Musings on Culture

Alejandra de Leiva's Blog

Category : Events

El Día más Corto [ED+C] / The Shortest Day Short Film Celebration

El Dia mas Corto

The Shortest Day, an annual one-day celebration of short films, will take place in Spain for the first time on December 21, 2013. The initiative was born in France in 2011.

Llega a España El Día más Corto [ED+C], una celebración anual del cortometraje que tiene lugar en el día más corto del año, el solsticio de invierno. La iniciativa nació en Francia en 2011 con el objetivo de promocionar este género cinematográfico. En 2012 y 2013 se han sumado una larga lista de países. En España, el evento llega de la mano de la Coordinadora del Cortometraje Español y cuenta con el apoyo del ICAA, el Instituto Cervantes, RTVE, Canal+, el NOTODOFILMFEST, FILMIN, la red de Filmotecas nacional y regionales y los principales festivales de cortometrajes.

El próximo 21 de diciembre, instituciones, centros culturales, centros de ocio y cineclubs de toda España proyectarán cortometrajes durante todo el día. La lista de eventos confirmados puede consultarse AQUI.


La Galería Encantada, nuevo espacio para el arte contemporáneo en Barcelona

La Galería Encantada

En esta época de crisis en la que la cultura está siendo arrinconada, alegra saber que nace un nuevo espacio para el arte contemporáneo. Pero mi alegría es aún mayor porque el proyecto nace de la iniciativa de una amiga que se ha labrado con esfuerzo y años de trabajo una carrera como galerista.

La Galería Encantada nace con la voluntad de ser un espacio fuera de circuito que ofrece una nueva mirada al arte que se está generando hoy tanto en Barcelona como en el resto del mundo. La dirigen Patricia Carrasco y Pedro Galván, que provienen del mundo del arte contemporáneo y del marketing, respectivamente: “Las características del espacio, de tan solo 11 metros cuadrados, hacen de La Encantada un espacio único. Y es que estamos orgullosos de lo pequeños que somos, son nuestros 11 metros cuadrados”, proclaman.

Este nuevo espacio inicia su andadura con Ciudad Autonutritiva de Keis Lozano (Barcelona, 1975). Lozano proviene del heterogéneo mundo del Street-Art.

La inauguración oficial es este sábado 27 de abril, de 11:30 a 14:30, en la calle Valencia 538 (Encants Nous).
Más información: /


A book and a rose for St.Jordi’s Day

Sant Jordi i el drac
Today is La Diada de Sant Jordi, a very special day in Catalonia. Cities and towns are filled with stands of roses and bookstalls, since tradition dictates that on this day men give their sweetheart a red rose, and ladies give their loved one a book -”a rose for love and a book forever”. Although it is not a public holiday, crowds of people take over the streets, which smell of roses and are dyed in red and yellow, the colors of the Catalan flag. It is a very picturesque sight.

The origins of this tradition date back to a medieval legend in which St. Jordi (St. George) slew a dragon to save a princess. From the dragon’s blood grew a rose bush. St. Jordi pulled out the prettiest rose and gave it to the princess. As an acknowledgement of his heroic deed, Catalonia commemorates Sant Jordi’s Day each April 23.

“Once upon a time a fearsome dragon was terrifying the inhabitants of a small town in Catalonia called Montblanc. It was wrecking havoc among the town’s populace and devouring the animals grazing in the fields. So, to calm the dragon down, the inhabitants decided they would sacrifice one person each day, chosen by lot, offering them as a sign of good will. One day, it was the turn of the king’s daughter to be sacrificed. But, just when the dragon was about to gobble her up, a handsome knight appeared and confronted the beast.  It was St George, known as Sant Jordi to the Catalans. He drove his lance into the dragon, out of whose blood a bush of red roses sprang up.
His was a bold and selfless gesture that changed the town’s course of history and gave birth to our legend.” (Source: The Tradition)

The episode of St. George and the Dragon is found in several legends around the world.  It achieved mass circulation when it was printed in a book called The Golden Legend, a collection of hagiographies written by Jacobus de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, in 1470, and translated from French to English in 1483. The Life of Saint George can be read here.

Roses have been associated with this St.Jordi’s legend since the Middle Ages, but the giving of books is a more recent tradition. St. Jordi’s Day coincides with the festivity of the Book Day established in Spain in the 1920s to commemorate the anniversary of Cervantes’ death, who had died on April 22, 1616 and was buried on April 23. This tradition inspired the UNESCO to declare the World Book Day on April 23 as a symbolic date for world literature, since April 23 was also the date of Shakespeare’s death.

It is worth noting that it is not strictly correct to assume that Cervantes and Shakespeare died on the same day. In the 17th century, England still used the Julian Calendar, so, whilst Shakespeare died on April 23 by the Julian calendar, according to the Gregorian calendar, he died eleven days after Cervantes, on May 3, 1616.

Approximately 80 nations celebrate World Book Day on this date.

Feliç Diada de St. Jordi!  Happy St. Jordi’s day! Happy World Book Day!

(Illustration by Alba Marina Rivera, reproduced with permission from the author)

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“Pasticcio” in America

Pasticcio will be screened among other Masterclass films at the Goethe-Institutes in Toronto, Boston and NY.

ACROSS BORDERS. The Atelier Ludwigsburg – Paris

Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Harvard Film Archive
Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, Harvard University,
24 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
8:00 pm
IFC Center
323 Sixth Avenue (W. 3rd Street)
New York, NY 10014
$13 adults, $9 seniors, and $5 for students with a valid ID (student discount available only in person at box office).
+1 (212) 924-7771
13-14 December, 2010
Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Ave., Toronto, ON
with English subtitles
Admission free
+1 416 5935257-205

ATELIER LUDWIGSBURG PARIS is a unique one-year post-graduate program with a highly European flavor. Every year 18 students from across Europe have an opportunity to acquire the production and distribution skills needed to work in this field in a national and above all in an international context. The whole structure and approach of this compact course is highly innovative. The students gain in-depth knowledge and focus on hands-on projects in the intensive full-time training modules at top film schools in the partner countries: the Filmakademie Ludwigsburg, La Fémis in Paris and the NFTS in London. Participants also attend three important film festivals: Angers, Berlin and Cannes. This also offers an opportunity to develop contacts amongst industry professionals, as does the program’s alumni network, “Atelier Network” The students are trained by some of the top European professionals in the various fields covered by the ATELIER. At the end of the program, participants produce 8 ½-minute short films in conjunction with ARTE. Participants from at least three different countries are involved in the organisational and artistic development of each film.
The ATELIER has a two-pronged impact on European cinematic production: it promotes young producers, whilst also fostering the creative talents of the young directors with whom they work. The program is a real success story: alumni from the course are part of Europe’s cultural elite and their work appears regularly in the Berlinale Competition and at the Venice Film Festival. It is a wonderful example of an imaginative educational and cultural scheme, the brainchild of fruitful cooperation between German and French producers and film schools.

BOSTON: ACROSS BORDERS: Education and Independent Filmmaking
Films and panel discussion on Film Education in Europe and the US.

On the panel from Europe: Jan Schütte (DFFB, Berlin), Falk Nagel (executive producer Takva and graduate of Atelier Ludwigsburg – Paris), Christophe Bruncher (producer L’Intouchable and graduate of Atelier Ludwigsburg – Paris)
On the panel from Boston:
John Bernstein (BU), Charles Merzbacher (BU), Kurt Fendt (MIT), Eric Schaefer (Emerson College)
Moderator: Eric Rentschler (Harvard University)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

6:00 – 7:00 pm: Panel Discussion “Film Education in the US and Europe”
7:05 – 7:40 pm: Kurzfilme 1 (short films, program 1)
7:40 – 9:20 pm: Takva
Reception to follow

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

6:30 – 7:05 pm: Kurzfilme 2 (short films, program 2)
7:05 – 7:20 pm: Discussion of short films
7:20 – 8:30 pm: L’Intouchable
8.30 – 9.00 pm: Discussion of feature films

This program is made possible by the Goethe-Institut Boston, the Cultural Services of the French Consulate Boston and Atelier Ludwigsburg Paris and is supported by the Elysée Treaty Fund for Franco-German Cultural Events in Third Countries.

More info:




Clandestí: Invisible Catalan Cinema Under Franco

Clandestí: Invisible Catalan Cinema Under Franco focuses on a generation of independent filmmakers whose innate unwillingness to conform with facist Franco’s regime forced them to produce, distribute, and exhibit radical films in Catalonia, with the furtive hope of sending them into the rest of Spain. Connected with workers’ movements and political parties, these authors put their images in the service of anti-Franco causes, and even managed to organize a distribution network through recreation centers, private homes, cinema clubs, universities, social and cultural associations, and even parochial schools.”

25 – 30 November at the BFI, London

More info HERE.

Additional study materials about Catalan Cinema under Franco HERE.


International Dolphin Day Events 2010

On the Facebook group page of the documentary The Cove, you can see pictures of the International Dolphin Day Events 2010, Oct. 14, when thousands of people showed up at Japanese Embassy and Consulate offices around the world to peacefully protest the killing of dolphins in Japan. See the pictures HERE.

(Check my previous post about The Cove HERE).