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The Pit, Hollywood Talkies and Flying are three of the four films nominated in the documentary section of the fifth Gaudí Awards.

[15/01/13]

The Pit, Hollywood Talkies and Flying are three of the four films nominated in the documentary section of the fifth Gaudí Awards.

Three of the four finalist films for the best documentary in the fifth Gaudí Awards are projects from the Master in Making Documentaries , which is directed by Jordi Balló at IDEC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra. The nomination of the three documentaries brings further recognition to the role played by this master in the development of the documentary genre.

The three finalist documentaries are Ricardo Íscar's The Pit, written by Ricardo Íscar in collaboration with Sophie Köhler and produced by Bausan Films and Televisió de Catalunya with the participation of Televisión Española; Hollywood Talkies,   written and directed by Òscar Pérez and Mia de Ribot and produced by Getsemaní Produccions, Eddie Saeta and Televisió de Catalunya with the participation of Canal +; and Flying , written and directed by Carla Subirana and produced by Pandora Cinema and Zentropa Spain with the participation of Televisión Española.

The finalists also include Jordi Dauder, la Revolució Pendent [ Jordi Dauder, the Pending Revolution ] written and directed by Antoni Verdaguer and produced by Segarra Films and Televisió de Catalunya.

  • The Pit, a feature-length documentary that sprang from the Master in Making Documentaries taught at IDEC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra, was released on 29 June 2012. The documentary has won recognition with two awards: a Special Jury Mention at the Dock of the Bay Festival and the Silver Biznaga Special Jury Prize for the Documentary section at the fifteenth Malaga Spanish Film Festival.

    The Pit is about the musicians of the Orchestra at the Gran Teatre del Liceu Opera House, about their lives and their passions. Hidden away in the pit, homogenised by their black suits, dozens of musicians from different countries, with different experiences and instruments, pour their efforts into a common goal – to merge into one and disappear, because what matters is “the whole”. Who are these people? How does an Opera House work?

    This feature-length documentary is directed by Ricardo Íscar, lecturer for the Master in Making Documentaries, and is produced by Bausan Films, S. L. in collaboration with Televisió de Catalunya and with the participation of Televisión Española.

  • Hollywood Talkies was released on 16 December 2011, following a good response at the Venice Film Festival and the Gijón Film Festival. Directed by the young filmmakers Oscar Pérez and Mía Ribot, this project from the Master in Making Documentaries at IDEC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra takes us back to the 1930s, during the transformation of silent films into talkies . The documentary was produced by Getsemaní Producciones, Eddie Saeta and Televisió de Catalunya with the participation of Canal +.

    Young Spanish actors emigrated to Hollywood with the dream of becoming stars and leaving behind their drab home country. In those days, before the advent of voice-overs, some studios focused on making Spanish language copies of the biggest box office hits to corner the Latin American market, leading to the rise of second class actors. These productions were filmed in about two weeks, and the resulting quality was rather poor. It worked until the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, when some studios decided to sever their ties with Spain.

    Through this film, the director aims for viewers to relive the experience of the stars who, after leading a glamorous life for a few years, were forced to return to Spain, in most cases, with their dreams cut short.

  • Flying, directed by the scriptwriter and film director Carla Subirana, was released on 29 November 2012. The documentary, produced by Pandora Cinema and Zentropa Spain with the participation of Televisión Española, marked the first time that permission had been given to film inside a Spanish military academy.

    The documentary shows life inside the academy and military training and its rigid rules, offering an intimate portrait of the cadets training to become pilots. Through the camera, the spectator becomes one of them, observing those who will later become mere numbers and nondescript faces embarked on strategic missions. In the middle of the tumult the camera boards the plane and the spectator flies with them. When they were children they dreamed of being pilots. They felt the longing to fly and they enlisted in the military, but what will they have to sacrifice to achieve their dream?

The nominations for this year's Gaudí Awards bring further recognition to the Master in Making Documentaries in addition to its previous accolades. In 2002 it received the Ibaia Production Award from the Association of Basque Producers for “promoting new audiovisual media and as recognition for its adventurous and daring work, with unquestionable creative value, that it has undertaken in offering a master that encourages the creation of independent documentaries”. Its director, Jordi Balló, received the 2005 National Culture Award in the film category for his work on the Master. In 2012 the Rotterdam Festival dedicated a special section to the Master's films under the title “Signals Pompeu Fabra”.

The Director of the Master, Jordi Balló, is a lecturer at Pompeu Fabra University and Visiting Professor at the University of Stanford. A writer and producer, he is the author of the books La llavor inmortal . Els arguments universals en el cinema [ The Immortal Seed. Universal Themes in Cinema ] (1997), Imatges del silenci . Els motius visuals en el cine [ Images of Silence. Visual Motifs in the Cinema ] (2000), Jo ja he estat aquí [ I've Been Here Before ] (2005; Serra d'Or Award) and Els riscos del saber [ The Risks of Knowledge ] (2009). He has curated film exhibitions including “ The Film-makers' City ”, “Erice/Kiarostami. Correspondences” and “Hammershøi and Dreyer”. He has directed exhibitions at the Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona (CCCB), and in 2012 he received the City of Barcelona Award for the exhibition “The Complete Letters. Filmed Correspondence”.

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