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BRITISH directors Guy Hamilton and Gabrielle Beaumont will head the jury of the first MFA Planet Europe Short Film Festival which will be held in Palma from March 25 to 28. Details of the event, which will bring dozens of Spanish and European film-makers to the island, were announced yesterday by festival director Philip Rogan and Mercé Rigo, the co-ordinator. Rigo said that 94 films had been selected from 300 films submitted from all over Europe.
The films will be shown at the Renoir and Sa Nostra's cultural centre and will be complemented by a programme of concerts and workshops.
The festival has been organised by the Mallorca Film Academy (MFA) and the jury is presided by veteran British director Guy Hamilton, who takes part in the Oscar voting, Gabrielle Beaumont, who made a film on the life of Princess Diana in Majorca, and Majorcan director Agusti Villaronga, who was nominated for an Oscar for Aro Tolbukhin. Film-makers from all over Spain, as well as Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Sweden and Germany are expected to attend and Rogan said that in future, preliminary stages may be held in various European cities, although the final will always be held in Majorca. He said that the aim had been to provide an entertaining Europe-centred international festival, with the emphasis on the film-makers. Another of the aims is to help promote the careers of talented film-makers, and this year, the festival's special guest is also the youngest entrant, Gor Baghdassaryan from Armenia, who was born in 1988. Four of his short films will be shown during the festival, and one of them, End of the Line, will be competing in the documentary section.
The opening gala on March 27 will be attended by top Spanish directors such as Oscar-winner Fernando Trueba, Isabel Coixet and Juanma Bajo Ulloa.
There will be three prizes in each category, including courses at the Mallorca Film Academy valued at 5'000 euros and 10'000 euros in software.
The winner will receive the Golden Dragonera trophy (named after the island off the coast of Andratx) with 6'000 euros divided into 1'000 euros in cash, 1'000 euros in courses at the MFA and post production aid.
The first prize in each of the three sections is a trophy and 6'000 euros in cash, courses and software
The film school will offer a workshop in acting for directors, given by Canadian actor David Nerman, seminars on digital cinematography and a course on videographic creation, Rogan said. Music will be provided by Majorcan singer Jaume Anglada, Miquel Gil of Valencia and the groups Sva-ters from Valencia, who play popular music and ska rock and classic rock group Pocker of Majorca. The local television station M7 will screen some of the entries in the festival, which is divided into fiction, animation and documentary.
The MFA will be offering special modular courses in directing and all aspects of film-making from next month.
The artistic director is Lou Binder, the managing director Michael W Driesch and Covadonga Icaza is the director of the Spanish section.