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Conflict and Controversy in Small Cinemas

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Edited By Janina Falkowska and Krzysztof Loska

This book examines small cinemas and their presentation of society in times of crisis and conflict from an interdisciplinary and intercultural point of view. The authors concentrate on economic, social and political challenges and point to new phenomena which have been exposed by film directors. They present essays on, among others, Basque cinema; gendered controversies in post-communist small cinemas in Slovakia and Czech Republic; ethnic stereotypes in the works of Polish filmmakers; stereotypical representation of women in Japanese avant-garde; post-communist political myths in Hungary; the separatist movements of Catalonia; people in diasporas and during migrations. In view of these timely topics, the book touches on the most serious social and political problems. The films discussed provide an excellent platform for enhancing debates on politics, gender, migration and new aesthetics in cinema at departments of history, sociology, literature and film.

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5. New content and aesthetics in small cinemas: The case of the Basque-language films 80 egunean and Loreak (Iratxe Fresneda / Amaia Nerekan)

← 70 | 71 →

Iratxe Fresneda

University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU

Audiovisual Communication Department

Amaia Nerekan

University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU

5. New content and aesthetics in small cinemas: The case of the Basque-language films 80 egunean and Loreak

Abstract: In 2015, at the 63rd San Sebastian International Film Festival, cultural policy makers from 15 countries and regions where non-hegemonic languages are spoken issued the manifesto, Glocal Cinema: Big Stories, Small Countries. This manifesto seeks to promote and showcase the value of the work of professionals from these Small Cinemas. Together with this, 2005 can be considered a turning point in Basque-language cinematography, which is included in the Small Cinemas group. This year saw a substantial growth in the production of Basque films that turn from content typecast under the Basque Conflict, demonstrating the emergence of new aesthetics, content, and formats of audiovisual production. Moreover, the films directed by Jon Goenaga and Jose Mari Garaño attained international recognition, winning many international awards, and one of these films was selected to compete at the Oscar Awards. This chapter explores how local cinema become Global Cinema, analyzing the films 80 egunean and Loreak and examining their content and the aesthetics tied to their successful production, distribution, and exhibition.

Keywords: Basque cinema, Glocal cinema, small cinema, cinema in the Basque language, 80 egunean, Loreak

Introduction

Multilingualism is one of the main characteristics of the cultural diversity of the European Union (EU). The key aims of the EU specified in the Treaty on European Union (TEU) include that of respecting “its rich cultural and linguistic diversity” and ensuring that “Europe’s cultural heritage is safeguarded and enhanced” (article 3, TEU). According to the European Commission, the EU has 500 million citizens← 71 | 72 → and 24 official languages,1 a figure that is lower than that of member states, which is 28, since several share the same language. But alongside the official languages, there are over 60 regional or autochthonous minority languages in the EU, with a total of some 40 million speakers, almost 10% of EU citizens. These minority languages include Euskera, the Basque language.

Conscious of this cultural and linguistic diversity, many initiatives have been set underway in recent years. At the 63rd San Sebastian International Film Festival (Zinemaldia), a total of 15 European regions, including the Basque Country, signed the manifesto “Glocal cinema: big stories, small countries,” to encourage cinema in non-hegemonic languages. As the manifesto states, despite the increasing market share of European films and the growing weight of internal production in the European market, “if we take a look at the most seen films in Europe in 2014, 18 of the top 20 are in English, French, German or Spanish.” This makes it patently clear that European filmographies produced in non-hegemonic languages require special attention and public support.

This chapter explores how the local cinema can become Global Cinema by analyzing the films 80 egunean and Loreak and by examining their content and the aesthetic tied to the independent production and coproduction as keys of success.

For that purpose, this chapter first provides a survey of fiction feature films made in Euskera up to the end of 2015, making use of the database of rated films of the Ministry of Culture and taking account of the different publications on the question and the abovementioned manifesto “Glocal cinema: big stories, small countries.” Finally, it focuses on two Basque-language feature films that have achieved international success in recent years: 80 egunean (80 Days) and Loreak (Flowers), directed by Jose Mari Goenaga and Jon Garaño. These directors have a long and successful career and are one of the main referents in the New Basque Cinema.

Manifesto: Glocal cinema: big stories, small countries2

The manifesto “Glocal cinema: big stories, small countries” was presented on 21 September 2015 during the 63rd San Sebastian International Film Festival. This was signed by 15 European regions,3 including the Basque Country. The main aim ← 72 | 73 → of this initiative is to encourage cinema in non-hegemonic European languages, by which is meant European cinema not filmed in English, French, German, Spanish, or Italian.

The manifesto, which extols the value of Europe’s cultural and linguistic diversity, aims to “reinforce the value of another cultural map of Europe, with the distribution and exhibition of films in languages other than the louder European languages” and calls for “public support for this important issue.” There are many filmmakers who decide to make their films in minority languages, although this entails positioning themselves in a very small market and creates difficulties for funding, distributing, and screening those films. Institutional support becomes especially important in this case. The manifesto aims to raise awareness of the importance of small cinemas, due to “the need of every community to tell its own stories in its own languages.”

The document contains a four-point agenda, with the aim of strengthening the activities of the cinematographic industry in small- and medium-sized languages:4

  1. To create a formal workgroup.
  2. To support meetings and cooperation among filmmakers.
  3. To increase knowledge of the linguistic diversity of European cinema.
  4. To increase the visibility of small cinemas.

The signatories agree to meet periodically in the framework of the European film festivals. Following the first meeting, the workgroup met again at the 66th edition of the Berlinale and will do so again at the next edition to set the roadmap for 2018. The Glocal Cinemas Network also participated in the European Film Forum held in Brussels in December 2016. 5 ← 73 | 74 →

Cinema made in Basque

Basque cinema or cinema made in Basque? To be or not to be

Although this chapter focuses on fiction feature films in Euskera (Basque), the first film made in that language (partly in Spanish) was not fiction, but the documentary Ama Lur (Tierra Madre) (Néstor Basterretxea and Fernando Larruquert).6 It was premiered in 1968 during the debate over what should be considered Basque cinema.7 For some the language employed is, from the outset, the key factor in defense of a Basque cinematography. One author who defended this position was Antton Ezeiza, a filmmaker from San Sebastian recently returned from exile, who “argue[d] for a Basque national filmography whose first condition is Euskera” (Roldán, 1996: 166). An initial step in developing this Basque-language cinematography was the production of the series Ikuska, produced between 1978 and 1984 by the producer Bertan Filmeak. This series was coordinated by Ezeiza himself and consisted of 20 shorts directed by different Basque directors.

A decade after the premiere of Ama Lur, the first Basque-language fiction feature film, Balantzatxoa, reached the cinemas. From then until 2015 a total of 38 fiction films were produced in Euskera. The production and development of Basque-language cinematography is uneven, with periods of scant production and others that are more fruitful, directly related to the cultural policies in effect in each period. ← 74 | 75 →

Without going into whether or not the language defines a film as “Basque,” it is unquestionable that the development of cinema in Euskera has been (and currently continues to be) dependent on the mechanisms of protecting and funding the language.8 In Josu Barambones’s analysis of Basque-language cinema, he observes that during the 1980s cinema made in Euskera “experienced what can be called ‘the golden age of Basque cinema’ (Barambones, 2011: 6). He attributes this boom in production to the grants policy established by the Basque government at that time, together with the grants awarded by the Spanish state, from the Ministry directed by Pilar Miró:

Within this context of institutional support, in 1982 the Department of Culture of the Basque government set up a project aimed at producing, with technical personnel from the Basque Country, six films based on literary works by Basque authors who write in Euskera. From this initial project, three medium-length films emerged during 1985 lasting approximately 55 minutes: Zergatik Panpox (Why Cutie) (1985), directed by Xabier Elorriaga and based on the novel by the writer Arantxa Urretabizkaia; Ehun metro (One Hundred Meters) (1985), by Alfonso Ungria, based on the novel by Ramon Saizarbitoria; and Hamaseigarrenean aidanez (It Happened on the Sixteenth) (1985) directed by Angel Lertxundi and based on his own novel (Barambones, 2011: 7).

These three films were joined by another two films shot in the late 1980s: Oraingoz izen gabe (Still Nameless) (1986) by José Julián Bakedano with a screenplay by Bernardo Atxaga and Kareletik (Overboard) (1987) directed by Angel Lertxundi; these were followed by Ander eta Yul (Ander and Yul, Ana Díez, 1988) and Ke arteko egunak (Days of Smoke, 1989, Antton Ezeiza).

The 1980s, an exciting decade in terms of the number of productions, were followed by years when the production of films in Euskera virtually ceased. During the 1990s only three feature films were released, compared to the nine films shot in the previous decade: Offeko maitasuna (Amor en Off) (Koldo Izagirre, 1992), Urte ilunak (The Dark Years) (Arantxa Lazkano, 1993), and Maitè, a Basque–Cuban coproduction directed by Carlos Zabala and Eneko Olasagasti, where the Basque characters speak Euskera among themselves and Spanish with the Cubans on the island. Following the release of Maitè in 1994, no film was shot for over a decade due in large part to the “Basque government’s disastrous policy of subsidies” (Barambones, 2011: 7). During a large part of the 1990s, Euskal Media (Basque Government`s public society) ignored incomprehensibly the most interesting ← 75 | 76 → and box office projects of the Basque filmmakers, forcing many directors to disassociate themselves from Basque Country. There are cases of successes such as Mutant Action (1993) by Alex de la Iglesia, Squirrels (1993) by Julio Medem, Stories of the Kronen (1995) by Montxo Armendáriz, The Day of the Beast (1995) by Alex de la Iglesia, and Tierra (1996) by Julio Medem.

Aupa Etxebeste! Go, cinema in Basque, go!

The release of the film Aupa Etxebeste! (Go Etxebeste!), the first work by Telmo Esnal and Asier Altuna in 2005, was a turning point in the production of feature films in Euskera for several reasons. After more than 10 years without the release of any films shot entirely in Euskera, the commercial success it achieved, with 71,972 spectators and box office takings of €341,462.88, encouraged many other creators to produce in Euskera, since “films like Aupa Etxebeste! demonstrate that if the public is offered a quality product and it is suitably promoted, the spectators will respond” (Barambones, 2011: 8). Screened in cinemas in the original version with subtitles in Spanish, Aupa Etxebeste! was selected for several international festivals and won prizes.

This film’s genre was also completely novel in Basque-language cinema. While the films from the 1980s and 1990s had mainly been dramas, Esnal and Altuna chose to produce a comedy,9 with a fresher and more cheerful subject, removed from the socio-political problems that had been so prevalent in Basque cinema in previous decades, in both Euskera and Spanish. This was cinema whose subject matter was less politicized than that of earlier years:

[I]t is true that at first nationalist ideology loomed over the field in a truly obsessive way, and it was really difficult to find a film that was not focused on the convulsive reality of the country or that did not return to the past to delve into its historical origins. But this is something that was to be lost as time passed and the political situation was normalized (Roldán Larreta, 1999: 9).

From 2005 onward, at least one film in Euskera was made each year (except in 2008), thanks to the agreement signed by the associations of Basque producers (Association of Independent Audiovisual Producers of the Basque Country ← 76 | 77 → [IBAIA] and Basque Producers Association [EPE-APV]), the Basque government and the Basque public broadcasting corporation (EITB). This agreement established a production quota of one feature film in Euskera per year. This was widened in the agreement of 2008, which established that at least two films should be made in Euskera in subsequent years. In her research on the funding of Basque-language cinema, Miren Manías highlights the contribution of EITB, which she considers “has been a fundamental source of funding for the development of cinematography in recent years” (Manías, 2015: 92). The increase in the production of Basque-language cinema was notable in this final stage, and as many as five films in Euskera were released in 2011. Some authors cautiously speak of a “recovery of cinema in Euskera” and note that public investments in the creative, technical, and economic fields are of great help in laying solid foundations that will give long-term continuity to Basque-language cinema. However, they warn about the fragility of that recovery and that there is a danger of a drop in institutional support due to the cutbacks derived from the economic crisis (Manías, 2013).

Together with production, this last period has seen a notable increase in the technical and artistic quality of the films shot in Euskera. Young directors are starting to make a name for themselves, such as Asier Altuna (Aupa Etxebeste! 2005, Amama [Amama – When a Tree Falls] 2016), Telmo Esnal (Aupa Etxebeste! 2005, Urteberri on, Amona! 2011), and Jon Garaño and Jose Mari Goenega (80 egunean 2010, Loreak 2014). A new crop of filmmakers who are opting, in spite of the difficulties, to make high-quality cinema in Euskera is receiving considerable recognition at festivals – even internationally in some cases – although without repeating the box office figures achieved in 2015 by Aupa Etxebeste! This is the case of 80 egunean and Loreak.

Case study of 80 egunean (80 Days): The film’s authors (directors and screenwriters)

Jon Garaño (San Sebastian, 1974) and José Mari Goenaga (Ordizia, 1976) studied together in San Sebastian at the Sarobe Film School. In 2001, after completing their studies, they formed the Moriarti production company together with another four colleagues: Xabier Berzosa, Aitor Arregi, Asier Acha, and Jorge Gil Munarriz. Together and separately they have directed successful works, including the prize-winning shorts Tercero B, Sintonía, and Lagun Mina, which between them have won over 150 prizes. The animated feature Supertramps (nominated for the Goya award for Best Animated Film in 2005) and the feature-length documentary Lucio (premiered at the San Sebastian International Film Festival and nominated for ← 77 | 78 → the Goya award for Best Documentary Film in 2007) were key works when it came to securing a place for the work of young Basque filmmakers in the Basque and European audiovisual market. 80 egunean and Loreak are thus the result of a solid trajectory.

80 egunean

The plot: Axun is a 70-year-old woman who reencounters her great friend from adolescence, Maite, a music teacher who lives outside the conventions of the women of her generation.

Filmed entirely in Basque, this is the only representation to date in Basque cinema of “older” women belonging to the LGBTI collective. It deals with the friendship that has existed between the protagonists since their childhood, their sexual attraction in the third age and the consequences of this on their family environment.

“Risky” cinema

There is a common and inherent feature in making any film: the economic risk entailed in investing time and money in a highly uncertain market. In the case of 80 egunean, the linguistic option – choosing a minority language as a vehicle – generates another series of difficulties. But in addition to the risk involved in producing a film in a non-hegemonic language, 80 egunean adds other “risks” in the choice of subject and the profile of its characters: The protagonists are elderly, as well as being women who love other women with whom they have sexual relations (this is not a pornographic film). As Andrea Francisco observes in an interesting article on sexual diversity and educational inclusion “since the beginning of cinema and television, lesbian and bisexual characters have been almost non-existent and when a love story between two women was presented, it always ended in tragedy, depression, madness or perversion” (Amat Francisco and Moliner Miravet, 2011: 155).

Subject versus form

Some of the main issues dealt with in the story of 80 egunean emerge from the universal duality, life and death, to frame the story and differentiate between men and women, the countryside and cosmopolitanism, but above all to highlight the friction between the private and public spaces. The characters of Axun and Maite are constructed in that context. Axun is a housewife who feels desire for another woman, but she is married, attached to tradition and religion. Maite is a political ← 78 | 79 → lesbian, a music teacher, single, empowered, and liberated. Both are portrayed by means of close-ups that underline their psychology. There are frequent shots in which both are in the same frame, stressing their emotional proximity. The camera also observes the characters from afar, in exterior space and into the public sphere. The form speaks of intimacy, the importance of liberation in the private space to achieve freedom in the public space.

This melodrama, a film about everyday life, generates a two-way flow between collective conflict and the individual. On the one hand, we have the conflict between the hegemonic sexuality versus out-of-system sexualities, and on the other hand, we have the individual fighting with socio-political issues in Basque Country.

At the end of 80 egunean, in the last sequence, Mikel’s funeral is portrayed as a kind of liberation from the Basque Conflict theme connecting with La muerte de Mikel (1984) by Imanol Uribe. Both films are tied with the link of LGBT characters in intimidating communities.

In La muerte the Mikel, we see a man, a left nationalist pharmacist, who is in love with a drag woman in a heteronormative society, fighting for his sexual identity.

In 80 egunean, two women are in love in, also, a heteronormative society fighting for their love.

Thirty years later 80 egunean works as a kind of relief from the past. Metaphorically it tells us that a new way of making cinema, with new themes, is just arriving when they buried Mikel in 80 egunean (they are also burying the past that La muerte de Mikel represents), also a new society is arriving hopefully.

Case study of Loreak (Flowers): Glocal cinema destined for the red carpet

Loreak is the second fiction feature film directed by the duo Garaño–Goenaga and, like 80 egunean, female characters are the protagonists. Loreak tells the story of three women whose lives are emotionally affected by the appearance of mysterious bouquets of flowers. It is a simple, moving film, completely shot in Euskera. Its unprecedented success makes it a landmark in Basque-language cinema.

Since it was premiered at Zinemaldia in 2014, the trajectory of Loreak has been intense: forty festivals, nominated as best film for the Goya awards and screened at a dozen festivals in the United States, amongst many other nominations, prizes and events. The result in terms of prizes has been lower than one might expect from the film’s reception. Indeed, the film has been widely praised by the critics, who have described it as: “A true jewel of sensitivity, intelligence and beauty” (Fotogramas), “magnificent, simplicity made ← 79 | 80 → into art” (El Mundo), “prodigious narrative” (Gara), “notable delicacy, sensitivity and poetry” (El País), a “superb” film (Deia) or “cinema in capital letters” (El Diario Vasco) (Rincón, 2016: 2).

With nearly twice as many spectators as the previous film (47,099) and nearly double the box office takings (€254,400.83), Loreak marks a turning point in Basque-language cinema for several reasons: It was the first film shot entirely in Euskera to be selected for the Official Section of the San Sebastian International Film Festival10 and it was shortlisted by the Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences to represent Spain for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, although it was not finally selected. This circumstance was described as an “historic event” by the Basque government.

This news was greeted with surprise and great enthusiasm by everyone who formed part of the project. Selection for the prizes of the Hollywood Cinema Academy was described as an “historical event” by Cristina Uriarte, Counselor for Culture of the Basque government, at the briefing by the autonomous government’s spokesperson, Josu Erkoreka, which she interrupted to make the news known (Rincón, 2016: 2).

The decision by the directors to film in Euskera occurred as something “natural,” as they themselves have stated more than once. It was also conditioned by the cultural and subsidy policies of the public institutions, which carry out positive discrimination in favor of productions in Euskera.11

In the Basque Country, above all EITB, they carry out positive discrimination in favor of films in Euskera, and support them with greater subsidies, so it is true that perhaps one loses on one side, or it is more difficult to obtain funding through some channels, but one opens up others. Moreover, in this case, we were lucky in that the Ministry of Culture got involved, as did Spanish Television… it is a film that a priori, in spite of being in Euskera, has been well supported in terms of funding. Later on, the effect this might have on box office takings, we’re aware that this could somewhat restrict the takings in Spanish territory. But it is also true, for example, that if there is a vocation to reach other countries and for the film to be distributed elsewhere, then the language does not have such an effect. You go to international festivals and it doesn’t matter if the film is in Czech or in Romanian, in Euskera or in Spanish, they are going to treat you the same.← 80 | 81 → Furthermore, if it is a film in a minority language, that can even be a point in its favor (Cabacas, 2014, my translation).

Besides the language, another characteristic that defines Loreak is its simplicity with respect to both its content and form. Loreak is an intimate drama, but at the same time an “emotional thriller.” A mysterious bouquet of flowers serves as an excuse to unite the story of the three women protagonists. On one side, there is Ane (Nagore Aranburu), a young woman with a sad appearance, whose life changes unexpectedly when she begins to receive a bouquet of flowers each week from an unknown sender. The flowers contribute illusion to her gray and monotonous married life. On the other side, there are Tere (Itziar Aizpuru) and Lourdes (Itziar Ituño), whose lives are also affected by some flowers. Every week an unknown person places a bouquet at the site where someone of great importance to them died in a traffic accident (Tere’s son and Lourdes’s husband). In this case the meaning of flowers is very different; these flowers are for remembering, for not forgetting. This is the underlying theme in Loreak. It speaks of memory, of the conflict between remembering and forgetting. One of the characters chooses to preserve memories, while another believes that forgetting is the best way to heal wounds. The position of the film’s characters, with its clear political background, can be extrapolated to what is happening today in the Spanish state. Far from remaining at the local level, Loreak is a film that deals with a global, universal issue, that of (historical) memory.

Simplicity is a part of Goenaga and Garaño’s formal wager. With Loreak, they propose a cinematographic aesthetic where less is more, restrained like the film’s characters, carrying out a game of mirrors among the protagonists and through the framing. The composition of the majority of the shots used to portray the characters is symmetrical. Empty rooms, dim lights, rain, calm, impenetrability, secrecy, solitude. The female characters appear isolated, incommunicado, and encapsulated. Notable in this respect is the choice of locations, since two of the female characters work in cabins, in capsules, in small glass cages. They are characters who look inward, who seek within themselves and have problems communicating with the exterior. Sometimes it is the framing itself that isolates or oppresses the character.

Films like Loreak make it clear that small cinemas can go a long way, even reaching the edge of the red carpet, and that in spite of the difficulties involved in choosing to film in a minority language, they can aspire to a successful international trajectory. ← 81 | 82 →

Conclusions: Toward a thematic and aesthetic evolution

Thematic evolution

80 egunean contributes to creating a positive image that fights against the invisibility of lesbians in film, a novel undertaking that is linked to making visible and normalizing the image of the so-called “third age,” giving the characters desires and concerns as active beings.

Loreak addresses the need to remember in both the personal and collective fields, and makes a gesture toward the debate on historical memory in the Spanish state.

Women are the protagonists in both films, which deal with the characters’ place and role in the public and private spheres. The issues addressed have political and social importance (lesbianism, elderly people as active subjects, etc.), but at the same time they distance themselves from the issue of the Basque conflict or terrorism.

Evolution of production processes

One of the most important features in the production processes of the films analyzed is the important presence of Basque production companies (Irusoin, Moriarti, and Txintxua) which, besides being relatively new, are based in the Basque Autonomous Community.

Irusoin is an independent production and post-production company located in Bilbao and San Sebastian founded in 1982. Loreak (Flowers) has managed to become the first entirely Basque-spoken film to compete in the San Sebastian International Film Festival and to represent Spain in the Oscar Academy Awards 2016. Their previous film For 80 days (80 egunean) has competed in more than 130 international festivals, and Handia directed by Aitor Arregi and Jon Garaño won The Special jury Prize 2017 in San Sebastian Film Festival.

Moriarti is an independent film Production company founded in 2001 by Jon Garaño, Jose Mari Goenaga, and Aitor Arregi among others. They produced and coproduced films and documentaries such as Handia (2017), Loreak (2015), Lucio (2017) or 80 egunean (2010) together with Irusoin.

Txintxua Films S.L. is a film production company created in 2008 by Director and Screenwriter Asier Altuna and Producer Marian Fernandez Pascal. The company is based in Trintxerpe-Pasaia, near San Sebastian, and it produced films such as Amama by Asier Altuna (scored in 2015 in San Sebastian competition), Ghost Ship by Koldo Almandoz (scored in 2016 in Zabaltegi-Tabakalera San Sebastian Film Festival), and Dantza directed by Telmo Esnal (awarded with Glocal In Progress award 2017 in San Sebastian International Film Festival among others). ← 82 | 83 →

On the other hand, we would suggest that some of the Basque government’s measures of positive discrimination in favor of films shot in Basque have contributed to the production of both films, together with EITB’s coproduction.

Aesthetic evolution

As a result of the evolution in both the subjects addressed and the production processes, there has been a notable change in the aesthetic of the films.

The audiovisual identity of the two films meets the requirements of formal minimalism (here the work of Javier Aguirre, cinematography, and Mike Serrano, art direction, should be underscored) and moves away from the more baroque proposals we find in other Basque films.

Finally, we can affirm that it is the confluence of everything described above that has led to the commercial success and international recognition of the two films (above all Loreak).

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Ph.D. Thesis

Manías, M. (2015). Euskarazko zinemaren produkzioa eta finantziazioa (2005–2012): hamaika fikziozko film luzeren azterketa ekonomikoa.


1 The 24 official working languages are Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, and Swedish.

2 Manifiesto available online at the following link: http://www.glocalcinema.com/pages/manifesto.

3 Wales, Sweden, Slovenia, Finland, Poland, Norway, Latvia, Ireland, Iceland, Hungary, Italy, Fruili, Estonia, Denmark, and the Basque Country.

4 A novel feature of the last edition of the San Sebastian Festival with respect to the industry was the Focus on Glocal Cinemas, held during the V Europe-Latin America Co-production Forum. This was a meeting of professionals, set up in collaboration with the Glocal Cinemas Network, and is the starting point for creating a new activity in the industry in 2017. This will consist in screening European films in non-hegemonic languages in post-production to an audience of producers, distributers, sales agents, and programmers who can contribute to their completion and international circulation. This new activity will be called Glocal in Progress.

5 Information from an online interview with Jara Ayucar, coordinator of the Glocal Cinema project, during the 64th San Sebastian Festival.

6 It is worth highlighting the recent discovery by Josu Martínez, a researcher at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), who found a mute copy of a documentary feature film titled Gure sor lekua (Our Birthplace), which can be considered the first film shot in Euskera in the late 1950s and was believed lost. It was directed by General André Madré, who was born in Hazparne. According to Josu Martínez, this is the first film in Euskera, although it must be said that in researching his doctoral thesis, later published as a book (Martínez, 2015), he was unable to find the film’s soundtrack, which would have provided irrefutable proof that this is the first film shot in Euskera.

7 There are many publications defending various positions on the debate over the existence of a Basque Cinema and what its characteristics should be, a debate that was fervent in the 1970s and, above all, after the end of Francoism. There are more general publications, like those of Zunzunegui (1985), Unsain (1985),De Pablo (1996), and others, that focus more on the importance of Euskera in that definition of Basque Cinema, such as the articles by Roldán Larreta (1996 and 1997). It is also worth highlighting the work of Torrado (2004), who traces the evolution of the concept of Basque cinema through the bibliography, and one of the most recent articles published on the subject, Macías (2011).

8 Miren Manias Muñoz has researched the production and funding of cinema in Euskera. In her doctoral thesis “Euskarazko zinemaren produkzioa eta finantziazioa (2005–2012): hamaika fikziozko film luzeren azterketa ekonomikoa, she makes an economic analysis of 11 feature films produced in Euskera.

9 Previously only one comedy had been produced, Maitè, a Basque–Cuban coproduction by Carlos Zabala and Eneko Olasagasti, in 1994. Following the release of Aupa Etxebeste! in 2005, the tendency changed and other comedies were released in Euskera: Kutsidazu bidea, Ixabel (Follow The Way, Ixabel) (2006), Eutsi! (Hold On!) (2007), Sukalde kontuak (Cooking Secrets) (2009), Zigortzaileak (The Punishers) (2010), Urteberri on, Amona! (Happy New Year, Granma!) (2011), and Bypass (2012).

10 Loreak opened up a path that was continued in the next edition of Zinemaldi, at which another film in Euskera also took part in the Official Section: Amama (Asier Altuna, 2015).

11 Source: José Mari Goenaga and Jon Garaño interviewed by Eloy Cabacas for Lgecine, available online at the following link: http://lgecine.org/2014/10/entrevista-jose-maria-goenaga-y-jon-garano-directores-de-loreak/.