The 15th edition of the Festivalito de La Palma could not be quarantined after so many years of resistance with more enthusiasm than means. On August 1, one of the Archipilago’s most beloved film events starts with around 200 inscriptions and will take place on horseback between Los Llanos de Aridane and Santa Cruz de La Palma, with a health security protocol designed ‘ex profeso’ by La Palma company Event 7.
He Little Festival of La Palma, the cinematographic meeting conceived as a festival of guerrillas and coexistence where “you see cinema and you make cinema” under the stars of the beautiful island, this 2020 fought its most complex battle for raise the curtain on its fifteenth edition. Like so many cultural events across the globe, the Covid-19 crisis paralyzed the machinery that completed this round anniversary event scheduled for last May, but its founder and director, José Víctor Fuentes, far from falling the blinds, He rethought the format of the Festivalito to adapt it to health safety protocols and celebrate the 15-year history of the Festival of Stars.
“We take advantage of the confinement to work hard and reinvent the Festivalito, because this is a festival of battles and not doing it was not an option,” Fuentes said from La Palma. Thus, this miraculous edition is held from August 1 to 8 on horseback between its two usual venues: from 1 to 5 in Los Llanos de Aridane and from 5 to 8 in Santa Cruz de La Palma, with more than 200 registrations until the date and a protocol of preventive measures designed ex profeso for the Festivalito by La Palma company Evento 7.
However, despite the volume of followers that La Palma date treasures inside and outside the Archipelago, which has the support of the Canary Islands Government, the Cabildo de La Palma and the two municipalities of their respective headquarters, the total budget for this edition barely reaches 100,000 euros. “The Festivalito is increasingly loved and valued but, in budgetary terms, we are at the worst moment in history,” says Fuentes, adding that “many sponsors fell out because of the coronavirus.” “We continue to have less budget than in the first edition, in which we have more than 140,000 euros, and in some editions we even managed to reach 300,000.”
However the director He also stands up to this battle: “We, as Cubans: if this is what we have, we are going to organize ourselves in the best possible way,” he declares. “We would have loved to have a bigger budget this year to bring the big names that have gone through the Festivalito, but what we bring is the best we have been able to bring.” And also this spirit of struggle and resistance is part of the seal of the Festivalito, “which is a small Festival, but thought to leave a very large mark.”
This edition pays tribute with the Polar Star of the 2020 Festivalito to the Catalan actor Sergi López, the Bolivian filmmaker Rodrigo Bellot and the Canarian producer El Viaje Films, who has just premiered on the islands the award-winning feature film Blank whiteby Théo Court. The winners of the Goya Laia Marull and Mauro Herce, or the young actress Carmen Arrufat, as well as “a wide representation of filmmakers, actors and actresses, and Canarian humorists living their best moment”, such as Kike Pérez, Aarón Gómez or Luifer Rodríguez. In addition, this edition, on the occasion of the 15-year history of the Festivalito, opens the Savia Viejuna Club, made up of people who have attended more than 10 editions, both guests and volunteers, such as the Galician filmmaker Mario Iglesias, the Gran Canaria artist David Pantaleón, Francisco Melo Junior or the interpreters Alba Cabrera and Luifer Rodríguez. “We are going to recognize you with a decoration for having survived to this war that is the Festivalito “, reveals the director.
Also, La Palma Wheel, the most beloved section of the Festivalito, which consists of filming, editing and exhibition express of a short film filmed during the week of the meeting, already has 200 registered, among which are 85 filmmakers. “For me, this has exceeded expectations,” confesses Fuentes. “But it is that we guarantee that cultural activity is not at odds with safety and responsibility, quite the contrary. And I want to highlight this because it is important: it is necessary that we promote cultural and economic activity, provided that sanitary protocols are followed. “
In this sense, the director of the Festivalito relates that “the same institutions went from certain misgivings at first to seeing the celebration of the Festivalito as something obligatory, because little by little they began to observe that it was essential to stimulate cultural, economic and promotion activity tourist office of La Palma “.
One week after its start, the result is a round edition that, in an exceptional context, maintains the essence of the Festivalito de La Palma intact with a schedule of screenings, workshops, colloquia, filming and activities around the collective celebration of the seventh art. “The essence of the Festivalito has always been coexistence, which is what differentiates us from all festivals of the world’s cinema, because here the cinema is a result, but it is not the end, “concludes Fuentes.” The end of the Festivalito is coexistence and, this year, it will be coexistence with a mask and safety regulations. And we are more excited than ever, because we win the most difficult battle in our history again. “