The 15th (S8) festival in A Coruña ended reaffirming its position as the Galician film festival of greatest international renown

Jun 18, 2024 | Featured, News

A record (S8) showed more than 140 films from 20 nations, 31 of them world premieres and 80% created by women filmmakers

● The presence of legendary experimental figures such as Morgan Fisher and Margaret Honda, as well as the retrospective dedicated to the pioneer Narcisa Hirsch, were in in the programme along with proposals by young female filmmakers

● The new Latin American avant-garde fostered by women shone at the festival, which included the premiere of the feature film Mexico will no longer exist! by the Mexican Annalisa D. Quagliata

Full summary video of the (S8) XV Mostra Internacional de Cinema Periférico of A Coruña, 2024

“It’s fascinating to see how a new generation of filmmakers is once again embracing celluloid to construct their cinema alongside world-renowned figures from the sixties and seventies of the past century. It’s one of the great satisfactions of this year’s (S8).” The directors Ana Domínguez and Ángel Rueda made this assessment after closing the fifteenth (S8) Mostra de Cinema Periférico film festival, which once again packed out the halls at the Filmoteca de Galicia and the Palexco venues with audiences eager for artisanal cinema. The capacity for artistic creation once again brought filmmakers and audiences from different generations together, and analogue cinema built bridges between them all. (S8) said goodbye on Sunday, 9th June, but is being extended with new proposals such as an analogue film workshop on the Costa da Morte this summer. There were more than 140 films, 20 countries represented, 31 world premieres, and 60 guest filmmakers in the city of A Coruña, with 18 films made in Galicia and 8,215 participants visiting the venues set up by the festival to hold all its activities over the 10 days it took place. Thus was the 15th (S8) Mostra de Cinema Periférico film festival.

There were lines of young people for the Morgan Fisher programmes at the Filmoteca de Galicia; audiences who came expressly to the city to see how the 70 mm projector from the Domus museum in A Coruña was put to work with Spectrum Reverse Spectrum by Margaret Honda, while many attendees discovered the recently deceased Argentine Narcisa Hirsch’s fascinating filmography. For the festival’s directors, that reception was one of the most positive responses to this year’s festival.Exemplaries in experimental cinema had great moments in this year’s (S8) Mostra de Cinema Periférico festival, which ran from 31st May to 9th June. Without a doubt, this was a unique opportunity in Europe to enjoy programmes dedicated to legends of experimental cinema. The festival is a worldwide point of reference for avant-garde cinema, and the organizers emphasize the great impact and boost it means for the city of A Coruña, to which audiences travelled from Andalusia, Catalonia, Valencia, Madrid, Asturias, Castilla and León, and the Basque Country this 2024, as well as from outside Spain from countries such as Belgium, France, Germany, Portugal and Canada.

There were legends that rubbed shoulders and connected with the emerging artistic community, as the directors of (S8) point out. This year’s (S8) gave absolute prominence to female creators. The youngest ones were to be found in the two “Sinais” programmes, and also in the new “Sinais Latin America” section, curated by Ivonne Sheen Mogollón. From Mexico came the news of the country’s first female president in history, while Galicia welcomed from there the underground filmmaker Annalisa D. Quagliata, who chose (S8) to premiere her feature film Mexico will no longer exist! on Tuesday 4th June at the Filmoteca de Galicia venue. 

Canada is one of the countries with the greatest activity and history in terms of experimental cinema, and it had an enormous presence in the programme for this fifteenth Mostra de Cinema Periférico film festival in A Coruña. The Canadian avant-garde was lavishly represented as we celebrated the 30th anniversary of Phil Hoffman’s Film Farm; delved into today’s Canadian avant-garde cinema scene thanks to the8fest, a veteran festival dedicated exclusively to cinema made in Super 8 directed by the Egyptian-Canadian filmmaker Robin Riad; and welcomed the Chilean-Canadian Franci Durán, whose films rounded off the festival on Sunday 9th. Also on the last day of the festival, the Fine Arts students from Salamanca and Pontevedra were also fortunate to benefit from a workshop given by the Canadian contingent in (S8), in which artisanal work and ecology were the main themes.

Acknowledged in Europe after her stint at the Berlinale with the feature film Ste. Anne, Rhayne Vermette’s presence in A Coruña also fascinated the festival audience with the film’s screening at (S8) in a packed hall at the Fimoteca de Galicia on Saturday 8th June, as well as on Wednesday 5th June with her short films. There was emotion, identity, roots and idiosyncrasy. Vermette, 42 years of age and completing her second feature film, told the audience at (S8) how she is slowly building her career as a filmmaker, in which respect for her origins among the indigenous Métis people of Canada and her sense of egalitarianism in her work mark her way of understanding cinema.

The nights in (S8) are called Desbordamientos (Overflows)

The (S8) programme, which began on its first weekend at the Domus museum with the “Film Undone” seminar curated by Philip Widmann (Germany) with participation from Katie Kirkland (United States), Léa Morin (France), Tara Najd Ahmadi (Iran), Concha Barquero and Alejandro Alvarado (Spain), intensified its activity as of Thursday 6th June.

The activity in this second section of the festival, with events in the morning, afternoon and evening, and with the opening of the (S8) hall in the Palexco building in A Coruña, culminated in the evenings in the courtyard of the Luis Seoane Foundation. 
The Desbordamientos or Overflows section of the festival dedicated to expanded cinema this year welcomed the Saruxceci collective (in other words, Saru Miras and Ceci Romero), Nicole Remy and Agnès Hayden (on Thursday 6th, the youngest Overflow this year), Lynn Loo (on Friday 7th) and Gaëlle Rouard (on Saturday 8th June). With collaboration from Cervezas Alhambra, the Overflows section once again created a unique nocturnal space to enjoy all the energy and evocation of the film performances

Connection with the city, with Galicia and with emerging creation

More than 400 kids from the city’s schools also took part in the four school event days before the festival began. “They are in the dark about most of the city’s cultural programme, and at the festival we wish to connect with them and make them a part of the project,” explains the producer and researcher Cristina de la Torre, who coordinates this initiative. They are sessions overflowing with the curiosity of these young audiences who discover the entire material side of cinema with analogue projections in which precedence is given to creations made in Galicia.

Connecting with the environs is another of (S8)’s facets which this year also made the machinery in the city’s halls shine, especially by resurrecting the 70 mm projector from the Domus museum for the work by the American Margaret Honda. But beyond that, the festival’s organizers underline the presence of Galician creators in the programme, with 18 films created by Galicians. For example, in the “Sinais” section, which focuses on new creators, we were able to see the work of Iago Lourido, of Yasmina Farhani Luaces and of Pablo Agma from Vigo, the recent winner of the eSe8_LAB development scholarships organized by (S8) itself. Then there were the projects by students from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Pontevedra (University of Vigo) in the Paraíso (Paradise) section, making (S8) a motor and impetus for a new generation of filmmakers in Galicia.

(S8) continues beyond June: Xpresa, a workshop in Corme in summer now open for applications

(S8) is keeping its doors open, and the first of the extended events is the Xpresa workshop, which every year is aimed at people with diverse abilities or at risk of social exclusion. It is taught by filmmakers of acknowledged experience and is part of the Emalcsa Foundation’s Accessible and Inclusive Culture Programme. Members of the Galician Asperger’s Association (ASPERGA) and the Disabled Adults of Coruña Foundation (ADCOR) take part, and this year the San Xosé de Calasanz Centre for Minors will also be joining in. In 2024, Franci Durán will be the filmmaker responsible for teaching the workshop on 14th, 15th and 17th June. An expert in the analogue processes for developing film ecologically with flowers, Franci gave her direct animation workshop last Sunday for students from the Faculties of Fine Arts of Vigo and Salamanca. 

And there are yet more notable connections in this 15th (S8) that go beyond June, one of which is the announcement for the analogue film workshop to be held in Corme (Costa da Morte) from 28th July to 3rd August, given by Álvaro Feldman. The festival’s directors Ana Domínguez and Ángel Rueda also cannot hide their admiration for projects such as the Film Farm in Ontario (Canada). In 2024, they will be promoting a workshop for artisanal production of Super 8 and 16 mm films, collectively as well as independently and autonomously, with the intention of continuing it in future. The workshop will be given in the Cofradía de Pescadores (Fishermen’s Association) venue in Corme, and as part of the activity there will also be a tour around the most emblematic sites in the area, guided by the actor and writer Suso Lista. There are only seven vacancies available and the deadline to apply for them ends on 30th June.

Until Sunday 14th July, the call also is open to participate in the International Artistic Residencies for Cinematographic Creation (BAICC). These are residences arising from the collaboration between (S8), Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) and LIFT-Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto. Furthermore, (S8) is leaving its programme open online, with the section Ultreia et Suseia, a collection of monographic programmes by some of the most prominent voices in Galician cinema today, and which in 2024 will include the one dedicated to María Ruido. 

Support and thanks

This 15th (S8) Mostra Internacional de Cinema Periférico film festival is organized by the eSe8 Cultural Association, and can count on the institutional backing of the A Coruña City Council, the Tourism and Congresses Consortium, the A Coruña Provincial Council (Diputación), the Galician Agency for Cultural Industries of the Xunta (Regional Government) of Galicia, the Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA), Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), and the Luis Seoane Foundation,

In addition, the following were also in A Coruña thanks to Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) with its Programme for the Internationalization of Spanish Culture (PICE): Tomás Rautenstrauch, head of the Narcisa Hirsch Foundation and the programme planner Cecilia Barrionuevo (Argentina); the filmmakers Annalisa Quagliata (Mexico) and Rhayne Vermette (Canada); Philip Widmann (Germany), curator of the “Film Undone” seminar; the researchers Katie Kirkland (United States) and Léa Morin (France), speakers at said seminar; the artist Lynn Loo (United Kingdom); the Germany-based Peruvian Ivone Sheen Mogollón, in charge of the new section “Sinais Latin America”; and Oana Ghera (Romania), tutor at INPUT, a space for carrying out film projects promoted by the Galician festival.

In its commitment to doing things in no hurry and supporting artists and creators through a more familiar, personal and creative point of view, Cervezas Alhambra collaborated again with the festival that is part of their Alhambra Moments. Once again this year, it was possible to pair their varieties with the best artistic and cultural proposals during the Desbordamientos (Overflows) section. Also this year, the beer brand extended its collaboration with (S8) by creating a space in the city centre for the four nights of the festival, which served as a meeting point for filmmakers, artists and critics accredited at (S8).