In these days takes place one of the most extraordinary film festivals in Europe: La Cabina. It is a festival for medium length movies. A genre that is not very commercial, but is used by many alternative film makers, mainly European directors, to create some high quality stories, very similar to short films, but with more emphasis on the camera direction, music and story telling. The 34 years old Carlos Madrid is the iniator of this festival that is getting more and more international attention. It has been created in Valencia where it has become already part of the movie scene. We asked him about funding, ambitions and motiviations.
Carlos, you started with La Cabina when you were 26 years old, very young to organize an international cinema Festival of this kind, don’t you think so?
Bueno, I am not alone. By now more than 40 people work on this project that grew enormously in the last years.
How did you raise the funds?
We had a lot of help and subsidies from cultural institutions in Valencia, from the Institut Francais and we use office space of the University of Valencia. Our Festival office is based in La Nau, the seat of the old University of Valencia.
What is your background? How did you get into this difficuilt business of medium length films?
I am an life artist: I translate and work in advertising. And I am a complete cinema lover. I fell somwhow in love with these medium films. Most commercial minded people think of the feature-length film as 90 minutes or longer. The 30-50 minute “medium length” film has proved to be something weired while the short film, less than 30 minutes is a good break entertainment in cinemas or on television, but 60 minutes is difficuilt to sell. But we want to raise awareness with La Cabina that this mindset is wrong and show what high quality movies can be recorded in this length.
The other night, we saw queues in front of the cinema. Also because Valencia was packed, but it seems like La Cabina is a success. Who is the tipical visitor of the festival?
Cinema lovers and people that are fanatic about medium films. But also people that pass by and are just curious. From year to year we get more movies, this year we evaluated 400 and we also see that the visitors are more and more international. We show the movies in original version subtitled to Spanish and English. It is amazing to see how many people have no problem to enjoy a movie that way. It is not easy to follow, especially if the original language is mazedonian or russian.
The entrance ticket is 4 euros for 2 movies. Why it is so cheap? You could make it a bit more expensive and could invest more in marketing etc.?
We are not there yet. The place of the festival is the Filmoteca de Valencia . It is not a commercial cinema. That is why we cannot make a business out of this.
Why is the Institut Francais supporting La Cabina?
They are the country that presents the largest number of movies to the festival, followed by Germany. It seems that in these countries there exists a sensibility for these kind of movies and the film makers are open to risk on these projects. In general we realize that Spain is also gaining reputation as a venue for film makers, not just to shoot a film, but also to get in contact with the public and launch a Premiere in Spain.
All the film makers, the less known the better, that want to participate in the festival, can do so. Any fiction film with a running time comprised of between 30 and 60 minutes inclusive and produced after the 1st January 2007 can participate in the contest.