##‘The Arts’ are more than visitor attractions; they are the heart and soul of Valencia. Through the decades, the visual, literary and performing arts have given Valencians a voice for laughter and tears, hopes and fears, desires and demands.
Among the myriad artforms, motion picture films remain one of the most popular. Feature films entertain. Documentaries educate. Comedies amuse. Classics remember. Satires advocate, while news clips inform. And new-artist screenings? They inspire.
José Luis Moreno Maicas guides the audiovisual and cinematic endeavors of the Valencian Community and serves as director of La Filmoteca de Valencia (www.ivac.gva.es/la-filmoteca). Engaging, educating and encouraging aspiring moviemakers, Maicas and his staff promote the city’s rich artistic legacy — past, current and future.
OUTDOORS: CINEMA UNDER THE STARS
La Filmoteca de Valencia appreciates the value of every cinematographic genre and encourages Valencians and visitors to do the same … both indoors and out. Since summer is enjoyed best in the great outdoors, so are Filmoteca’s open-air showings in the Rio Turia Gardens (opposite the Palau de la Música.) During the month of August, Filmoteca D’Estiu features current and classic cinema, including national premieres of Valencian films and winners of Goya, Oscar and European cinema awards. (Watch their website for schedule updates.)
“Locals enjoy movies that are not easy to see in commercial cinemas, even on digital platforms, and they welcome cinema in the format it was created for: the big screen of a cinema,” explained Maicas. “Tourists come because we offer films that you always want to see again, in the original subtitled version.”
Filmoteca D’Estiu presents quality motion pictures at a quality value: 3.5 euros per movie (and frequent moviegoers, check out the 10-session subscription for 25 euros!)
Maicas added, “Come September, we will continue projecting quality film series and seeking plurality in programming, so we can reach and appeal to all kinds of audiences.”
(Note: La Filmoteca follows current healthcare recommendations to ensure the attending public’s safety.)
INDOORS: SALA BERLANGA
The Sala Berlanga cinema pays homage to a Valencian legend: Luis García-Berlanga, the brilliant 20th-century film director. Despite threat of dictatorial repercussions (such as imprisonment or death!), García-Berlanga skillfully employed subversive satire that subtly, ever so subtly undermined the political ideology, military suppression and religious hypocrisy of his day. But that was just for a time. Subsequent films mentioned Valencia in more endearing ways as actors referenced the city’s well-known streets, residents’ surnames and yes, fans’ ever-popular football (think soccer).
García-Berlanga’s artistic endeavors varied through his career, as did his recognition. He enjoyed international acclaim during his life. However, the Valencian government delayed such recognition until after his death. Now all agree that his cinematic passion, creativity and expertise set the stage for today’s motion-picture standards.
So, the next time you’re seated in the interior comfort of Sala Berlanga, pay tribute to the “lights-camera-action” impact of Luis García−Berlanga!
ARCHIVED FILM TREASURES
Some of Valencia’s richest film treasures are not seen on the big screen; they are preserved for special viewings. Initially they were collected by the Valencian Film Archive, launched in 1985, whose mission was to acquire, preserve, restore and study Spanish and (of course!) Valencian films. Today, these archives also include foreign films of distinctiveness and high cultural or historic value. All are electronically catalogued in a fully automated system at La Filmoteca de Valencia. The Valencians claim the archive as one of the most extensive and comprehensive in Spain. It is indeed impressive in content, as well as number: 20,000 titles in a remarkable 5-million metres!
State-of-the-art technology meticulously supports film restoration and storage. Precise control of temperature, humidity and lighting ensure stability of the archived films for long-term preservation. While some movies were dutifully catalogued when released, others were literally salvaged from oblivion.
The documentation centre, including its video library, is open to the public. Screenings of the archived films are offered in the film library in Valencia, as well as Alicante and Castellόn. As Maicas explained, “They preserve the audiovisual heritage for the benefit of cinematic students, residents, and visitors — now and in the future.”
“I find satisfaction with the public enjoying the seventh art and films that are part of the history of the cinema,” Maicas said. “A good movie is always a great opportunity to enjoy culture.”
By Lynn Kirk
La Filmoteca de Valencia
Plaza del Ayuntamiento
46002 (Zona Centro)
More info: http://ivac.gva.es/la-filmoteca