Santiago de Compostela, March 6 2023. – MICE, the International Ethnographic Film Festival promoted by the Museum of Galician People, celebrates its 18 th edition by renewing its commitment to its foundational goal –to encourage the usage of film as a tool for anthropological debate, with an accent on gender perspectives. The official program for the festival’s 18 th edition, which will be held in Santiago de Compostela from March 15-21, was officially announced today at noon. MICE’s director Ana Estévez Lavandeira welcomed the authorities that attended the press release: Concha Losada (president of Padroado do Museo do Pobo Galego – Museum of Galician People’s board for cultural initiatives), Mercedes Rosón (councilwoman and representative of the culture department of Santiago de Compostela’s City Council), Xosé Luis Penas Corral (the provincial deputy of A Coruña’s Provincial Council), and Jacobo Sutil (director of AGADIC – the Galician agency for the cultural industries).

The president of the Museum of Galician People’s board for cultural initiatives, Concha Losada, thanked MICE’s organization, the festival’s audience for their long-standing support, and “the institutions that, with their generous support, contribute to making it possible.” Losada also pointed out that, thanks to the combined efforts of all these agents, MICE has become a reference festival in the scene of ethnographic cinema, not only in Galicia and Spain but also in Europe.

Councilwoman Mercedes Rosón also highlighted MICE’s relevance, describing it as “a well-established festival that year after year manages to perfect their selection of ethnographic films –usually neglected by commercial film programs.” An initiative, she said, that “highly enriches Santiago de Compostela’s cultural offer.”

The provincial deputy of A Coruña’s Provincial Council, Xosé Luis Penas Corral, praised the collaborative work of all the institutions supporting MICE: Santiago de Compostela’s City Council, A Coruña’s Provincial Council, and Xunta de Galicia (Galicia’s regional government), and congratulated MICE’s commitment with the rural areas and their culture.

The director of AGADIC – the Galician agency for the cultural industries, Jacobo Sutil, underlined that, as a society, we are witnessing “the golden age of the Galician film scene, with projects being featured and recognized at the most prestigious international film festivals and digital platforms.” “Much of this success, he added, relies on festivals like MICE.” Sutil insisted on MICE’s value as a differentiated festival that focuses on the relationship of the people –men and women– with the territory they inhabit.

MICE’s director Ana Estévez Lavandeira offered an overview of the critical elements that define the festival’s 18 th edition, which focuses on rururbanity. The opening session will take place on March 15 at 8:00 pm at Santiago de Compostela’s Teatro Principal. The event chosen to open this special edition is a recreation of Antonio Román’s lost film Canto de emigración –a reconstruction made by filmmaker Pepe Coira using the remains that survived to this day: the script, several pictures of the shooting, and the original music score composed by Teódulo R. Páramos, which will be played live and in synchronization with the film by Vigo’s Classical Orchestra.

The Official Selections – International & Galician

In this year’s International Selection, 11 films will compete for MICE’s Best Film Award. Seven are proposals from different parts of the world, while four were made in Galicia (and will also be competing for MICE’s Best Galician Film Award). The selection includes Porte de Clichy, a French film by Sébastien Marziniak that will have its official European premiere at MICE; Las colonias, by Mexican filmmaker Luis Lazalde, I nostril giorni by Gisela Peláez, and Vladimir Krivov’s Detached –in its Spanish premiere. Alongside these films, the audience will be invited to discover La primera puerta (Colectivo Súper Cuy, Ecuador), Aylesbury Estate by Italian director Carlotta Berti, and Tolyatti Adrift by Spanish filmmaker Laura Sisteró. The selection of Galician films includes the world premiere of Malgrat (Santiago Teijelo), the Galician premiere of Al otro lado del mar (by Eloy Domínguez Serén and Colombian director Samuel Moreno Álvarez), and two short films: Tatuado nos ollos levamos o pouso (Diana Toucedo) and A festa do emigrante (Sara Traba). 

All the featured films will also compete for the AGANTRO Award for Ethnographic Excellence, the CREA Award (bestowed by the Galician association of filmmakers and directors), and the Audience Award. The award-giving ceremony will be held on Sunday, March 19, at 12:30 am, at the Museum of Galician People and will be hosted by the actor and musician Sergio Llauger. 

18 years focusing on gender issues

The gender perspective is at the core of this edition in which MICE reaches its symbolic age of majority (which in Spain is 18 years old). As stated by MICE’s director Ana Estévez Lavandeira, 90 % of the festival’s workers and collaborators are women, as are 50% of the featured authors. For another year, MICE will devote a whole section (Impropias) to ethnographic cinema made by women filmmakers. This year, Impropias will be curated by Ainhoa Rodríguez, the director behind the multi-awarded film Destello bravío

The festival’s non-competitive sections include Trazas, developed in collaboration with Cineclube de Compostela (Santiago de Compostela’s film club), and Lindes, co-organized with this year’s guest festival, MDOC-Festival Internacional de Documentário de Melgaço.

Tickets, venues & parallel activities 

All of MICE’s screenings, events, and activities are free of charge and will take place at three different venues in the old town of Santiago de Compostela: the facilities of the Museum of Galician People, Teatro Principal, and NUMAX. For more information on the festival’s offer and schedule, check MICE’s website http://mice.museodopobo.gal/en/

Besides the screenings, the program for this 18th edition will include special activities for young learners (MICE Petís), specialized workshops for professionals in the cinema industry, an exhibition + performance by emergent artist Marta Valverde, and a selection of films to enjoy online thanks to MICE en liña

This all-encompassing program is made possible with the support of Santiago de Compostela’s City Council, A Coruña’s Provincial Council Department for Culture, AGADIC – the Galician agency for the cultural industries, and the General Secretariat for the Galician language.