VENTURA opens its call for entries for the second edition

September 12, 2023

The filmmaker Mariano Llinás will act as tutor for the Spanish film projects selected for the training and co-production platform based in Tui, Galicia.

The Argentinian director and screenwriter Mariano Llinás (Historias extraordinarias, La flor) will be the tutor for the national projects selected to participate in the second edition of VENTURA, an initiative created by the Play-Doc International Documentary Film Festival, whose call for entries is open from September 11th.

VENTURA is an international platform conceived for the development of independent, Spanish and international film projects with a strong artistic vision, offering a programme that includes professional training, project development and co-production meetings through face-to-face and virtual activities. Among the projects selected from the nearly 300 proposals submitted to the successful first edition are new productions by Luís Urbano, Beli Martínez, Andrea Queralt, Felipe Lage and Thomas Ordonneau, together with filmmakers such as Maureen Fazendeiro, Ben Rivers, Camilo Restrepo, Carla Andrade and Alessandro Comodin, among others.

VENTURA accepts projects from any country, regardless of their stage of development, production or post-production, with no restrictions regarding length, format or genre. In each edition, ten projects are selected, divided into five Spanish and five international projects. The programme is divided into three stages: national projects participate in all stages, while international projects are invited to join the third and final stage, corresponding to the International Co-Production Forum.

Finally, all participants will present their respective projects to an internationally renowned jury, which will award a prize of €10,000. VENTURA will also offer a number of prizes in services.

The call for entries for the second edition of VENTURA is now open. The deadline for national projects is October 22nd, and the deadline for international projects is November 26th. All the information, as well as the terms and conditions for participation and the application form can be found at www.ventura.gal

Working with matter: a conversation with Mariano Llinás

The Cultural Association Enfoques, responsible for the Play-Doc film festival for two decades, as well as for the two editions of VENTURA, has invited the Argentinian filmmaker Mariano Llinás to be the lead tutor of the writing residency, the central stage of VENTURA, which will take place in January 2024 at Finca Remesal, an ideal space for the development of creative work, located in the surroundings of Tui, on the slopes of the natural park of Monte Aloia and in full communion with nature. The organisation believes, Llinás, in addition to his excellent ability as a teacher, is the ideal person to carry out this work, precisely because of his critical stance on this type of activity.

Renowned as a director thanks to films such as Historias extraordinarias and La flor, Mariano Llinás is also one of the best and most original thinkers of contemporary cinema. His experience as a screenwriter, critic, teacher and mentor for dozens of projects has allowed him to study and analyse the modes and models of filmmaking, both from the side of production and, more so, from the perspective of aesthetics. If anything characterises Llinás and his work, it is its polemical nature, the way in which his ideas permanently discuss all the preconceptions and assumptions that are handled in the world of creation, production and even of film festivals.

In addition to his unquestionable talent and experience, it is his character as a “polemicist” that makes him one of the most suitable people for this type of project mentoring, a system of which he is highly critical and which he tries, from his position, to remove from the most common conventions and places. “What generally happens is that the system is set up in such a way that, supposedly, by touring the different labs, a project acquires prestige, as a kind of calling card that serves it to carry on circulating,” he analyses. “And often the people at the helm of these projects do these workshops without really being interested in what the tutors are going to tell them. So the tutor, in turn, doesn’t make too much of an effort or say anything of any particular use.”

-How do you prevent a tutorial from being just that?

-Seen in this way, the filmmaker analyses, “the workshops and tutorials are a kind of mechanism that serves no purpose, except for people to earn a living and carry out their projects. I don’t work like that, I’m not interested in being part of it. So everything we can do in the tutorials will depend on the real willingness of the participants to change things, to listen. People are not always willing to do that, they are not always really interested. But without a real interest in improving the projects, there is no point in working.”

-Is there any way or method to stop that from happening?

-For me, yes. There is a clear method. More than a method, a position. In general, I get the impression that these kinds of workshops are rarely given by filmmakers, and when they are, they are sometimes worse because the filmmakers are not aware of their own technique. In general, everything revolves around what we could call “expression.” Things of the order of the aesthetic proposal or the motivation as to why one does this or that project. This kind of thing is said a lot, things that do not interest me at all.

-What is it that you are interested in?

-I have a lot of experience working with my own and other people’s films, so I try to go directly to the material. That is to say, to work with the material you want to film, with the material you want to write and think only from there; that is to say, without elements external to the work or the future work. I’m not interested in them saying “what I want is…” It’s not about that, it’s working directly with the material. That, it seems to me, is something very rare in this type of workshop. But the times that it is done, it gives very good results. It works.

Bio MARIANO LLINÁS