The competition section of the Film Festival closed last night with the final entry, Tears For Sale from Serbia. We’ll be reviewing the competition for next month’s magazine, so we’ll save the indepth comments on this and the other five competition films till then. I will say that the two competition films which have left the biggest impression on several of the attendees (myself included) were both first features; Humboldt County by the American writer/director team Darren Grodsky and Danny Jacobs, and Li Tong by Chinese director Nian Liu. It’s extremely rare to see such a level of confidence and commitment in a first project as the directors of both films have shown here, so that quality in itself (as well as many other fine qualities in both features) tipped my scales.
Danny Jacobs and Darren Grodsky
We’ll also be reviewing Jimi Mistry’s wonderful love song to the island, And The Beat Goes On, and we have exclusive video interviews with some of the key players at the festival including Terry Gilliam, Bill Forsyth, Cuba Gooding Jr., Danny Jacobs, Darren Grodsky, Jimi Mistry and Amy Gilliam.
Cushan Thomas (right) with old friend Pablo.
But first, in preparation for tomorrow’s grand finale (being the awards ceremony and party at Atzaro), we were all invited up into the hills of Sant Carles this afternoon, to actor Terry Thomas’s former home, Can Talaias. Cushan (Thomas’s son) and Laetitia, who now run this beautiful house and gardens welcomed us all with a free bar, delicious snacks and a much-needed chance to just kick back for the day and have informal chats with festival participants in lovely surroundings.
After a few hours in hazy sunshine, made hazier thanks to the wonderful wines Cushan and Laetitia laid on, Terry Gilliam was awarded a special creative prize for his role as a festival patron; a log, a chisel and a can of spray paint from which he is expected to carve his own DIY Falco d’Oro.
The DIY Falco d’Oro presented by Gail Fear and Xavi Benlloch to Terry Gilliam.
Well off the beaten track, and through at least one obligatory forest camino, Can Talaias (the lookout tower in Catalan) was the first film meeting out of town. Cuba Gooding Jr. told me he has loved being here in Ibiza because of the hours we keep. He mentioned having dinner at 5am sometime during the screening days of this last week, and moreover the freedom to lie in and not have to rush out to morning screenings. All in all he highly approved of the lifestyle he’s been experiencing here.
Time out for the jury; Cuba Gooding Jr.
The huge terrace at Can Talaias overlooking the Mediterranean above Aiguas Blancas was full for most of the day, and lots of familiar faces from the Ibiza arts community showed up to enjoy the afternoon in the company of the recessing film festival group. We spent some time chatting with old friend Sandy Pratt, godfather to Cushan, our host, and also the man behind the legendary Sandy’s bar in Santa Eularia, which was at one time the location of the only telephone in the entire area. Back in those days it was Terry Thomas and his crowd who would congregate there and drink while waiting for phone calls from agents. Sandy recalled today how he once had to accept a part on behalf of Nigel Davenport when Davenport’s agent rang the bar, and Sandy couldn’t risk waiting for the actor’s consent.
The youngest paparazza in our press group; Bella Tilbury.
Amy Gilliam, who is the producer of father Terry’s latest film The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, had just flown in for a couple of nights and gave us a wonderful spontaneous on-camera interview, after which we ended our day with a magnificent on -camera session with a playful Terry Gilliam.
Meanwhile, the festival is now closing out for the year with a retrospective of Gilliam’s work.
The Falco d’Oro and other awards will be presented tomorrow, Monday 1st June at Agroturismo Atzaro in Sant Llorenc.