No sooner do I get my blog written on the subject of film in Andalusia and Seville than Javier Martín-Domínguez quits as artistic director of The Seville European Film Festival! Martin Dominguez, who was the correspondent in New York and Tokyo for Spanish pubcaster RTVE and later served as its secretary general, used his contacts and persuasiveness to bring many industry figures to Seville. "I'm not interested in directing a low-profile, limited event," he said after the Seville Town Hall slashed SEFF's budget from €1.7 million ($2.2 million) in 2010 to $1.4 million last year. Further 30% plus cuts are anticipated for 2012. All the regional governments may follow suit and cut their budgets, with the exception of the Sebastian Festival which increased its budget by $500,000 to $9.2 million in 2011, hiking sponsorship deals while institutional support held. See Variety for full article.
One reason I like the international film business is that when one country or region goes down (economically), another goes up. Europe on the skids? Look to Asia or to Latin America. So it is with countries: One region bad, look to another region. For now, the Basque region rules! How unexpected, but then again, the San Sebastian Film Festival has always been the largest, most international and prestigious, and Seville was just getting started. Now that the Eurozone is facing its financial crunch, this is not surprising news. I hope to see Javier soon working more wonders. As he makes his plans, I am going to move to another region of Spain, to Catalonia. It too had (has) its own language and Agustí Villaronga's Black Bread (Pa' Negre) the Spanish submission for Best Foreign Language Oscar is in Catalan. The stars, a young man named Francesc Colomer and a young woman named Marina Comas were found in Catalonia, and Freancisc actually coached the cast to speak with a Catalonian accent.
More on this film, and again how secrets can destroy along with the moral devastation of civilian populations in times of war will be covered in another blog as I have finally just seen the Pa' Negre here at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.