Basque cinema will be in the Big Apple this autumn with the New York City Basque Film Festival. Fans of cinema and all things Basque will have the chance to see a selection of films from November 11 to 14 at the Village East Cinema, a historic movie theatre in Manhattan. The event will serve to premiere some of the most recent projects of Basque cinema in New York, including two fiction films and two documentaries.
The festival will get underway on Monday, November 11, with Amama (Grandma), the third feature film by director Asier Altuna and winner of the 2015 Irizar prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival. The 103-minute film tells the story of a family and the conflict between rural baserris (Basque farmhouses) and urban, between past and present, between grandmothers and daughters.
On Tuesday, November 12, the 2018 documentary by Oier Aranzabal, Margolaria (The Painter), will be screened. The film begins with a conversation between singer-songwriter Mikel Urdangarin and painter Alain Urrutia. The latter wants to give a piece of his work to the musician, with only one condition: that he travels to London by ferry to take pick it up. Urdangarin´s journey will become a journey into the mind of every author and through the creative process of an artist.
Urte Berri On, Amona! (Happy New Year, Grandma!), directed by Telmo Esnal, is next in line, bringing a touch of comedy to the festival on Wednesday, November 13. This 2011 film takes a light-hearted look at homes for the elderly, and features Basque actors Nagore Aranburu, Joxean Bengoetxea and Kontxu Odriozola, among others.
Finally, this edition of the New York Film Festival will conclude with Jai Alai Blues, a film by director Gorka Bilbao. This documentary tells the incredible story of the Basque sport named Jai Alai in the United States, precisely where it became most popular. The film focuses on the lives of leading Jai Alai athletes, combining the best of Basque and the North American culture.
The festival is organized by the Delegation of the Basque Government in the United States with support from the Etxepare Basque Institute. The main goal of the event is to bring Basque language, culture and cinema to the United States. All screenings are free of charge and will be shown in Basque with English subtitles. Among members of the Basque community in New York and local moviegoers, some 500 spectators are expected to attend.