The renovated warehouse space, tucked neatly away off of Avinguda del Parallel in a residential block, has barely been open a month, but Kayla, Alana and Sabrina have established this co-working cultural hub with a packed weekly schedule. With all three ladies living in Barcelona for many years, and mixing in creative social circles, they briefly toyed with the idea of opening a tattoo parlor and a shop, before settling on working within a space that served more as a blank canvas. From there, they hit the ground running: they were lucky to find a fully-renovated warehouse, which needed no dressing before being opened to the public. To their knowledge, theirs is one of the only spaces of its kind in Barcelona, with events alternating from yoga sessions, language classes, fashion markets, cooking lessons, art exhibitions, and movie nights to networking events for creatives. It’s a sprawling space that, with a fully equipped photo studio, has the potential to be the host of more of the above and much, much more.
One event that saw the space’s potential is Short & Sweet, a global short film experience that began in London and has since been projected to audiences from Cape Town to Johannesburg, to Toronto, Portland and Amsterdam. Each of the five weeks of the event brings a different selection of the finest short films, music videos and short animations from around the globe, highlighting Catalan and Spanish directors, and drawing attention to local film-making talent. The program is kept under tight wraps before the screenings, because the films range from 2 to 15 minutes long, and are carefully curated to take audiences on a journey, creatively, emotionally and personally. All films are in their original language from around the world. Some, but not all, have subtitles, but never fear: most are art-based and with little dialogue.
Doors open at 7pm for those who want to grab the best seats in the house (hammock and floorbeds included), enjoy the exclusive Short & Sweet art exhibition, and grab a bite to eat and drink before the screening hits play. From the premiere, the first showing was a film from Kibwe, an architect from South Africa. He catapulted the audience through the journey of two aspirational South African photographers who, after sharing their dreams of success, stepped into the hands of luck as they captured a breathtaking image of a colossal fish diving out of the sea. The photographer shoots underneath its fins, and rises to instant fame, and their town becomes a tourism empire thanks to ‘big fish man.’ Fast-paced raw cinematography, injected with bold colors and trippy visual elements, push this dramatic and mysterious film to be a real gripper, setting the tone for the night. The following screenings flew into animation and comedy before viewers were lured into the trappings of mind-bending surrealism. The event’s multi-cultural audience of mixed aged groups really portrayed this place as what it’s been set out to be: a cultural hotspot for people to hang out and clash ideas… or whatever it is they feel.
Short & Sweet is going to have no bother rallying together round after round of troops for each selection of cinematic experiences, and it is very likely that this film series will continue in Barcelona for years to come.