The new millennium just had begun in the promising post-Olympiads atmosphere in Barcelona. Best friends Uri Altell and Alberto Pascual wanted to create a unique event focused on music, something cool for a specific audience. They had recently discovered a documentary film on house music (Maestro by Josell Ramos) and they invited the director and the main DJ featured in the movie to come to Barcelona and perform live at the City Hall in downtown. The event was a blast, something emblematic of that period of effervescence and experimentation, when Barcelona was on the top of the underground clubbing trend.
The success led to a pilot edition of the Beefeater In-Edit Film Festival in 2003, the very first seed of the lush tree it has become. Immediately, the format of documentary movies about music also seduced Chilean Javiera Undurraga, who exported the festival to her country. The concept grew up quickly, consolidating public and contents, guarantees of quality and success. In 2009 In-Edit stretched its branches to Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, all at once. Hard work for the small family, but, once again, a confirmation of its strength. In-Edit implemented the program with master classes given by famous directors, conferences for professionals, concerts, meetings and parties and a pay per view on-line channel. At present, the festival’s format exists in seven countries including Chile, Brazil, Greece, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina and Uruguay.
On October 29th, Beefeater In-Edit will raise the curtain of its 13th edition in Barcelona. After more than a decade, and despite the overseas exportations, the event remains a very typical mark of the Catalan city. As co-founder Uri Altell says, ‘it could only have been born in Barcelona considering the setting and the context’. The 2015 edition’s opening movie will be Daft Punk Unchained by Hervé Martin-Delpierre, ‘a documentary that shows how the French duo built their career with robotic determination’. The documentary depicts the career of the musicians from their very beginning to their consolidation and international fame, revealing the most intimate side of the two protagonists.
In the competing section, very different films coexist, going from experimental music and independent productions to movies by established directors and visual artists focusing on famous musicians. 15 Corners of the World by Suzanna Solakiewicz is a poetical exploration of the unique figure of Eugeniusz Rudnik, a revolutionary artist pertaining to the Experimental Studio of Polish Radio, a DJ, and a sort of mad scientist of sound. The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson by Julian Temple could be considered a homage to life and joy, portraying the strength and happiness of the musician who keeps on playing despite his terminal cancer. One of the most intriguing proposals of the section is Station to Station by artist Doug Aitken, ‘a living project exploring modern creativity’, according to the official page of the project. 62 one-minute films explore ‘creativity through different artists, musicians, places or perspectives, ultimately revealing a larger sense of modern expression transcending the individual voices.’
In the national panorama, a little gem is the documentary Muerte en la Alcarria (Death in the Alcarria) by Fernando Pomares, a black and white minimalistic musical about two brothers (the Cubero Bros) travelling through their origins. A film of feelings, silences and good popular music, close to Jarmush’s style, but with a Spanish touch.
The section Excedlents offers an explosive cocktail of movies on punk rock (Salad Days: a decade of punk in Washington, DC– 1980-90), metal (Wacken 3D. the movie), post-punk electronic (B-Movie: Lust& Sound in West-Berlin 1979 -1989), classical (Paths Through the Labyrinth– The Composer Krzysztof Penderecki), gospel (The Jones Family Will Make aWay), jazz (The Case of the Three Sided Dreams) and much more.
As every year, Beefeater In-Edit plays homage to a director, highlighting his/her career through a selection of movies and offering a master class for the audience, held and filmed at the Palau de la Música Catalana. For the 13th edition, Tony Palmer will be honored and seven of his movies will be screened, including All You Need Is Love. The Beatles (1977) and Leonard Cohen: Bird On A Wire (2010).
The 2015 edition also represents the consolidation of In-Edit Beat, an on-line magazine and radio show. The magazine presents news on the festival’s network around the world, as well as curiosities and information about the movies. The show In-Edit Radio, in collaboration with Producciones Doradas, evokes the old-fashioned programs which the public used to attend and actively participate. It is a walk through the major issues of the 20th and 21st century and the soundscape of music documentaries presented at the Festival, stuffed with interviews, humor, film cuts, debates and special performances. Q&A Live is another live radio show in which the audience question the invited directors of the screened documentaries.
Always getting bigger and improving the offer, this year In-Edit surprises its audience with two novelties: the Half Sessions, Sunday morning free screenings, drinks and a records and books market; and the One-to-One Meetings, organized in collaboration with Catalan Films and offering private interviews with some of the invited guests for professionals interested in learning more about production, distribution and creation of feature films. It is a great opportunity to learn, advice and create synergies between local and international industries.
Such an exciting 10 day event couldn’t have a better closing movie than Janis: Little Girl Blue by Amy Berg, one of the most expected documentaries on music ever. Presented at the Venice Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival, these unique files and dazzling interviews in tribute to the life of the most celebrated rock female voice are about to land on Barcelona. Don’t miss out.