Text Vicki McLeod
Photos Evolution Film Festival
Last year I went to meet a very impressive woman, Sandra Seeling Lipski, the founder and director of the Evolution Film Festival. A year on, following a very successful festival last year, Sandra is now preparing for this year’s held right here in Majorca. The film festival features movies and documentaries (long and short) in English or subtitled in English which have been created by film makers from all over the world. Sandra, who was born in Berlin and grew up in Majorca is now a resident of LA where she works as an actress, most recently shooting the new series of “Jane the Virgin”.
VMc: So! What’s new, last year you told me that you wanted to have developed the festival enough to have a large sponsor, did you manage to do that?
SSL: We have a new official media partner: iB3 are onboard with us so that’s really exciting. The Islas Balear Film Commission will be presenting the “Evolutionary Island” award for the best film connected to Majorca. Palma Ayuntamiento are supporting us, we have a big poster on the back of a bus going around and around the city. We have Perrier Jouet champagne sponsoring our reception.. so yes, things are changing and improving!
VMc: Great, so you are growing. This is the fourth year of the festival, you’re doing really well I think.
SSL: The Evolution Film Festival is evolving! We’ve expanded from six days to nine days, we couldn’t fit everything in. We were asked by the people at Port Adriano if we could collaborate with them in some way so we came with the idea of doing a drive in! That’s happening on Saturday November 7th. We had to figure out a way to get the sound inside the cars so we are going to broadcast on a radio signal which you can listen to in your car. It’s only 10€ per car, so you can load it up with people and go in and watch the movie. There’s limited space so it’s best to book in advance on our website. We’re hoping it will be fun! Marc Fosh is hosting a movie food event at San Juan Mercat where he will recreate food from famous scenes in the movies. And we are hosting Mallorca Go which is in association with the Islas Baleares Film Commission where we will take five film makers around Majorca with the intention to inspire them to make movies here.
VMc: Where will you take them?
SSL: They’re thinking around Deia and Valldemossa will be a good place to start. You can see a great variety of different locations there within a small area.
VMc: And will you continue to have the events at Rialto Living?
SSL: Oh yes, Cafe con Cine, yes they are great! They will be in the mornings on the 14th and 15th of November where you will be able to get free coffee and pastries and talk to the film makers who are showing films here. They will be at the beautiful concept store Rialto Living. We welcome filmmakers and actors for a casual Q&A incorporating questions from the audience while enjoying complimentary coffee, croissants and sandwiches from the Rialto Living Bistro. Come early as this event fills up fast!
VMc: And you are also doing a workshop for wannabe film makers?
SSL: Yes, The Producers’ Club, we will talk about the process of producing a script. That will be at Es Baluard on Wednesday 11th November.
VMc: But it all starts with the big premier night.
SSL: Opening night is Tuesday November 10th, we will start the evening with a VIP, Red carpet champagne cocktail reception presented by Champagne Perrier Jouët at the Fundacion La Caixa Bar and Restaurant at 19:00. After we’ve mingled with the filmmakers and actors on the red carpet we will simply cross the street to the majestic Teatro Principal and enjoy the Opening Ceremony and movie, beginning at 21:00. On Wednesday 11th November afternoon at 16:00 we will finally start our screenings at the wonderful cinema Cineciutat a non-profit organization in the heart of Palma aiming to preserve and feature indpendent arthouse cinema. For the following four days you can enjoy a stellar line-up of international feature films, short films, documentary features and shorts, music videos, experimental films and films for Kids – There is something for everyone, comedy, romance, dramas, midnight thrillers and documentaries with social and political themes that aim to educate and inspire you.
VMc: Tell me about the movies, I know it must be hard to choose a handful from the many that you are showing, but which ones stand out for you?
SSL: It’s tricky that’s for sure, everyone asks me this question! We’ve got some amazing, brilliant films to show. “Blood Orange”, which is the film for our premier event this year, was shot in Ibiza. It stars Iggy Pop playing “Bill” a retired, aging rock star. It’s a fun, modern film, a noir thriller. “In Stereo” is our drive in movie, David and Brenda are perfect for each other, and everyone knows it except David and Brenda. It’s a New York City love story. “Pikadero” is a movie examining modern life problems in Spain where unable to fly the nest due to economic limitations young couples have to find a place where they can be alone. “Die Geschichte Vom Astronauten” was shot here in Majorca, it’s about a an author who retreats here to work. “Sling Shot” and “A Candid Affair” were both shot in Majorca as well . Then we are showing “Bridgend” which is about a series of suicides in a small village. And another one that I am really excited about is “The Tribe” which features deaf actors playing pupils in a boarding school for the deaf. They communicate entirely with sign language so you may think you won’t understand it, but you will. Then we have something for children on the Sunday afternoon as well. So we’ve got a wide choice of films for everybody.
Blood Orange Die Geschichte Vom Astronauten
VMc: Are there any themes running through your choices?
SSL: I’d say love is a theme this year. Second or even third love, what happens when you meet someone after having been in love before. What happens when seniors fall in love again.
VMc: And the whole thing is judged by a panel and then the winning movies get to be shown at an event in LA?
SSL: Yep, after the last film has been shown we will make the presentations. There are 13 awards and then some of these go to be shown next year at my other festival! It’s a win win situation, I get to bring Majorca to LA and the independent film makers get the chance to have more exposure in heart of the film industry.
Congratulations to Sandra and her team, and good luck for the festival, please support this amazing initiative for Majorca.
A Festival Pass is 50€ and includes: The Opening Champagne Cocktail presented by Perrier Jouet, The Gala screening at Teatro Principal and ALL 22 Blocks at Cineciutat for 50€. More information at : http://www.evolutionfilmfestival.com To see more articles about people on the island visit http://www.mallorcastories.co