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Carla Simón: “Cinema and life go hand in hand for me”

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Carla Simón is the recipient of one of the specials at the 55th edition of the Gijón/Xixón International Film Festival.She talked about it today to the public gathered at Toma 3 FICX Vermuts.
Verano 1993 (2017), the result of her parents’ absence during her childhood, has placed Carla Simón at the front page. Aside from this film, these days Gijón is screening her previous short films. She reviewed them one by one, starting with her debut Wind (2009), of a less narrative cut, which she came up with “while I was at California with an exchange scholarship”. This work is remembered by her creator as an “exercise of total freedom”.

Her education continued at the London Film School, the origin of four pieces that will be available at FICX. For Stranger (2011), she told to make a black and white film with very specific parameters, which was “useful to learn”. For Home (2012) she had to draw on a painting from the National Gallery, and during its gestation “I realised my theme was family”. After this revelation and losing her grandfather, Lipstick (2013) focuses on two brothers who find their grandmother’s corpse. Thus she faced her first scenes with kids, who would be essential for her first feature film. “I give it my all in everything I do, even if it’s an exercise for school”, she confessed.

Back to her native Catalonia, the graduating work for the LFS was Las pequeñas cosas (2015), which also had its origin in a personal experience: the decease of her aunt, who had achondroplasia. “Cinema and life go hand in hand for me”, she affirms. She found Ana Prada, “an actress with an incredible emotional intelligence”, and shot the short film at her grandparent’s home, delaying Verano 1993. At this point she started to think about how to put her mother on a film screenplay. “I realised I didn’t have memories about her, just cards I had been finding”. From this process of exploration she came up with Llacunes (2016), a short film she hadn’t shown until now because “it was a fast and personal thing, but with all the exposition derived from the film I decided to show it”.

Her first feature film has been one of the season’s sensations in Europe. To prepare Verano 1993 she had to “understand how children were at a personal level, to adjust them to Anna and Frida”, and create “shared memories” between them. Her idea was to evoke a personal experience she believes “very different from the film”. After finishing the intense promotion, Simón has some projects in the back burner, and although “I’d like to develop them, you never know which one will be first”.

Sergio de Benito
Palabras clave Festival de Cine