Festival founder and director, German born, Mallorca raised actress and filmmaker Sandra Lipski, | Johanna Gunnberg


On Wednesday, October 18, the curtain will go up on the 12th Evolution! Mallorca International Film Festival at the gala opening night at the Teatro Principal.

Many of Hollywood’s finest and most prestigious film directors, producers, writers and cinematographers will be in attendance as will be industry colleagues from all corners of the world. This year, the festival is going to be streamed to a global audience on the Bitpix platform, which festival founder and director, German born, Mallorca raised actress and filmmaker Sandra Lipski, is extremely excited about. Well, she and her highly dedicated team are extremely excited about this year’s festival and moving forward in the future in general.

The festival will this year be screening 147 feature and short films, documentaries and music videos - 41 of which will be in the Made in Balearics category, a testimony to how the local audio-visual industry is growing and reaching new heights.
There has also been a marked increase in the number of short films by students who have participated in the festival before but have made the step up to feature films.

“Back in January when we opened for submissions, we received some 1,300 productions from over 50 countries. We managed to slim that figure down to 147 representing 25 countries and they are worth watching,” Sandra told the Bulletin at the festival’s Hotel Portixol HQ.

Now in its 12th year, the festival is staying very true to its mission; bridging cultures - bridging people via international film to shape a creative community for independent filmmakers to network, be inspired, and thrive in this exciting Mediterranean island paradise. Sandra says that the global exposure both the festival and Mallorca is attracting has “skyrocketed”.

From Cannes to Mallorca
“We have an illustrious board of world leading members of the film industry. And since last year when Ruben Östlund, the double-Palme d’Or winner and director of the Cannes Film Festival jury headlined the opening night of the festival in Palma, he is now helping to advise the festival.

“We have certainly grown up. We’re tried, tested and proven and here to stay and the international industry is taking a great deal of interest and paying serious attention to both the festival and, through the event, what Mallorca has to offer the film industry. Earlier this year, we had a Mallorca meets Hollywood event in Los Angeles which was attended by representatives from the biggest production houses, including Netflix and Amazon and Plan B. which is Brad Pitt’s production company. They, amongst many others, will be either present, or in Netflix’s case, participating in the festival.
“We will be hosting a very special screening of Netflix’s The Killer with the cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt, who will be holding a Q&A session after at the Rivoli. And Messerschmidt has worked with many of the best directors in the businesses.

Vast potential
“Many of those attending this year would only normally attend a few festivals a year and these would be the likes of Cannes or Berlin. Now they are adding Mallorca to the diary and that’s a huge boost for us and the island.

“We’re also excited to have Palma Pictures as one of the main sponsors this year and ARRI, a global entertainment industry leader with state-of-the-art camera systems, lighting, rental services as well as virtual production and broadcast solutions. And what is even more important is that the new Balearic government and local administrations have finally got the message. We finally have people we can speak with who understand what we are talking about and the huge, vast potential the festival has. This is one of the reasons we are looking forward and planning bigger and better things for the future.

European productions
“Why does Hollywood what to come to Mallorca? Just look around. Where better place to meet, network and potentially produce. Ruben made it clear last year that he intends to shoot his next film on the island. And just look at some of the names we’ve had on the island this year like Nicole Kidman, Morgan Freeman and Zoe Saldana. Had it not been for the writers’ and actors’ strikes in the States, Mallorca would no doubt have been the location for many more productions. Mind you, a number of European productions have filled the gap, so fortunately the local audio-visual industry is continuing to grow and that is what the festival wants to facilitate and help.

“So, having some of the world’s finest from all sectors of the film industry in Mallorca is very important.
“Furthermore, we’re not about quantity. While the festival is considered one of the top ten festivals in Europe and best 50 in the world, we’re not interested in being the biggest. It’s quantity not quality. We’ve become a family and the participants and attendees appreciate and like that. It’s like a handpicked group of people, a select group and, of course, they all travel home to the likes of Hollywood talking about Mallorca. This serves to generate even more interest in what we’re doing here on the island with the festival.

Location tour
“And on the final day, we organise a special tour of the island to many of the best locations so the international industry gets a better idea of what Mallorca has to offer - the possibilities and opportunities are endless. Funding is obviously always a headache. It would be great to have more from the government but we have longer contracts with the sponsors. In an ideal world, we would have one wealthy individual who loves film and Mallorca to support us, but that’s another story,” Sandra said.

Related news

The opening night film will be Un Amor directed by the famous Spansh director Isabel Coixet, who will be in attendance. The closing night at the Convention Centre will have a red carpet cocktail reception organised by Meliá and will feature the screening of The Movie Teller, which has received rave reviews. And Sandra said that there are some other great films to see, such as You Sing Loud, I Sing Louder starring Clara McGregor and Ewan McGregor and The Kill Room, which sees Uma Thurman and Samuel L. Jackson reunited for the first time since Pulp Fiction in 1994.

“We’re also screening Mads Mikkelsen’s latest film The Promised Land, at which there will be some surprise faces and guests.
“In fact, there are going to be quite a few surprises throughout the festival,” she said. “So don’t miss it.”
For all the information, go to: www.evolutionfilmfestival.com

Quick fire round:

What is your favourite meal or dish?
Vegan bolognaise cooked by my husband

What was your childhood career dream?

What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
Give my daughter a big hug

If you didn’t live in Mallorca where would you live?
Los Angeles

What’s the last film you watched and your favourite?
The last film I watched at the cimena was Barbie, my favourite is Alfonso Cuarón’s Great Expectations

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Be kind, be persistent and don’t stop when the going gets hard

What are you afraid of?
I don’t like to be afraid, life is too short

Favourite music?
I’m pretty eclectic, I love the music from the documentary Searching for Sugar Man, lately I get a kick out of a bit of Dua Lipa and classical music when I’m driving

Favourite drink/cocktail?
A vodka dirty martini

Favourite book?
I have two, Peggy Guggenheim’s autobiography Confessions of an Art Addict and You are a Badass How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero