Project

This is the blog of “Flamenco sin Fronteras” movie project, and below in this page you can read the complete project or download here the Flamenco sin Fronteras dossier 2017 En

This website gives news on the making and screening of my independent documentary and series of episodes, and about the people of the flamenco world I met in various months of life in Andalusia (in the south of Spain) from 2012, looking for evidencies of the living art of flamenco nowadays. Have a look at articles, watch the trailer (3 minutes), donate to this independent production and ask for a copy with a contribution of at least 20 €. A first version of the movie was presented in flamenco festivals between march and august 2016, while a definitive version will be ready for the end of 2016.

For more information and support, or if you are a cinema, festival or tv manager interested in showing and distribute the movie, please write to me: info@flamencosinfronteras.net.

Thank you!

Filippo Ciardi, freelance journalist and filmmaker

Documentary dossier

“Flamenco sin Fronteras” (Flamenco without Borders)

A research on the sense of a living art and about its main characters in Andalusia

Documentary © Filippo Ciardi, director and producer

Synopsis

What is flamenco in Andalusia nowadays for the spanish and foreigners artists and fans who live and meet there? How do they express it and communicate, singing, playing guitar and dancing? Is it a musical culture or also a lifestyle? Can you learn it or you have to be born with it to communicate with this language?

Flamenco sin Fronteras is a documentary about the deepest meanings of flamenco nowadays, in which more than 40 characters show the different ways of living it and also its contradictions, through live performances, personal testimonies and experiences, in constant tension between traditions and contemporaneity. A journey of discovery made ​​of intense meetings in Jerez de La Frontera, Cadíz, Sevilla, and also in Navarra. Andalusian, spanish and foreigner artists and fans reveal themselves in various environments, from big events like Jerez and Pamplona flamenco festivals, to more intimate places like clubs, bars, homes, and at different times of the year, showing through their lives that flamenco is a living art without borders.

Author’s note: artistic and cultural objective

The project’s objective is to provide a portrait of flamenco as richer as possible, made by many faces, the ones of its protagonists, in the places of its origin and evolution, showing the different components, such as singing, dancing, guitar playing, but not focusing only on the musical aspects, but also on personal, cultural and social issues. The characters filmed in fact testify that flamenco has continued to be during time a living and popular art in Andalusia, between tradition and modernity, but also a form of expression that is now “borderless” (sin fronteras, paraphrasing Jerez and the various Andalusian cities “de la Frontera”). This affection is not only because it has been declared a World Heritage, but because it is like a faith for all those who remain deeply fascinated and begin to live and practice it with respect, passion and dedication, also the foreigners that are the co-protagonists of the documentary with Spanish, so that the research and debate on flamenco meanings, teaching and learning, and message transmission are core issues of my documentary.

Characters (complete list here)

Among the protagonists there are people of great experience in flamenco, like dance masters José Galván and Juan Parra, the singer Fernando de la Morena and the guitarist Paco Cepero, and some of them have passed to another life during the editing, like Juan Moneo Lara El Torta and Manuel Molina. They and others confront themselves in the movie with younger artists like the singer Rocío Marquéz, the dancer Leonor Leal and guitarists Dani Moron and Juan Diego Mateos, and also unusual instrumentalists for flamenco, non spanish professionals and some “with different capacity.” In total, more than 40 among the best artists, researchers and amateurs show how they live flamenco in a constant search and tension between tradition and contemporaneity.

Technical data

The duration of the documentary is 1 hour and 45 minutes. The dialogues are in Spanish original language with English subtitles (and in the future more languages). The images are 16:9 full HD 1920×1080 pixels, 25 frames per second progressive, sound is stereo. I choosed a quality but light equipment, suitable for an independent production, manageable by one person and not intrusive, which has facilitated getting near the subjects and their spontaneity. The editing was performed with a professional computer and software. The final product can be transferred in various formats, for cinema, tv and web.
Direction, photography, camera, sound, editing and production: Filippo Ciardi. Camera and editing assistant: Stefano Liuzzo. Logo: Elena Clari. Poster graphic designer: Sharon Neirynck. Collaboration for contacts with some characters: Paola Ghiglione.

Director’s short biography

I am an independent filmmaker, freelance journalist and social & cultural project manager. I am the director, stubborn seeker and hidden character of this “Flamenco sin Fronteras” discovery adventure. I am also codirector of another feature documentary, “Across the Alps”, winner as best italian documentary at Cinemambiente 2016 film festival. And I and working on a visual project about post earthquake in L’Aquila.
I graduated in economics with a final research about international cooperation for development and I am also a musician. I worked for several years as communication, press office and fundraising coordinator for different italian development ngos and before it as a journalist for a regional magazine. From some years I am experimenting with photo and video as part of my jobs as a multimedia communicator. The passion for telling stories and images was born when I was very young, starting to practice in an editorial staff for, as assistant for an uncle that was a professional photographer, and later turning my enthusiasm for moving pictures, collaborating with some friends who are documentarists.

Contacts and support: the project goes on

Flamenco sin Fronteras is first of all the documentary of its characters and an independent project in some way “incremental”. It can become of everyone if  also you participate. The search of funding to finish a definitive version goes on, after the pre premiere in Festival of Jerez on the 2nd of march 2016. You can support with a donation and if it is at least 20 euros, ask for a copy of the movie. The project continues in Andalusia and with a double proposal of a “tour beyond the border” in all the world, for screenings and new shootings for a second documentary of a series about flamenco outside of Spain (see the detailed proposal).

Contact me for informations and to propose cinema screening, tv broadcasting and new shooting ideas:

+34 684120101 (es) / +39 328 6789849 (it), info@flamencosinfronteras.net, Skype: filippo.ciardi

Thank you!

Filippo Ciardi
director and producer of Flamenco sin Fronteras
freelance journalist, photoreporter, filmmaker

To go deeper: production notes

Genesis, shooting and editing stages

The project was born in November 2012, during my first trip to Jerez de La Frontera, cradle of flamenco, along with my friend Stefano Liuzzo, a guitarist who studies and plays this style of music from a few years, and is partly responsible for my falling in love with this art. In this first phase we started the interviews, both to researchers, at the Centro Andaluz del Flamenco (the largest documentation center), in a library and in a specialistic radio programme; and also to artists and fans, in schools of dance and guitar, peñas (cultural associations dedicated to flamenco ) and tabancos (bars that serve local sherry wine, typical of flamenco culture ).

I returned to Andalusia for three weeks in December 2012 to go deeper and meet other protagonists of flamenco in Jerez , Seville and in various villages in the province of Cadiz, and to document how flamenco is expressed in the Christmas season, in the “zambombas ” meetings in which they also sing flamenco style songs. The next trip to Andalusia lasted a month, between February and March 2013, to follow the end of the Carnival of Cadiz and especially to shoot the International Festival of Flamenco in Jerez, an opportunity to meet famous artists, including non-Andalusians, but also spectators and foreign students in the courses of the Festival, and to follow a number of more informal shows in the peñas.

To live for an even longer time a deep contact with the people and culture of Andalusia, and the foreigners living there for the love of flamenco, I decided to live in Jerez de la Frontera from April to September 2013. I filmed really a lot: summer shows, interviews in several villages in the province of Cadiz, I returned various times to Seville, I visited Almeria (an example to investigate the east area of Andalusia flamenca) , and I pushed myself much more distant to meet a dancer in Russia, then return to Jerez in September to film the celebrations of the Bulería (the typical flamenco style of Jerez) and of the Harvest and I finished the shooting during a course that I organized in Italy in late September with one of the Andalusian dancers with more experience. In almost a year I have interviewed over 60 people from the world of flamenco: Andalusian, Spanish and foreigners; singers, dancers , guitarists, guitar makers, librarians, researchers, radio speakers, affiliates and owners of peñas and tabancos, enthusiasts and students of flamenco courses and schools.

In 2014 and 2015 I worked in assembling all this material and to complete the work I have decided to return again to shoot new material, at the end of August 2015 at the Flamenco Festival on Fire Pamplona, and between September and October 2015 again in Andalusia, where I arrived after a quite adventourous drive from Italy. I lived in Seville to follow the festival Septiembre es Flamenco organized by La Bienal and to go deep in the sevillan flamenco, shooting in dance academies, tabancos and peñas and interviewing other artists. Since November 2015 I am living again in Jerez, to finish the editing of a first version of the documentary that was shown in flamenco festival between march and august 2016, in Jerez, Seville, Pamplona and in Tampere, in Finland. By the end of 2016 I plan to finish 2 final editings, a cinema version of about 1:30 min length and television version of about 52 min. / 1 hour lenght, and then to create a series in 3 episodes according to the 3 main parts of the documentary, but with more details. The presentation in Finland has been the opportunity to start new shootings for a second part of the project dedicated to flamenco outside of Spain.

Production and distribution

I am looking for a cinema and tv distribution for the documentary and the series.

The style of all formats of the work is that of the live story, narrated through the voice and the lives of the protagonists I met, alternating parts of interviews with their musical performances, or shooting them contextualized in their flamenco environments and places, with the powerful background of the andalusian towns and countrysides and a surprise open ending. From the realism of the images, unique characters emerge, that are both real, and transcendent when they reach the depths of their stories and they act in their musical performances.

For the feature length documentary the type of editing proposes an approach to the various facets of the world of flamenco through the faces and words of the characters, returning several times in the story as you move from one topic to another, with a series of similarities or contrasts between various points of view, for example, between those who argue that the only true flamenco is Andalusian, and who prove with their experience that form some time flamenco has also crossed the Spanish border. The documentary aims also to show how flamenco changes or remains equal to itself in different temporal contexts and environments in which it is expressed in Andalusia, such as the diary of a trip in different times and places. The ambition of the film is to be screened at film festivals, in cinemas, and distributed in international tv channles and DVD or Bluray.

For the series each episode will focus on one or a coherent group of characters, representing one or more aspects of the rich world of flamenco, according to the the 3 parts of the first version of the documentary, enriching each with new faces and new pieces of a mosaic, to develop an always more detailed path and of descent in depth in the world of flamenco possible experiences. The propensity of the episodes in the series is to be programmed in a European television channel and / or be made visible / downloaded on the internet through online contributions.

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