BRIDGING PEOPLE. His work as a filmmaker and humanitarian makes him the perfect recipient for the Evolution Vision award, an award given to a filmmaker with an active vision to encourage unity and peace on our planet.
Isabelle Huppert is one of the greatest actresses of modern screen; her latest film has been submitted for the Academy Award for Foreign Film but “Barrage” seems dark for a festival on an idyllic island. Why did you decide to screen this film?
“Barrage” tells the story of three generations of women. Isabelle plays Elisabeth who is raising her granddaughter while her own daughter Cathrine is busy exploring the world. When Cathrine returns, she kidnaps her daughter from her mother and the story takes a dark turn into very emotional territory. I love the way director Laura Schroeder tells this fragile story of three women, all different ages but connected by the simple fact that they are family. They mirror each other, at the end of the day they are more similar than they like to admit. EMIFF wants to promote young new filmmakers who have a unique vision. Laura’s work in “Barrage” is all that and more.
How do you envision the festival in five years?
In five years I see EMIFF as a year long event with Evolution LAB’s (Workshops and conventions) in the summer and a solid festival in the fall. I want the festival to be known as “The Mediterranean Sundance” and want everyone to know our mission is “Bridging Cultures, Bridging People”. I hope to continue to grow our audience and attract more international filmmakers to come and enjoy our island, inspiring films and great networking.
You meet filmmakers from all over the world. What is your opinion on the general state of global cinema?
My sense is that the world is our playground. Globalization creates endless possibilities for filmmakers to connect, interact and create together even when being on different continents. On the other hand, I think filmmakers still appreciate nothing more than a real face to face conversation, round table or discussion panel or Q&A. Connecting virtually is a great possibility but real connections is what sparks new ideas and fuels new stories and films.
Sandra Seeling is the founder and director of the Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. She is an actress, director, and producer.
The 6th annual The Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival starts on October 26 until November 4th. For more information go to: http://www.evolutionfilmfestival.com/