Joan Collins A total of 110 short films from 38 countries have been selected for the first edition of the International MFA-Balearic Islands Film Festival, which will take place in Palma from March 13 to 18. The competition is a merger of the Fonart Festival and the MFA-Planet Europe Festival and has the support of the Balearic Ministry of Culture, Palma council and Ibatur. The director of the festival, Philip Rogan, said yesterday that the merging of the two festivals had not been traumatic because they both complement each other. “Fonart was important at a local and national level, while MFA-Planet Europe brought an international level to the competition”, he said yesterday. The films will be divided into five categories: fiction; documentaries; animation; Balearic films; and videoclips, with prizes in each category which consist of around 25'000 euros in money, courses, and help to produce the next film. In the category of Balearic films there are nine entries, directed or produced by Balearic residents, while in the musical videoclips section there are also creations by various directors from the islands. The festival, which has a budget of around 100'000 euros, will take place in three different places: the Sala Mozart in the Auditorium in Palma where the screenings will take place; the headquarters of the Mallorca Film Academy which will host the cinema workshops scheduled to take place during the event; and the Cultura Club with other activities related to the competition. Philip Rogan confirmed that this festival is an opportunity to “give a boost to the careers of young directors in the film world” and said that it is also a good way to promote the image of Majorca to the film industry. The director said that the growth in size of the competition, as a result of the merging of the two existing ones, had been reflected in the great number of short films entered, 280 in total, “which has given the judges a very difficult task of selection”. The panel of judges is composed of five people from the worlds of film and communication.