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Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel: “We need time and friendship in order to make films”

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FICX56 dedicates one of its focus exhibitions and also its 2018 Honour Award to the duo formed by Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel, authors of a career with four feature films devoted to humanism.
Covi and Frimmel have returned to Gijón nine years after leaving their mark on the festival with La Pivellina (2009), winner of Best Film and Best Actress awards at FICX47. That was their first film shown in Spain. Now, they see rewarded the "constancy and integrity" of a short but profoundly singular work in its combination of humanism and militant resistance. A peculiarity that begins in the atypical education of both, developed not in the cinema but in the Photography School in Vienna, and continues for its consequent way of filming, always in 16mm and working with non-professional actors.

In a self-produced process, carried out with very small equipment, she takes care of the sound and he takes care of the camera. In Covi’s own words, all these elections are "a matter of art", and therefore do not feel "adequate for the film industry" because "we do not generate jobs or spend a lot of money." Their purpose is none other than "make a stand and say you can also make films that tell stories this way", and from there "work on humanity from its positive side, although the negative one also exists."

Their usual field of work is the circus community, far from mass shows. They consider these other exercises not very interesting, "like the cinema of great dramaturgy", which does not generate "the emotion of the truth." Covi also pointed out that "in the past, people wanted to see the artists of the circus, but today they live in caravans in the outskirts of the city mainly", and it is a world of which "there is usually only interest in showing its ugly side." For his part, Frimmel wanted to underline the metaphorical nature of their situation in art and society nowadays: "The small circuses are disappearing, only the big ones survive." For him, regardless of the object chosen to portray, each time they make a film "an idea or a character in it takes us to the next one", as if they were Russian dolls.

On their exclusive interest in the hybrid field of non-fiction, Frimmel said that it has to do "with a desire for authentic stories in this present world where everything is so fictitious and fake." They only work with people "we know and with whom we have lived for years", and write their stories once "we know their past and their future aspirations." After that, they consider important to "give them something back", so they try to give them "a film with which they can feel proud of themselves." How can you reach your true essence? "Never feel above them as filmmakers."

Currently, Covi and Frimmel are assembling a documentary —still untitled— an old project with which they will portray a reality very different from that of their previous films. "It's the story of a criminal case in Vienna in the 60s, with a lot of innocent people condemned. We will reflect on the concept of justice and injustice." They plan to finish it in 2019, but for the moment they enjoy their visit to FICX56 as "a small pause" in the complex process, which they face without any hurry, because in order to make films they always need two things: "time and friendship."
Palabras clave Festival de Cine, 2018