On June 14, Judith Colell (Sant Cugat del Vallès, 53 years old) signed the minutes of the elections for the presidency of the Catalan Cinema Academy as secretary of the board of directors, upon her entry, and as as president, when she leaves. His candidacy, Cinema and the Future, was imposed on that of the director also Neus Ballús, ‘An open-door academy’.
Colell has been a member of the institution since its inception in 2008. Four years ago she joined the board of directors of Isona Passola as secretary and was secretary of the Spanish Film Academy, in addition to directing the degree in audiovisual communication at Ramón Llull University. “I thought that, of course, after so many years of academic master’s degree, it was time to put all this experience at the service of my colleagues in the Catalan film industry,” she explains.
“I am in a fantastic academy, with a team that I know well,” he says. “I think that, despite the pandemic situation, the Academy is strong: the Gaudí Awards are in fantastic health; the Gaudí Cycle, a major project resulting from the previous meeting, is already present in more than 100 rooms, including Northern Catalonia; We have just organized the meeting of the Iberian academies; in September, we will again do the Gaudí-Goya exchange, in which in Madrid they will pay homage to our honorary Gaudí, Carme Elies, and we will do it Angela Molina ”.
Colell’s team, of which producer Sergi Moreno is the vice-president, is not that they bet on total continuity. “No way,” she said emphatically. “The first innovation will be the creation of commissions to study and debate specific questions.
From the gala itself to the relationship with other academies, to education, to the relationship with platforms, to animation, to engagement with young people and to bringing cinema closer to schools. At the Academy there is a lot of talent and a lot of desire to work so that people who are dedicated to the film industry feel represented ”.
The director assures us that the main thing is: “That the spectator feels challenged by our cinema. Cinema explains to us, as a society, who we are, how we relate to each other, what language we speak.
We have a fantastic, very good cinema which has won awards at all the festivals, which travels a lot. We have to make our viewers believe it because it is true. They just need to go see him, get to know him and like him. I envy the French, how chauvinistic they are with their cinema ”.
Colell considers that this problem occurs with all Spanish cinema and a good part of European cinema. “France is where they did the best, and I think the Catalans can also have this chauvinistic point of the French.
Our cinema is very good. We need to breastfeed. If we go to Malaga and win everything! »He said, with humor, referring to the recent successes of the Andalusian festival El Belly del Mar, of Agustí Villaronga, Destello Bravío, Chavalas or even 3 pm, of Colell herself.
10 years ago, bigger budget films were shot in Catalonia: Penégre all the Goya in the world!
But is French the model to follow in Catalonia? “I don’t think so,” he replies. “Catalonia has no state, we are smaller… You have to look at the cinematography of countries similar to Catalonia. Denmark, for example, except because it is a state and we are not, it has, like us, a minority language and they run both in their language and in English.
They make great cinema, a lot of series, they interact with the countries around them to co-produce. It can be a good role model for us. “
There is talent in Catalan cinema, but success depends on funding… “I hope that the new aid from the Generalitat will make it possible to make more films in Catalan and films with a higher budget than there was 10 years ago. years: world! It is important to bet on cinema in Catalan.
And, of course, if someone wants to shoot in Catalan, they don’t have to do it in Spanish because the funding comes from elsewhere; If someone wants to shoot in Spanish, let them do it, or English or any other language, but if anyone wants to shoot in Catalan, they can.
I usually shoot in my language, Catalan. At first, I shot a film in Spanish, thinking that this would give me a bigger commercial career, but I don’t think about it anymore. My film which had the greatest impact was in Catalan. Moreover, I am convinced that when a film reaches you, it reaches you in the same way in Spanish, Catalan or Swahili ”.
Convinced that vaccines will help end the pandemic, she is confident that cinemas will return to normal: “They urgently need 100%. Because they had a really bad time. We cannot allow more cinemas to close ”. What many see as a threat to movie theaters, Colell is unafraid: “The cinema will never go away.
Obviously, there are certain platforms that are here to stay, and we all watch films in other formats, but the magic of going to the cinema, in community, with the concentration that a theater gives you, is incomparable ”. On the other hand, platforms provide work. The Academy is clear on this: we want them to come and shoot here, settle here and do series in Catalan (we watch series that take place in Barcelona and of which not a word is said in Catalan! ). In this, I will be more than optimistic.