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Sneak peek at Formentera Film Festival

Foto presentacio for film 2017This morning, in the courtyard of Centre “Gabrielet,” the island got a first look at Formentera Film 2017. At a morning presentation of the event, councillors of culture and tourism Susana Labrador and Alejandra Ferrer were joined by the festival's two coordinators, Monica Timperi and Silvio Bandinelli. Now in its fifth year, the showcase of short films, documentaries and video art runs May 18 to 21.

Screenings for Formentera Film are free and begin Thursday, May 18 at 8.30pm in la Mola's central plaza. They pick up the same time next day in Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució, which will be their home for the remainder of the festival. Thursday's focus on documentaries will give way Friday and Saturday to a selection encompassing short works of fiction and animation and video art. Twenty-three shorts—of which three were produced in the Balearics—have been entered to compete in this year's contest. The nightly programme kicks off at 8.30pm with performances from a musical duo from Lisbon's Port do Sol. Presenting duties will be covered by Toni Riera and Viviana Carlet.

On Sunday, May 21, in addition to the day's screenings, audiences—an assortment including directors, producers, distributors and festival organisers—will see the crowning of 2017's selected productions. Winners will receive prizes crafted by local artists Enric Majoral, Lorenzo Pepe, Sol Courrèges Boné and Andrés Rodríguez. Also on Sunday, from 10.30pm, spectators will be treated to a premiere of a short film cut over four days by Zero Video.

Youth involvement
On May 19 and 20, Centre “Gabrielet” plays host to a parallel programme of 18 shorts for children. This year, following a workshop on video production, 12 teens from the island's youth centre put together a music video spotlighting local rapper El Puerta. Students at la Mola's primary school congregated for their own workshop, ultimately churning out the video that will open each day's programme. The workshops were headed up by Arturo Bandinelli and CHD Animation, respectively.

The Formentera Film jury, a panel formed by Véronique Landy, chair of the island's summer film series Cinema a la Fresca, Xavi Herrero, head of Eivissa Cinema Fest and Antonio Delgado, coordinator of Madrid's Centro Cultural Pilar Miró, also includes the filmmaker behind last year's award-winning “A lo oscuro más seguro,” David Pantalons.

Throughout the festival, Sant Francesc's main square will be arrayed with works concocted by Atelier frase, a London-based design firm that specialises in one of a kind, site-specific structures. The company's Formentera installation draws inspiration from coastal landscapes and includes a collection of sculptures fashioned from recycled wood.

Save Posidonia Project
Formentera Film Festival is a part of Save Posidonia Project. Among this year's selected productions is an educational film about the outreach initiative aimed at securing sponsors of portions of local posidonia meadows.

The Formentera Council and the island's tourism advisory board work in tandem with the non-profit group FormenteraArt, a band formed by Bandinelli, Timperi, Carlet and Carlo Migotto which is dedicated to steering the organisation of Formentera Film Festival and conjuring human and professional experiences that support the local community. This year's festival received counsel from Balears Film Commission. Full details can be found at http://www.formenterafilm.com/cat/.

Formentera joins International Dance Day's list of backers

Foto actuacio de dansaThe Formentera Council's education and culture departments have announced plans by students of the municipal school of music and dance to stage a performance on Friday, April 28 at 6.30pm, in observance of International Dance Day. As part of the special day, which was officially proclaimed April 29, the young performers will tackle contemporary and Spanish dance routines and pronounce a short reading on Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució.

By focusing on dance in unconventional places, the performance's organisers hope to take the art form to the streets and give it visibility. The aim, they say, is to engage both young and old in dance appreciation. It will perhaps give way to an entire plaza of young people dancing in sync, even if only for a few minutes.

Nature, landscapes and people all in sharp focus at 15th Beni Trutmann contest

Foto Btrutmann 1 er bn jose antonio arribasA selection of photos from the fifteenth Beni Trutmann contest went on display today, Monday, April 24 at 8.00pm, in the municipal gallery of Sant Francesc's old town hall building. The evening also included prizes for this year's winners. The exhibition runs through next Friday, May 5, with weekday hours from 11.00am to 2.00pm and again from 6.00 to 8.00pm.

From the outset, the Beni Trutmann competition has leveraged Formentera's natural surroundings—landscapes, flora and fauna, humans in nature—as a way to promote a commitment to the environment. The competition, according to culture councillor Susana Labrador, “was initially conceived as an homage to Beni Trutmann himself, who was absolutely instrumental for Formentera”. The photographer left the island with an archive of more than thirty thousand prints reflecting a deep love of Formentera's natural beauty.

Thirty-nine people took part in this year's competition, with the 92 submitted prints spread across two categories: black and white and colour. The category for smartphone snapshots, restricted to youth aged 12 to 18, had 10 hopefuls with 28 submissions in the running. The following prize winners were unanimously selected by a panel of judges.

Black and white photos

First prize: €500 for Jose Antonio Arribas
Second prize: €300 Jaime Franch Rojo
Third Prize: €200 for Álvaro Raúl Mendoza

Colour photos

First prize: €500 for Natalia Iglesias Diez
Second prize: €300 for José López Vañó
Third prize: €200 for Maurizio Lamberti

Smartphone snapshots (names are pseudonyms)

First prize: Polaroid SNAP for Maia
Second prize: Polaroid Cube for El ocaso
Third prize: IF045 sport camera for Rotfort

Councillor Parellada saluted all participants for their efforts and noted the high quality of this year's submissions had made the jury's task of choosing winners  particularly difficult.

Sant Jordi day also marked by centennial celebration of 'Gabrielet'

Foto activitat infantil creacio dracThe Formentera Council's Office of Education and Culture reminds residents of this week's programme to celebrate the Sant Jordi holiday on Sunday, April 23. All morning long on Sunday, books retired from the collections of Formentera libraries or donated from local cultural groups can be picked up for free at outposts across Sant Francesc's central plaza. Trade-ins will also be accepted.

Centennial celebration of 'Gabrielet'
The same day at 12 noon in the cinema, winners will be announced for two children's contests that this year turn 18—a bookmark designing competition named for Antoni Tur “Gabrielet” and Robert Lewis Baldon's celebration of children's literature. Organisers of this year's edition say they hope to keep the memory alive of two seminal local figures. Both left Formentera with important legacies, artistic in one case and literary in the other. Councillor Labrador called the two competitions “a chance to promote reading and creative writing among Formentera youth”. As part of this year's centennial celebration of Tur's birth, participants will reflect on the prompt, “Art all around me”.

Discussion, children's theatre and documentary
Today at 8.00pm Obra Cultural Balear will organise a talk about David Guinard's book entitled Aurora Picornell (1912-1937): de la història al símbol. The event will be held at Marià Villangómez library.

The gathering for the book 14 vermuts, originally scheduled for today at 6.00pm at the same library has been postponed. An announcement will soon follow regarding a new date for the event, which will include a talk with the book's author, Núria Naval.

Uc concert
One of the main draws is a Friday-evening concert, 8.00pm at la Mola's Casa del Poble, of local legends Uc. The event, during which the group will perform crowd favourites, is an initiative of Illenc and has been organised by Espai_F.

Talk, children's theatre and documentary
The activities continue Monday, April 24, with a look at Bartomeu Ribes' collection of poetry titled Els avisos. The evening, hosted by Maria Teresa Ferrer, Joan Ferrer and the author himself and presented by the local arm of Obra Cultural Balear (OCBF), begins at 8.00pm in Marià Villangómez library.

At 6.00pm on Friday, April 28, Formentera kids are invited to attend a storytelling session by Cristina Garcia at Marià Villangómez library called “Contes Salvatges” (“Savage Tales”).

At 8.30pm that same evening, Miquel Brunet presents his documentary Ferments to crowds in la Mola. The presentation is part of OCBF's Primavera Cultural programme.

Imaràntia, end of festivities
Capping the calendar of events, OCBF will host a 9.00pm concert by Imaràntia on Saturday, April 29 at la Mola's Casa del Poble.

Byzantine necropolis unearthed in Sant Francesc

Foto necropolis3Susana Labrador, the administration's patrimony councillor, joined by her department's staff specialist Jaume Escandell and archaeologist Maria José Escandell, held a press conference today on recent archaeological findings in Sant Francesc. Labrador explained the unearthing—a cemetery with origins in the Byzantine Empire—was a fortuitous corollary to preventive dig work being done in the urban centre of Sant Francesc Xavier. It is the second of its kind to be discovered on the island, she said.

Labrador underscored the importance of the preventive work that preceded the find. The councillor asserted that discoveries such as the necropolis justify the Council's heightened precaution, despite the additional cost such prevention imposes on project leaders. “We've got plenty of hidden treasure here on the island,” Labrador proclaimed, “and as we conduct more of this kind of work we'll see more cases like this”.

The four burial sites uncovered, which held the remains of at least 12 individuals (eight adults and four children), also enclosed funeral rites that allowed the team to identfy the site as seventh century Byzantine. Escandell hailed the cemetery as “highly significant in terms of cultural heritage, not least because this is a period on which scant information exists”. The ensuing study, he pledged, would “shed relevant scientific light on the historiographical study of Formentera in the late Antiquity".

At this point, the fate of the necropolis will depend on the decision reached by a special archaeological commission created in 2013 to provide technical review to archaeological initiatives of the Council.

Preventive archaeological efforts
The burial grounds were unearthed during preventive archaeological work ordered by the Council's advisory body on land, historical patrimony and other activities. Formentera's catalogue of cultural heritage sites, adopted in September 2010 at the same time as a series of municipal regulations, requires a review of any planned disturbance to subsoil on protected archaeological sites.

The review must then be evaluated by the special commission, whose green-light is necessary before building permits are issued.

Dig
The archaeologist and project head said the discovery was the of its kind first since 1916, when Josep Colomines i Roca uncovered three burial sites—two from the Later Roman Empire and a third from the Byzantine—at can Gabino.

Maria José Escandell also highlighted the discovery of 23 holes, used for planting trees, which would have succeeded the cemetery. The tombs themselves, unearthed just as central efforts were concluding, were discovered when four cutouts were taken on the westerly edge of the dig site. Given the attributes of similar findings in the Pityusic Islands, it is likely that the necropolis in question extends further west and southwest.

Through the Antiquity the only village in the Pityuses was Eivissa. Individuals were spread throughout the countryside in single family units, the archaeologist said, which is crucial to understanding life, and death, on the islands at the time. Transporting a deceased person to the nearest village would have required several days' travel and that one temporarily abandon both home and land. Hence, from the start of Punic settlement of the countryside, inhabitants buried their deceased at family plots located quite near to their dwellings. Such “rural” cemeteries lasted continued through the Roman and Byzantine empires.

The archaeological team concluded that graves were initially devised to contain no more than one individual and that the decision to reuse them came after. They also pointed out the absence of iron nails, inferring that, unlike at similar sites, these buried individuals were not placed in wooden coffins.

Necropolises from the Roman and Byzantine epochs are often found to contain deposits of both cremated and non-cremated remains, which span the first to seventh centuries. It is the absence of signs from that five-hundred-year period, says Maria José Escandell, that suggests the newly uncovered necropolis is in fact much more extensive.

As for illnesses or other aspects of the interred individuals' health, work and diet, forthcoming studies will address those issues. For now it can be observed that the remains in question belonged to peasant farmers of grand stature who, judging by the funeral rites found nearby, were of modest means.

Archaeological work was overseen by the POSIDÒNIA firm, comprising Ricard Marlasca, J. M. López Gari and Maria José Escandell.

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Ràdio Illa

Teatre de les Illes Balears

Música de les Illes Balears

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Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics

Enciclopèdia d'Eivissa i Formentera