Recently, the winner of a Lady Harimaguada, Radu Muntean, declared to a specialised media outlet in his country: “I will never make films that fit the trends or what seems to do well at festivals. There are fashions, values, trends. There are always trends, waves, currents. You can recognize them fairly easily, and it’s probably not difficult to learn which buttons to press to ensure your success1”. I want to believe that this is not the case of the programming presented in the capital of Gran Canaria, agile and more attentive to film values than to the dominant currents of opinion since the beginning of the festival. Waving a red flag to the labels accompanying the fashions Muntean refers to.
When the Las Palmas Festival proposes the writing of a text on the Panorama section, the first thing to do is to think about the selected films. Works that perfectly define a coherent line of each of its most experienced authors. Some have already been recognized in Las Palmas with the most important prizes of the festival in an almost remote past when their careers were at the beginning. And all have successfully been part of the Cannes seedbed.
Filtering the latest batch of auteur cinema into a handful of titles is always a complex task. Doing it also with the condition of not projecting films that have passed through commercial theaters reduces the possibilities drastically. But curiously, this is not reflected in the absence of big names. At least not this year.
Panorama, in short, is a section that attracts attention and once again becomes a main artery of the festival. It is a way of not losing contact with old acquaintances and welcoming new voices. It is a way to enjoy the best cinema in the best viewing conditions. And to resume contact with other viewers to discuss even the works that generate a critical and programmatic consensus.