Carlos Andreu and Marta Sánchez, winning students of the Comic and Illustration Contest of Fancine 33rd

The fantasy film festival of the University of Málaga dedicated this Tuesday to the short films of the Official Section of this 33rd edition, 20 works that compete for the prize of 3.000 euros, with which Fancine awards the best animation and live-action short film.

This long short films afternoon began at the Albéniz cinema at 17:00 with the ten live-action works. Four Spanish productions were presented during this screening session: Ahora vuelvo, a horror project where Belén Cuesta plays a mother who leaves her daughter alone for a few hours; Alicia, the new work of producer Tony Morales, from Málaga, about a blind girl who feels presences in her room; Intercambio, a short film by Alberto Evangelio where the plot is focus on a young student and a group of elderly women; and Sincopat, about a woman that is not able to get rid of a tormenting music in her head.  The rest of the screened short films were A Short Story, a Chinese production awarded in Cannes that follows the story of a stray cat; Demon Box, exploring trauma, suicide and Holocaust; Drifting, about a caregiver that deals with her mother’s loss with fantasy; Villain, a fantasy tale about a young girl who tries to take revenge on a dragon; and the comedies Dead Enders, where some evil bugs mess with the workers of the night shift at a gas station; and Gnomes, which portrays these mythological creatures as merciless runners hunters.

The animation section began at 19:30, with works such as the Italian Black Eyed Dog, exploring a man’s obsession with his childhood monster, Déjà-vu, a sci-fi short film about a young man whose destiny is guided by technology; or In His Mercy, a black and white production that immerse the audience in the last night of a prisoner before his execution. This section also presented the entertaining Sandwich Cat, a crazy feline story directed by David Fidalgo; Skinned, a stop-motion about two Siamese twins join by a leg; The Bitter Desert, following an explorer and his talking bust; and The Cactus, inspired by Les Fleurs du mal by Charles Baudelaire.  The last screenings were The Last Bar, taking us to an extravagant place full of misfits, the peculiar Todo está perdido, by Carla Pereira, that narrates the witticism of the Pérez family with a colourful style; and Who Killed the Cat?, an intriguing Korean short film about mysterious cats’ disappearances.

The ones in charge of rating these short films are the members of Fancine’s Young Jury, this year composed by five students of the University of Málaga: Ana Gallardo (Fine Arts), Javier Ocaña (English and Teaching), Lucía Aránega (Biomedicine), Carmen Ruiz (History of Art) y Carlos Pérez (Audiovisual Comunication). From the theatre box of screen 1, the group shared this experience taking notes of technical and artistic aspects of each of the screened short films, with which they would later deliberate. These young students participated for the first time in the decision of an award and have taken up the task with the usual nerves of the first time, but full of happiness and responsibility. “It’s a dream come true for me. When you go to these galas you imagine how it must choosing the winning films, and now we can do that”, said Ocaña.  They will decide on the winners of this short film section and will select one of the works as Fancine’s representative for the Méliès de Oro, where every fantasy film festival in Europe compete. The Audience Award, decided by the public that attends both screening sessions and with 500 euros in prize money for each selected film, will join the podium.

Likewise, Pandemonium, by French director Quarxx, was screened in the Informative Section. The film is based on the very producer’s near-death experience, as he describes, after five days in a comma he woke up not knowing whether he was dead or alive. About production, he told us about the filming process, which took place during spring but was met with a sudden storm that painted the exterior setting white. So the film portrays a snowy setting that was not in the script at first. Regarding the casting, Quarxx confessed that it was a hard stage, specially because he needed to find an actress who would understand the symbology of one of the main characters of the story, a young girl.

And with Tuesday, the first awards for this edition have also arrived. The Rectorate building of the UMA was the chosen venue for the award ceremony of Fancine’s Comic and Illustration Contest this afternoon. A side activity linked to the Educational Project of the festival, where the creativity and talent of the students who joined the didactic sessions previous to the gala are valued. The Vice-rector for Culture, Tecla Lumbreras, who is also part of the jury, was in charge of this ceremony with María Paz Moreno, as secretary, illustrator Encarni Díaz (Ginger) and cultural critic Eugenio Rivera.

The winning piece for the Comic category was Quieres hacerlo, admítelo, from Carlos Andreu, student of the School of Arts San Telmo. A short story about violence narrated through short texts and using black, blue and yellow. For the Illustration Category, the winner piece was Silent Cut, a black and white work portraying a girl with a knife by Marta Sánchez, student in Santa Rosa de Lima. Both works have been selected among more than a hundred projects presented by students of fifteen different educational centres that joined for this edition. Four runners-up prizes have also been awarded in each of the categories, with which this committee of experts wanted to value the quality of other participating options. In the two competition categories, prizes of 150 euros in drawing material for the student and 300 euros for the centre to which they belong were awarded.

At the same event, the winners of the 5th Fantastic and Horror Micro-story Contest, organised by Fancine together with the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of the UMA, were also announced. This year, more than 200 texts were submitted. The Vice-Dean of Students of the centre, Miguel Ángel González, who in his presentation valued the commitment to continue with this initiative that vindicates the written word as a vehicle for communication in times as turbulent as the ones we are living through, has revealed the three winning texts. The awards went to the literary creation Edén: amor en código mortal, by Víctor Calderón; Desokupación grotesca, by Nicholas Arnell in second place; and the winner Antonio Díaz Mola, with his text Genealogía de un hogar. All three will win a prize ranging from 100 to 300 euros and a Fancine merchandising pack.

And also in the Rectorate building, the Local Fantastic section continued with a double screening. The team of the short film 2075 presented this film that works as a message from the future to raise awareness about climate change. Leo Uhlenburg, its director, explained that it is a “fashion film with a high visual impact, with an made-up language and a non-traditional narrative”. Later, at 19:00, Chavales, the animated film in charge of closing the session, was screened. This title is the result of three years of work by director and animator Jaime Penalva, who explained that it is a “very personal” film based on independent production models, following in the footsteps of Bill Plympton.

Finally, in the cultural space Contenedor Cultural, Tate Aráez, head of locations at A Film Location Company, gave a conference on the search for settings and locations for productions such as Fast & Furious or The Crown, projects that have led him to win awards in Hollywood. Among the resources used in his explanation, the expert shared with the audience a map with the points in Malaga where he filmed during a day for the Netflix series The Crown.

Schedule for Wednesday 15th November

The eve of the closing ceremony will be the only day without voting, but Wednesday will still offer first-time screening of films on the programme, such as Sana. On this day, the meetings with the public will also conclude, with the screening of Keratyna, by Miguel Arzurmendi. And the parallel activities will also come to an end with the presentation of the new book of the journalist Jesús Cintora.