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Pere Mas: "The Torretes short film Award is becoming more international".

Pere Mas is responsible for the short film section of the Festimatge and he is very satisfied with the international impact of the event.

By: Àlex M. Franquet

- The Festimatge is increasingly international.
- That is true. The Torretes short film Award and the Festimatge are becoming more international. Every time we have more foreign competitors and more people everywhere know about our Festival. As an example, the rules of the contest are published in English, Catalan and Spanish. And the rules were distributed through many more channels that ever. The result is that we have received more short films than ever. We are very pleased with the final amount.

- How many short films have been received?
- 563 short films were submitted to the contest, compared to 296 in 2013. That's a very important increase. Therefore, the increase is very important. Of those 563 short films, 63 are documentaries and 65 are animated ones.

- And they are from everywhere, from Europe and the five continents.
- We are known worldwide, so we get them from everywhere. For example, we received short films across Europe. From Belgium, Poland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Cyprus, Holland, France, Sweden, Austria, Slovakia, Portugal, Ireland, Serbia, Bulgaria and Hungary. From the American continent we received short films from the United States, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Canada. There are also works from countries like Iran, Israel, Emirates, Iraq, South Korea, Russia, Kazakhstan and Japan.

- The option of receiving short films via online has made things easier.
- Yes, we have received most part of the short films online. This makes it easier to accept more works and has also been easier for us to watch them, in order to make the final selection. The Jury has seen many films. When we accepted only the DVD format everything was more complicated.

- And which quality level we can see?
- The level is much higher than in previous editions. This means we have had to make an effort with the final selection. 563 short were received. An initial selection of 110 was made. Only 45 of those ended up as finalists. These are those the ones that have been seen by the jury.

- What topics are covered at the shorts?
- They talk a lot about domestic violence and about every day problems. There are also some fun short. I'm not sure if it is because of the crisis, but I think that the films are based on everyday stories. If there is stress in society, this affects the writers.

- This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Short Film awards here in Calella. You have been in the organization for the last 20 years. What changes have you seen?
- There is a big difference: the authors have grown as creatrors and we have also grown as organizers. Reaching 20 years is a great achievement and we should celebrate it as it deserves.

- The best way to celebrate is to go back to see some of the most important short films from these last 20 years seen in Calella.
- That is what we want to do. There will be a Special Gala at the Sala Mozart on April 10 at 21.30. We will show a collection of the most important short films from these years. For example, in the second Torretes Trophy, the award for best screenplay went to Juan Antonio Bayona for his short "Crédula". Now Bayona has directed major Hollywood movies such as "The Impossible" and he is preparing the second part of "World War Z".
We will also present the short film "Aquel no era yo" by Esteban Crespo , who has been nominated for an Oscar this year and is a finalist here at the Festimatge. Other short selected is "Éramos pocos" by Borja Cobeaga, who was nominated at the Oscars nominated in 2.006 and was awarded at the Festimatge.
A special short film for us is "El maletín" by Toni Bestard, who 20 years ago was the first winner of the Torretes Award. By the way, Toni Bestard participates again in this 2014 with the film "Foley Artist". Finally, we will enjoy watching "Tadeo Jones" by Enrique Gato, who won three Goya Awards.

- A special act will be a short made for deaf people.
- We are pleased to collaborate with this asssociation "Deaf Calella". They are good fans of cinema and we want to have this detail with them. We can envision "Obsessió" a short film produced with the international sign language for the deaf. It will shown on Sunday April 13 at the Sala Mozart.

- Give us reasons to go see this Festimatge short films.
- Well, I highly recommend people to come and see the short films because most short films could be long films, movies. The ideas are very original. Movies are often created based on the idea of ​​a short one. A feature film is often nothing more than a short one extended.

- Which is the level of the short in Catalunya? Is it going up?
- Yes, there is quality. We get some of them from the ESCAC (Escola Superior de Cinema i Audiovisuals de Catalunya). Curiously, a student at the ESCAC is from Calella and participates with his short at the Festimatge. He is Marc Martínez, and the short is called "Timothy". But Madrid has a lot of power in the world of short films. There are two producer companies like "Madrid en Corto" and "ECAM Madrid" that produce a lot. We receive a lot of short films from them. They also have a very high quality. From "Madrid en Corto" there are some short films that pleased the Jury.

- Remind us the places where we can see the shorts.
- At the Orfeó Calellenc, at La Tetera, at the Town Hall Aula and at the Sala Mozart.

- We always talk about that short films should see before movies in cinemas, but that never happens.
- It is very good idea. It would be a way to help the short films. Televisions, mainly TV3, should have a program dedicated to shor films. That support for Catalan cinema that always is said should start here. From short films, in the future, you will have later major authors. It has happened in the case of Bayona. Young people are formed and then make movies.

- Well, the bad news is that the "Somos Cortos" tv program from La 2 has been eliminated by TVE.
- That's very bad news. Canal + has sometimes organized short film screenings and they are a private channel. The authors would see their films projected and would gain more confidence. It would be very interesting.

- What do you expect of this Festimatge 2014?
- We must always think positively. The level will be similar to the last edition. The high level remains, whether in photography exhibitions or in short films. In addition, the 9'5 Meeting will include the European Meeting. It will be a full Festimatge.