For the first time, in the category of the Goya for the best new direction, there is a female majority. On two other occasions there was parity. But in the 2019 edition faces the Bilbao Arantxa Echevarría, 50, director of Carmen and Lola; Sevillian Celia Rico Clavellino, 36, director of Travel to a mother's room; Pamplona Andrea Jaurrieta, 32, responsible for Ana by day, and the brothers from Madrid, José and César Esteban Alenda, aged 41 and 40 respectively, co-directors of Endless. Days before the ceremony, which will be held tomorrow in Seville, the quartet -quintet for the brothers- met to debate in EL PAÍS in a meeting full of laughter and reflections on the new Spanish cinema. And the first reflection arose on account of that feminine majority.
Arantxa Echevarría. I think it was because of the ICAA grants [el Instituto que regula el cine dentro del Ministerio de Cultura], that drive in favor of parity, and I think that producers have seen a gap, they have studied people who have been making short films for a while and have asked us for material. Many of us were at the limit, wanting to throw us along and this help has been very good. Suddenly, these women film students can see an exit to shoot their film. Actually, it is part of what is happening in our society, which is experiencing an opening … Now, I suspect that it is circumstantial, that in the coming years it can change, and of course it is essential that these aids be maintained.
César Esteban Alenda. I think it's great, and when it gets back to normal, the better, because the news would be that they are the best movies of the year. Why are we here three women and one man … unfolded? Because they are four great movies.
Andrea Jaurrieta There is also a new generation, which comes from schools. In the short film it is seen: there are a lot of filmmakers. That's why I'm an optimist, and if you keep betting on this path there will be a moment in what else the genre gives, if a man and a woman make the films as interesting for producers as for the public.
A. E. There is a new blood, a new way of telling, regardless of sex. We have done a lot of short, much previous work, and it shows in that crop of films, which are very different from each other.
José Esteban Alenda. It is not only a matter of novice directors, it is that producers are also changing. There is a new generation that has been accompanying us during these years in shorts, connecting generationally or vitally with a new way of narrating, of looking, with a boldness … They know us, they recognize us and they understand that we are not a risk value .
A. E. I also believe that the public is beginning to identify with Spanish cinema, when there has been a rejection for a long time …
A. J. Well, this year the box office has not gone well either …
The candidates have come to the gala of the 33rd edition of the Goya awards with four films that have little to do, except for the detail, important detail, that its protagonists are active characters, that at a given time -for various reasons- They decide to turn their lives around. "True," reflects Arantxa Echevarría, "none of them had thought about it, eh? [risas]" José Esteban Alenda enters the debate: "Because the characters are richer, there is more travel in the dramatic arc. In Endless, We wanted that to be seen as much in the role of Javier Rey as in that of María León. " Echevarría continues: "We are a generation that wants to change things. In Carmen and Lola It is seen from the beginning: you must stay true to what you feel, even if that alters you and mutes your life. " In the case of Trip to a mother's room, as Celia Rico Clavellino assures, "only the changes that are born when diverting the focus on some priorities and taking them to others are valid. The mother has turned to the daughter, and when it is gone, the emptiness it leaves pushes her parent to worry about her own situation. The new relationship arises from a deep inner transformation and no longer faces from mother to daughter, but from you to you ". Finally, Ana by day, of Andrea Jaurrieta, "is developed precisely through a girl of middle class exemplary life" who decides to break everything.
What has the Goya candidacy brought you? "Except superpuntual cases, of reputable filmmakers, the project is above the filmmaker," says César Esteban Alenda. "So you expect the producers to see for a second film that you have the armed project, well prepared, and that you accompany it with the endorsement of the Goya candidacy for the first feature film". The rest points out that this repercussion, the small window of promotion that is opened to them these days before the Goyas, is fundamental for that desire, that of the second film. The prize is almost the least.
A. E. I see it better than a few years ago. There is an audience for Trip to a mother's room… Let's see, we're not breakers at the box office, that's clear, but there is a group of spectators who have accompanied us since the short films, and who is now with us.
Celia Rico Clavellino. Many of the novel films have gone through festivals, including international [como así ha ocurrido con el cuarteto finalista], and that gives them a stamp, a certain prestige, and the public may notice that and give the film that is being rewarded an opportunity, and that serves as a boost.
J. E. A. We are from a generation that has grown up with urban cinema, where Spanish cinema was projected … Although almost better to call it independent, author's cinema, which is not so commercial. It does not have a gap, because they premiere Fantastic animals 2 and it is that it appears even in the art and rehearsal rooms. It is such a big penetration that it makes competition difficult. There is no equality of conditions. There are times of the year when it is impossible to sustain you and find your place. Anyway, because we're addicted to telling stories …
C. R. C. Our films, on the other hand, have a longer journey, which happens not only for the weeks that are on the billboard, but also for another circuit, which ranges from town hall programs to film cycles, exhibitions … And we do an accompaniment longest of our film. It is another way to extend that life, to make it known.
A. J. Okay, that's fine, but you end up being constrained to film clubs or film libraries, and you have to create a commercial habit. I have my doubts. We must get everywhere so that people stop saying that Spanish cinema is shit. Until the premiere is complicated … Making a movie is like Super Mario Bros.: You pass one screen and another and another, and you never reach the end. When you think everything is organized, no, forget about the distribution, and then the exhibition, and then the sales agent … And you wonder when that will end.
C. E. A. We lack patience to the spectators and the creators [risas].
C. R. C. And they compress us. This year there has been a lot of production and we have finished almost all of the last quarter. Anyway, the beautiful thing is when someone comes up to me and tells me that he has seen my movie and then repeated it with his mother.
A. J. I am told by girls who finally see a female character that reflects their doubts and fears, which are their generation.
A. E. To me, they tattoo the bird that appears in my film as graffiti. The cinema is a tool of change. It's culture, and there's nothing better than taking someone and putting an hour and a half in a dark room. It is culture for love, culture to dream, culture to create, culture to accept certain differences, and that is why the option of making social movies is important, because now it is necessary more than ever.