We have asked the D’A 2024 programming advisors to tell us a little about their favorite films from this year’s edition. We pass the floor to Xavier Arnaiz, Carlos Losilla, Eulàlia Iglesias, Irene Visa, Diana Santamaria, Víctor Esquirol, Óscar Fernández, Violeta Kovacsics, Tariq Porter, Marc Barceló and Flor Clérico.

After a medium-length film as promising as Los páramos (2019), Jaime Puertas Castillo explores rurality again from a particular science fiction genre where reality mingles with fiction and where memory becomes oral tradition. Historia de pastores is, above all, a film open to mystery, with very fine humor, drones that appear and disappear, ghost farmhouses and other possible worlds. One of the freest and most fascinating debuts in recent years.

Xavier Arnaiz Guiu lives in Barcelona. He programs for D’A since 2018. He has worked as a cultural journalist, communicator, critic and audiovisual producer.

Aside from the unappealable Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World by Radu Jude, the most brutal cinematographic experience of the year, Camping du lac by Éléonore Saintagnan has stolen my heart, a utopian fable that unfolds from that passion for storytelling typical of the best Argentine cinema. And I hope that D’A consecrates Joanna Arnow as an essential name in the most uncomfortable and well-calibrated US comedy thanks to the great surprise that The Feeling that The Time for Doing Something Has Passed represents.

Eulàlia Iglesias Huix is a film and television critic (Ara, Caimán Cuadernos de Cine, Fotogramas, Rockdelux…), professor (URV) and programmer (D’A, Seminci).

Night Work by Christian Bagnat and Elvira Sánchez Poxon will, without a doubt, be one of the riskiest bets of D’A 2024: a hybrid and unpredictable film that not only mixes documentary and fiction, cinema and art, but also proposes a mystery that relates a group of Paraguayan immigrants with El Greco, Cuenca as an enchanted city and its most hidden side… An unclassifiable proposal that will not leave anyone indifferent.

Carlos Losilla is a writer, translator, and professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra and at ESCAC, besides being the curator of our Un Impulso Colectivo section.

Arturo a los 30 is a visual recreation of that compassionate inner voice that, in the worst moments and without any empirical basis, tells you: “Maybe you’re not doing so bad deep down.” And it is wrong. After the wonderful Juana a los 12, Martín Shanly returns with an endearing film, with an apparently irrelevant story that echoes relevant things such as the precariousness of 30s, social discomfort, and the increasingly unknown acquaintances that surround you as you get older. A story orchestrated through the protagonist, Arturo, but accompanied by characters that’d deserve a spin-off.

Irena Visa is a visual artist, performance playwright and teacher.

Rule of Two Walls by David Gutnik is a heartbreaking documentary film that portrays the beginnings of the Ukrainian conflict through the eyes of a couple of cultural activists from Lviv who try to continue with their lives, while the absurdity of war colors everything around them. When art can be the only redemption.

 

Óscar Fernández is a devourer of music, literature and cinema. He has been a programming advisor and editor of D’A since its inception. He is also a programmer of the Eufònic Festival of sound and visual arts.

La práctica is clearly one of the films I have loved the most this season. First, because it reminds us that imbuing ourselves with the astonishing charisma of Esteban Bigliardi and losing ourselves in the mountains is one of the most spiritually healthy exercises that cinema can give us; then, for his ability to portray, with a deliciously absurd wit and a disarming affection, life (ours) as what it is: a fusion of dysfunctions that makes us feel like a non-initiate in a class full of yoga teachers.

Víctor Esquirol is a double agent in “D’A” house: devoted to and at the service of the Sitges Fantastic Film Festival… and any other cinematographic celebration that is willing to tolerate his terrible puns.

The word “Mimang” has different meanings in Korean and, in Kim Taeyang’s debut film, we will discover them through three stories about the passage of time, relationships, chance and loss. Filmed with elegance, with touches by Hamaguchi, Sangsoo and Linklater, the film invites us to get lost in the luminous streets of Seoul, following the silhouette of its characters and their meditative conversations. You will leave the room lighter and with a smile.

Diana Santamaria is a film distributor at Atalante, worked for Capricci Films in the past.

Between a film and a museum installation, this piece is the tenth installment of the series by Tsai Ming-liang and Lee Kang-sheng in which the actor dresses as a Buddhist monk and walks slowly through real settings. In Abiding Nowhere, the monk crosses the streets of Washington, some emblematic places and some hidden spaces. Between the slowness of the monk and the urban bustle, an effect of estrangement is produced. The pause here becomes a countercultural and political gesture, which challenges the cinematographic, economic and vital impositions of a world that seems to be in a constant spin.

Violeta Kovacsics is a film critic for Caimán Cuadernos de Cine and Finestra Indiscreta on Catalunya Ràdio. She is a professor at ESCAC.

Miguel Ariza debuted at D’A last year and this year he returns with a short film that is decidedly minimalist but definitely incisive and full of a bad temper that could very well be the opposite, the candid innocence of a generation that takes refuge in the embers of wifi and the monitor light. And that’s where it all happens: on any screen, on any apartment, when a downpour cuts off the internet connection and unleashes the fantasies of a subject that has been, until then, absorbed, ecstatic in virtual realities. Could it be that small glitch in the Matrix, that small window of opportunity, the definitive moment to open the door and throw yourself into the arms of the tangible world? Ariza responds with an 8-bit film that talks about generational vices and a long-distance race with all goals to be defined, between grandiloquence and pathos.

Tariq Porter is a filmmaker, critic and programmer. He has directed several short films, has written about cinema for media such as Serra d’Or or Dirigido Por and is currently a programmer at D’A.

—Everything mutates.
—Indeed, everything mutates.

These are two lines taken from the film El espectro de Justine, now also present in Frialdad, the latest work by Andrea Sánchez. This short film appropriates the archive of a film that, until now, had not seen the light of day, directed by a woman who needed the collaboration of a young woman like Andrea to bring it to the cinema screen. This dialogue seems to summarize the reflection that this talented director-archivist makes on the archive itself, as well as on her country, Andorra, which has experienced transformations due to extreme tourism. Furthermore, it questions how the contemporary cinematographic system defines filmmaking. Isn’t recovering a lost film also a form of filmmaking?

Frialdad is an intelligent and friendly short film in which cinema expresses itself.

Flor Clérico is an Argentine producer. She has participated in several editions programming the Nest section of the San Sebastián Festival. This year she is a selector and tutor at the Ikusmira Berriak project residence.

“You won’t go wrong with Barcelona. It is the place to find dreams, and passion and art.” This is the opening of Bona nit, Rambles. Bareche and Barfull, as sharp as a needle, stand in the middle of the symbol of the city of Barcelona: a mighty river that runs up and down, without knowing where it empties, or where it comes from or where it is going. The two young directors tread this aimless territory and they leave evidence of the game they have played: filming, looking, being looked at, being filmed. A completely unequal dialogue that acts as a mirror of all the imbalances that Barcelona endures. Sooner or later, this document will be key to understanding the country at this long beginning of the 21st century.

Marc Barceló is a researcher and filmmaker. Trained at ESCAC and at the Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola, he does film journalism at the San Sebastián Int. Film Festival Newspaper and programs the short films selection at D’A.