6. 2. 2018

Jan Svěrák and Zlín Film Festival go to the MICE Film Festival in Valencia

On February 10 - 24, the third largest Spanish city of Valencia and other cities nearby will be celebrating film and film education. 

The 6th edition of the MICE International Film Festival (Mostra Internacional Cinema Educatiu) will connect film professionals with children and young artists in the form of international short film competitions, film screenings, workshops, discussions and other educational programs. This original festival has been a good friend to the Zlín Film for a couple of years now and thanks to this precious friendship the idea of ​​organizing this year's show of Czech films and culture came to life. With the cooperation with the Czech Center in Madrid, Spanish visitors of the MICE festival will have a chance to meet director Jan Svěrák, who will come to present his films Kolya and the Dark Blue World. Galina Miklínová, the director of the successful animated film The Oddsockeaters, who was a guest of honor at last year's Animayo Film Festival in the Canary Islands will continue with her Spanish tour. Prague Film School's graduate films will be presented by one of its founders, Tariq Hager. For the smallest audience, The Little Mole´s adventure will be also a part of the official program. In the presence of the Czech ambassador in Spain, the town of Castellón de la Plana will host an exceptional classical music concert featuring the works of Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák.

Jaroslava Hynštová, the Zlín Film Festival senior programmer will be a member of the international jury and will judge student films together with colleagues from the Netherlands, Taiwan, Australia, Turkey, Argentina and other countries.

Josep Arbiol, the festival director will tell more about the festival, the reasons for the Czech showcase and about the relationship to the Zlín Film Festival in the following interview. 

Can you please introduce your festival?

MICE is a film festival with educational character. It is not exclusively a children's film festival. Education is a process that runs throughout life. We focus our festival on the production made by the students whether they are from elementary school, high school and university. We are interested in our young people learning to write images as a critical tool that helps them to live in a freer and more democratic society. But we also want to give them image quality and for that we use professional cinema. I want my son to know how to write but I do not want him to limit himself to reading the writings of his classmates. Cervantes, Kundera, Proust must be among your readings. Just like the great filmmakers must be among their images

Tell us bit more about Czech focus you are going to present at the MICE?

First of all I have to thank the wise advice that they have given me from the Czech Center in Madrid and from the Zlin Festival. I want to highlight the tribute to Jan Svěrák and his presence in the festival among us. Having Svěrák in Valencia and in an educational festival is a dream. I remember 20 years ago when I saw Kolya and now I can see her again with her director, already Oscar-winning, sitting next to me. I would also like to highlight the three Czech animated feature films that we are going to screen for The Little's Man Great Journey by Lenka Uhlířová and Jiří Stach, The Oddsockeaters directed by Galina Miklínová and Deadly stories by Jan Bubeníček. For me it is also a pleasure to project The Little Mole cartoon. I would also like to highlight the documentary Children Online by Kateřina Hager with which I had the opportunity to talk in Korea. Short films, exhibitions and a Czech classical music concert performed by the Castellón symphony orchestra complete this focus in the Czech Republic.

Why did you choose the Czech Republic for this year?

We were putting in focus countries that are more exotic. Japan, India, Korea ... It was time to take a turn and open the doors of MICE to Europe. The Czech Republic has always been a country with a cinematic culture of the first order. In the times of the iron curtain the Czech animation was known in the west, but, in fact, the main reason was the sly tie of friendship that links the MICE with one of the most important children's festivals in the world, the Zlin Festival. 

Do you see any similarities between the Czech and the Spanish people?

Of course we are both Europeans and my car is Czech. The Czech people are open and smile like the people of Spain. Just I do not know if I could stand a Czech winter 

Can you tell us the highlights of this year’s edition of MICE?

This year the adult professional cinema has turned to MICE. A great star of Spanish cinema, such as Marisa Paredes, will open MICE on Saturday, February 10th. The support of the Film Academy to our educational festival is very important. Finally, the value of education comes before the immediacy of the industry. International workshop participants coming from Cuba, Argentina, Chile, Taiwan, Germany, Serbia or Poland will teach our students under other prisms. The official section, both professional and made by students is loaded with magnificent works and will be held in Sagunto on 17 and 18 February within the framework of MICE one of the most important congresses on film and education ever made.