D'A Festival preview

We take a look at the line-up of Barcelona's auteur film festival

by Rebecca Naughten

D’A - Festival Internacional de Cine D'Autor de Barcelona 2015
D’A - Festival Internacional de Cine D'Autor de Barcelona 2015
The fifth edition of D’A - Festival Internacional de Cine D'Autor de Barcelona (D'A Festival for short) begins on April 24th, and for ten days will give audiences the chance to appraise contemporary cinema from around the world.

There's a distinct Gallic air to the programme this year because in addition to the Alain Resnais season that runs during April and May at the Filmoteca de Catalunya (among the films co-hosted by the festival is the late director's final film, The Life Of Riley), French films have been chosen to bookend the festival. Bertrand Bonello - also the subject of D'A Festival's 2015 full retrospective - will be in attendance for the opening gala screening of Saint Laurent, while Mia Hansen-Løve's Eden will be the closing gala film.

Accompanying D'A Festival's already-established Critic's and Public awards, for the first time one film from the 'Talents' section will be awarded a prize of 6,000€ (£4,350) by a jury comprising four industry professionals and a competition winner. Talents represents up-and-coming directors, and groups together 14 films by filmmakers who each have no more than three films to their name. The section includes several titles that have already garnered attention at other festivals - for example, Not All is Vigil (Hermes Paralluelo, 2014), The Fool (Yury Bykov, 2014), and Catch Me Daddy (Daniel Wolfe, 2014) - but also highlights lesser-known filmmakers, with a particular emphasis this year on those originating from Spain and Latin America.

Eden will close the D'A Festival
Eden will close the D'A Festival
The central structure of the programme can be seen as following the career progression of directors. If Talents focusses on new discoveries and those starting out, Directions centres on established names and their latest films. This section showcases a panorama of recent festival titles, with both European films - such as Bird People (Pascale Ferran, 2014), The Blue Room (Mathieu Amalric, 2014), and The Duke Of Burgundy (Peter Strickland, 2014) - and US independents - including Manglehorn (David Gordon Green, 2014), Queen Of Earth (Alex Ross Perry, 2015), White Bird In A Blizzard (Gregg Araki, 2014) - strongly represented.

Meanwhile the journey in between 'starting out' and 'established' is captured in Transitions, which brings together a disparate range of filmmakers who operate in the more idiosyncratic spaces that cinema has to offer. Alongside titles such as The Kindergarten Teacher (Nadav Lapid, 2014) and the multi-Cesar winning Love At First Fight (Thomas Cailley, 2014), the D'A Festival again places an emphasis on homegrown talents in this category including The High Pressures (Ángel Santos, 2014), The Long Way Home (Sergi Pérez, 2014), and The Romantic Exiles (Jonás Trueba, 2015).

The remaining section of the programme - (Im)Possible Futures - incorporates features and shorts and displays sci-fi dystopias that look strangely familiar because they take place in worlds that are recognisably and nightmareishly our own. Besides Under The Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013) - which has yet to gain distribution in Spain - the standouts in this section are Androids Dream (Ion de Sosa, 2014) and Crumbs (Miguel Llansó, 2015). A host of directors from across all sections of the programme will be in attendance to present their films and there are also several colloquia on different topics with Spanish filmmakers.

Here's the full line-up:

Talents: About Twelve (Martin Shanly, 2014); Agatha's Friends (Laia Alabart, Alba Cros, Laura Rius & Marta Verheyen, 2014); Androids Dream (Ion de Sosa, 2014); Antígone Awake (Lupe Pérez García, 2014); Catch Me Daddy (Daniel Wolfe, 2014); Der Geldkomplex (Juan Rodrigáñez, 2015); The Fool (Yury Bykov, 2014); El Incendio (Juan Schnitman, 2015); A Misteriosa Morte de Pérola (Guto Parente, 2015); Not All is Vigil (Hermes Paralluelo, 2014); Obra (Gregorio Graziosi, 2014); Self Made (Shira Geffen, 2014); They Have Escaped (J-P Valkeapää, 2014); Vincent (Thomas Salvador, 2014).

Directions: Bird People (Pascale Ferran, 2014); The Blue Room (Mathieu Amalric, 2014); Chorus (François Delisle, 2015); The Duke of Burgundy (Peter Strickland, 2014); The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin, 2015); Hill Of Freedom (Hong Sang-soo, 2014); In The Basement (Ulrich Seidl, 2014); La La La at Rock Bottom (Nobuhiro Yamashita, 2015); Land Ho! (Aaron Katz & Martha Stephens, 2014); Manglehorn (David Gordon Green, 2014); P’tit Quinquin (Bruno Dumont, 2014); The Princess Of France (Matias Piñeiro, 2014); Queen Of Earth (Alex Ross Perry, 2015); The Smell Of Us (Larry Clark, 2014); La Sapienza (Eugène Green, 2014); White Bird In A Blizzard (Gregg Araki, 2014).

Transitions: Corn Island (George Ovashvili, 2014); Favula (Raúl Perrone, 2014); Güeros (Alonso Ruizpalacios, 2014); The High Pressures (Ángel Santos, 2014); The Kindergarten Teacher (Nadav Lapid, 2014); The Lesson (Kristina Grozeva & Petar Valtxanov, 2014); The Long Way Home (Sergi Pérez, 2014); Love At First Fight (Thomas Cailley, 2014); Not In Geneva (lacasinegra, 2014); Radiant Sea (Stefan Butzmühlen, 2015); The Romantic Exiles (Jonás Trueba, 2015); Miss Brackets, the Baby-sitter, the Bastard Grandson Ans Emma Suarez (Sergio Candel, 2014); Taller Capuchoc (Carlo Padial, 2014).

(Im)Possible Futures: Features: Androids Dream (Ion de Sosa, 2014); Crumbs (Miguel Llansó, 2015); Frozen Man (Carolina Campo-Lupo, 2014); Noah's Ark (Adán Aliaga & David Valero, 2014); Under The Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013); Young Ones (Jake Paltrow, 2014). Shorts: Avant Pétalos Grillados (Velasco Broca, 2007); Las Aventuras Galácticas de Jaime de Funes y Arancha (Velasco Broca, 2005); Camiños de Bardaos (Ángel Santos, 2015); Chigger Ale (Fanta Ananas, 2013); Echo Chamber (Guillermo Moncayo, 2014); Kinky Hoodoo Voodoo (Velasco Broca, 2001); La Maladie Blanche (Christelle Lhereux, 2011); Madeleine Et Les Deux Apaches (Christelle Lhereux, 2014); Searching for Meritxell (Burnin' Percebes, 2014).

The D'A Festival runs from April 24 until May 3 across a range of venues in Barcelona. Full details of screening times and locations can be found on the Festival website and tickets can also be bought online.

Related features:

Matthew Almeric on The Blue Room, Pt One and Pt Two
Paul Eenhoorn and Earl Lynn Nelson talk about Land Ho!
Jonathan Glazer and Jim Wilson dissect Under The Skin

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