Welcome to Miradas-Doc, the International Festival of Documentary Cinema of Guía de Isora which is held in this borough on the island of Tenerife each year. In its third edition, which will be held between 31st October and 8th November this year, Miradas-Doc will continue to offer a wide range of documentary cinema carried on, over the last year, with the intention of making the many, varied and complex social processes - in the widest sense of the term - experienced by the citizens of the five continents and the five worlds.
We are Miradas-Doc (formerly Docusur). The idea which governs this change is the need, detected through a range of very varied factors, to offer an even wider view of the advances, threats and opportunities which affect societies and cultures from all over the planet. We have replaced therefore the concept of the south which was dominant in our former name by another, that of views, which responds better, in our judgement, to the expectations of the three main agents in the festival: the professionals, the audiences and the societies themselves, which in this way become the centres of interest of the festival.
Our objective continues to be, over and above all, the same which has guided us since the beginning: to offer, not so much the "reality" in which citizens live - reality always exceeds any interpretation, however deep it may be -, as the set of perceptions through which those same citizens are located in a difficult, varied and complex world. In this sense, the accumulated experience of these first two years advises us to insist on two values that, in some way, we feel that we have managed to consolidate through Docusur and which we are now beginning to defend at Miradas-Doc.
In the first place, the very real interest that there is throughout the world in telling the events of the human being in the most varied territories and before the most varied problems. This phenomenon, which we might understand as a real "multiplication of memory" - deriving from the democratisation of the technical resources - has made it possible to create a new sense of history centred on the exponential progression of mechanisms through which that which has occurred is preserved. This extension of the memory - of the memorisable, of the visible- must necessarily lead us towards an extension of awareness and of the interpretation of the world to which citizens can have access. The over one thousand documentaries that we have received at each of the foregoing editions of the festival make it a privileged vantage point of that multiple reality which is the contemporary world, and they enable us to wish that each of the editions of Miradas-Doc should become a fiesta of citizens.
In the second place, we believe that the contents of Miradas-Doc, on displacing the spotlight in which images are produced from the centres of formation of consensus in the West towards the protagonists themselves, may modify the mental map on the basis of which North-South relations or those between the East and the West, or between rich and poor are habitually interpreted. Miradas-Doc wants to offer a direct vision of its own which is very different from that which we habitually get from western media, and which therefore incorporates a far from negligible quantity of unprocessed information which surprises audiences with its vitality, its freshness and its desire for progress. The image that one has of Arab countries, sub-Saharan Africa or of immigration towards the first world, to give three very different examples, varies in a very positive way through a visit to our festival. The energy, the willpower and the hope of the citizens of developing countries surprises and enriches the western gaze. This is not therefore an event with hard or uncomfortable contents but rather, as has been made clear by our audiences at the two previous editions, it is a space for hope, for opportunity and for gaining a better knowledge of the world. In this sense, we believe that we can state that Miradas-Doc is not so much a festival as a very useful tool for offering depth and conscience in the interpretation of reality, whether daily or exceptional, of the beings that people the planet.
Miradas-Doc brings together five different and complementary events. The festival itself, with an official section made up of the international, national and Canarian prizes and a series of information sections grouped around the labels of Cinemateca Sur -in which we aspire to take a closer look at the cinematography of the three above-mentioned continents-, "a Personal Retrospective" - paying homage to the work of a director (Patricio Guzmán at the first edition and Basilio Martín Patino at the second), and a thematic show, "Actualidad Documental" (Documentary Reality) which, as its name indicates, reflects on an aspect of the reality of documentary cinema in the world.
The second event taking place at Miradas-Doc in order of importance is probably the Miradas-Doc Market, a space for the distribution of documentary cinema of the third world in the first world, through the presence in Guía de Isora of purchasers from the main public and private channels of the first world. The Miradas-Doc market has screening sessions - for finished productions - and pitching - for support to projects that are under way. This is the only European market devoted exclusively to this kind of cinema.
The "Documentary Workshops" of Miradas-Doc have also enjoyed great acceptance. The festival offers, each year, three workshops devoted to students and professionals of the audiovisual medium. A workshop of a theoretical nature and one of a practical nature make up the "open" proposal for training during Miradas-Doc. These are workshops of twenty hours' duration, taught by professionals with wide experience and prestige. Moreover, there is a workshop that is only open to an invited audience, Doc Express, in which teams made up by the schools of image and sound in the Canaries - and from outside the islands - must make a documentary piece of up to five minutes in length over the seven days of the festival.
Throughout the week of the Miradas-Doc festival talks, round tables, lectures and discussions are held with the main guests of the festival, as well as parallel activities such as open-air cinema, concerts and workshops related with the themes of the festival. All of this makes up the "Forum of the Views", in which a highly varied range of questions are dealt with on the current reality of the world, of the documentary genre and of the role of the cinema in relation with what happens.
Finally, since the 2007 edition, we have included in the programming of the festival "Enseñandoc", an activity aimed at ESO and baccalaureate students in which a documentary selected on the basis of the interests of the pupils is projected and subsequently a discussion is held with the director of the film or with a guest who is very closely related with the theme. At the first edition of Enseñandoc almost 1000 students participated in the activity, and the experience was very positive, with the result that this year we are going to take, throughout the year, "Enseñandoc" to the Tenerife High Schools with the idea of continuing an essential task which is that of training audiences for documentary cinema.
Thus Miradas-Doc reaches its third edition with all its fire and all its energy. Fire and energy which give us, with generosity and power, the documentary filmmakers who, from over ninety countries, have brought us their work since we began the preparation of our first edition. We hope to see you here, in Guía de Isora, in early November, to hold once again the fiesta of the citizen."