The history of ALCINE, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year, is a parallel journey through the history of Spanish short film. What actually gave birth to the festival, its short film competition, has witnessed the development of a format that has survived on the fringes of the industry, the commercial movie theatres and, except for some honourable exceptions, television. New generations of filmmakers have attended the festival each year renewing our cinema, while shunting it towards modernity, digitalisation and the new millennium.
Over the last fifty years, short film has died and been resurrected on many occasions; they tried to tame it, forgot about it, and championed, cheapened, and lauded it time and again. But to our surprise and despite everything, it is still with us, with an unusual strength, better produced than ever and with its creative margin and capacity to work in liberty intact.
This season is here to reflect all of this; the moments in which short films were a must in the movie theatres -supported by a law that actually aimed to preserve NO-DO (news and documentaries screened in Spain) and kept short films as an annoying and unavoidable piece prior to the feature film-; its near disappearance when the law ceased to protect it; its rebirth in the nineties thanks to a handful of talented and impudent filmmakers… Then it would be the turn of the digitalisation process, the boom in production, the disappearance of 35mm and the reduction in costs, very short films devised for Internet, etc. Until we reached a time in which diversity has broken all moulds and the borders between fiction, documentary, animation and experimentation are increasingly blurred.
This thrilling journey will enable us to discover or rediscover the first films made by great directors; an arsenal of 50 short films to understand the best of Spanish cinema, its mutations, generational shifts and new trends. Their screening will help us understand where our cinema comes from starting in the seventies, and above all, discern the new roads to be travelled and see where we are going. And all the while recovering almost forgotten formats, such as 35mm, once again listening to the sound of the projector, reels and film in front of that shaft of light, while in coexistence with state-of-the-art digital projections.