Let us introduce you to the Spanish directors Chema García Ibarra and Ion de Sosa, who are participating in this year’s Berlinale Shorts competition.

The writer and director Chema García Ibarra was born in Elche, Spain in 1980. He studied advertising and public relations at the Universidad de Alicante and, alongside music videos and commercials, also made short films. His ‘domestic science-fiction’ films have screened at festivals worldwide, including at the Berlinale, Sundance, San Sebastián, Quinzaine des Réalisateurs and Ann Arbor. He teaches ‘anti-filmmaking’ at the Escuela de Cinematografía y del Audiovisual de la Comunidad de Madrid.

Born in Donostia, Spain in 1981, Ion de Sosa studied at the Escuela de Cinematografía y del Audiovisual de la Comunidad de Madrid and is a cinematographer, producer and director, primarily of 16mm films. He currently lives in Barcelona but spent the last ten years in Berlin. His films have screened at festivals including Locarno, Toronto and Hong Kong. His feature film Sueñan los androides (Androids Dream) screened in the 2015 Forum. He would love to direct a Batman sequel.

© Chema García Ibarra and Ion de Sosa

The swimming pool has played an important role throughout film history – most often as a romping ground for the sophisticated and hedonistic Dolce Vita. But it can be so much more, even sinister, as in Sunset Boulevard. In Leyenda dorada a rather unglamorous swimming pool of diminished charm forms the focal point of the story. A lazy summer’s day in the Spanish village of Montánchez, and people of all ages enjoy themselves at the outdoor pool. It is an almost utopian depiction of community, under the lofty, watchful gaze of Our Lady of Consolation. While conflicts, aggression, rivalries and animosities have a siesta, the villagers take a well-deserved break. Formally, the film draws on the tradition of New Objectivity. But unlike Robert Siodmak’s Menschen am Sonntag (1930) and its lido sequence, this is a wee summer fairy tale.

Still 2
© Leyenda dorada by Chema García Ibarra and Ion de Sosa

What is your ambition in the film?

An ex-voto is a religious offering to a divinity, like a Saint or the Virgin, as a thanksgiving for a miraculous gift. For example, an unexpected cure to an illness or a fortuitous accident surviving. This art form is popular and sacred at the same time. This is so attractive for us.

We wanted to put in cinema this expression form that usually is made as a painting or sculpture.

 What do you like about the short form?

In short form, the film decides his length.

What are your future plans?

We want to focus in Chema’s first feature film, called “Sacred spirit”. Ion will be the D.O.P. and producer along with our partner Leire Apellaniz. If everything goes as we want, the shooting will be in the beginning of 2020.

24 films from 17 countries will be competing for the Golden and Silver Bear, the Audi Short Film Award, endowed with 20,000 euros, and a nomination as “Berlin Short Film Candidate for the European Film Awards 2019”.

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