Culture in Costa Blanca
The 30th anniversary of the film festival in Alfaz del Pi starts today. So we have talked with the deputy director, Mr. Javier Pascual, to hear what it’s like to plan such an event.
Good morning Mister Pascual, how are you?
A bit overwhelmed. It means that although I’ve been with this festival for 30 years you might come to think that everything is solved but then at the last minute something happens that changes everything you have done. For example, in the magazine that we finished four days ago, we had to revise four times because there were changes in the programming but now it is finally being printed.
Can you explain what your job is as a deputy director?
As deputy director, my work consists of the following: coordinating. I already explained I have been here for 30 years as deputy director. The director is Juanes Ibora. But for 30 years he and I have led this festival and what I do is that I coordinate a bit what the director has to do, what the city council has to do, what the technical services have to do, the press, coordinate the tickets, coordinate the hotels, the taxis, the restaurants, coordinate everything in each passing moment with complete normality as if nothing has happened, that’s what my work consists of.
Can you explain to us the difference between the festival, for example, ten years ago with this year’s edition?
10 years ago, we are talking about the crisis. And in times of crisis, you have to tighten your belt as we say here in Spain. Tightening the belt means spending less. Well 10, 12, 13 years ago, the festival brought many guests because money could be spent. Now this year, as the last 10 years, has been more measured, quieter, more austere and with fewer guests but not with less quality cinema but yes, with more austere. But, as this year is the 30th edition, we will once again present the inaugural gala on the square in front of the cultural center, and instead of only 400 people at the inauguration gala, there will be about 1400.
Knowing many foreigners live in Alfas, in what way does the festival come to be known by foreigners?
We can say that the film festival of Alfaz del Pi is from Alfaz del Pi. As well it is from Altea and it is from foreigners, they are the three main characters. It is from Alfas del Pi because it is celebrated in Alfas del Pi. It is from Altea because most of the people who come to the festival are from Altea. And there are foreigners because around 60 to 70% of people who go to the film festival are a foreigner. We must bear in mind that Alfas del Pi is a town that has more than 90 nationalities. But we mainly speak of Europeans from northern Europe. Such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, France, England, and Ireland, etc. It is a well-educated public.
This educated public is used to see films in the original version and as the film festival, we have been showing only original versions for the last 30 years. That is to say, this year we bring a Norwegian film that goes in Norwegian. This year that we bring three French films in French, we bring an Italian one in Italian. All the films that will be screened will be in their original version. That is why we are calling this educated audience that comes to Alfas del Pi. The surrounding area and the region to come and see a good cinema, quality cinema, auteur cinema in their own language.
And where can we find the information about the movies?
The information of the films will be visible in several places. First of all, it will be on the website of the film festival of alfas was the movies with their trailer. Schedules, programming of parallel activities, etc will be announced, absolutely everything is there. We will also post it on our Facebook page, which is called “festival de cine alfas del pi” and starting on Wednesday or Thursday the programs and magazines of the festival will be available at the cultural center. A lot of foreigners and Spanish always come to get the program and magazines.
Do you think it’s good that an initiative like TheCostaBlancaGuide.com can help inform foreigners with cultural information provided by the town hall?
Yes, if it seems very good. As a general rule, since 30 years ago all news media both online and on paper. All local and foreign newspapers for Swedes, for Italians, for French, for English, etc. are interested in the festival. And all are absolutely interested in writing about it. Because like I said before about 50 to 60 percent of their readers are interested in our activities. So it seems very good to me that you, TheCostaBlancaGuide, inform about all the culture in Alfas del Pi, which actually is a lot.
Thank you for now, is there anything you wish to add to our readers?
Well, I would like to invite them to the film festival as we have been doing for the past 30 years. We can not talk about culture in Alfas del Pi without talking about foreigners, it is ununderstandable. I am proud to say that during the opera that is performed once or twice a month at the Rome cinema. During any classical music concert, the rooms are filled, with at least 70% of foreigners. So we can say that foreigners are so involved in the culture of Alfas del Pi. I think the culture of Alfas del Pi would not be the same at all without the foreign public and I invite them especially to see a session. If they speak Spanish they will appreciate it, which is named “conversations with Spanish cinema” which consists of screening six films in Spanish, and where the director and an actor are present.
These “conversations with Spanish cinema” had great success last year. Meaning the rooms were filled, and it consists of the director and the actor presenting the film and afterward for half an hour, three-quarters of an hour or whatever time it takes there is an exchange of opinions and questions between the public attending the film and the director and the actor and they talk about everything human and everything that has happened onscreen.
TheCostaBlancaGuide thanks Mr. Pascual for taking time for us, and wishes the 30th Film Festival the best of luck. We hope it will be the best celebration ever, so far.
Make sure you are a part of making this event amazing this year
The program can be found in our section for Upcoming events, or you can visit the official website