For those of you that don't know about this great festival, Punto de Vista is possibly the best film festival in Spain, dedicated to 'documentary films', it seeks to reward risk-taking and non-narrative approaches and has a strong accent on experimental films. Last week, Josetxo Cerdán, its artistic director, was told that due to severe budget cuts (despite the governing political party's supposed 'commitment to culture'), the festival would be no more...
The Punto de Vista Festival has shown works by Raymond Depardon, Jean Vigo, David Perlov, Jay Rosenblatt, Alan Berliner, J. P. Sniadecki, James Benning, Naomi Uman, Lynne Sachs, Ben Rivers, Ross McElwee, Satô Makoto, Jem Cohen, Barbara Hammer, Ben Russell, among many others...
Please, take just a couple of minutes to support Punto de Vista signing the online petition here: http://actuable.es/peticiones/carta-apoyo-al-festival-cine-punto-vista-pamplona
(English text after the Spanish one; see here for an automatically-translated page)
On September 15th I received a phone call telling me that they were suspending the Eighth Edition of Punto de Vista to be celebrated 21st to 26th of February 2012.
Not only me, but part of the festival's team have been working hard since the month of May designing the program for the next edition. Almost 500 films have been submitted since the call for entries was announced on May.
This ardous work of four months together with some expenses regarding programming and production (such as maintenance and monitoring of registrations, traveling to other film festivals and shipments) is now wasted money. Next year's edition program is closed on a 90%. We designed the poster and the cinema campaign. Not to mention a private founding program that was requested early this summer and their response was coming in a short period of time. All personal, professional and economical efforts are now inevitably lost. This is happening at times where austerity policies prevail.
Punto de Vista, in its 2011 edition reassured a strong and varied audience leaving behind its label of "elitist". A label that had unfairly haunted the festival since its own creation: I would rather say intelligent, not elitist. How can an activity that has a fee of three euros for each event be considered of elitist? Punto de Vista is a festival for the enjoyment of all the people of Navarra and for all those who came from abroad (from all corners of Spain and other countries) to Pamplona in order to attend the Festival. Visitors who came on february, the coldest month of the year to increase the community's economy on the tourist sector in terms of: hotel reservations, restaurant and bar consuming, transporting, etc.
As I have said repeatedly, Punto de Vista have become one of the most important film events of our country and also with an increasing recognition abroad (as it has been witnessed in some prestigious magazines like Cahiers du Cinéma, Sense of Cinema and Art Forum, among others). All this success with a total budget that was three to four times less than of any other spanish film festival in Spain with a same status on the quality of its programming.
The UPN (Unión del Pueblo Navarro Party) stated on the past elections that Punto de Vista Film Festival should be the "Referral Program" in the film area of the current Navarra Government. These "Referral Programs" were a series of initiatives that "Were needed of more funding to increase their activity and promotion'"
(Muévete por Navarra, Electoral program. Unión del Pueblo Navarro 2011-2015, pg. 41).
Where are those election promises now?
Where's the defense of a cultural activity with an increasing recognition inside and outside of Navarra and Spain?
Where is the commitment to a Navarre audience that this festival has consolidated over seven editions?
And finally, where is the commitment to a whole group of professionals who have made it possible until now, and who already committed to filmmakers from different places such as Germany, Malaysia and the U.S.?
Artistic Director of Point of View Festival 2012