Claudio Lauria

Claudio Lauria

SUNCINE President

“What starts badly, ends well.” (Thomas Münzer)

That first day in 1993, it rained like it hadn’t done in decades in Baix Llobregat. The Plaça de l’Estació in Castelldefels began to flood, and little by little, water began to run down the stairs of the cinema. The word cancel began to float in the cold, humid air we were breathing. I was devastated… we all were! Thomas Münzer, a good friend and colleague on the festival team, came over, put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Claudio, what starts badly, ends well.”
As we were bailing out water and scattering sawdust, and as the public waited in the cinema and the neighbouring bar, an old “beetle” parked alongside us, out of which Carlos Belinchón, director of the documentary we were showing, emerged. “The environment is welcoming me,” he said.
There’s a fine line between euphoria and disappointment, but there is an antidote that cures everything: laughter. With our trousers rolled up and our soaking wet shoes, the rain gave way, the projector came to life and the oldest Environmental Film Festival in the world set off on its journey. That initial trigger had so much energy behind it, that 30 years later, the ball is still rolling, and I could never have imagined we would get this far.

“Utopia is on the horizon. I take two steps closer; it takes two steps back. I walk ten steps forward and the horizon moves ten steps back. No matter how much I walk, I’ll never reach it. What is utopia for? For just that: to make us walk.” (Fernando Birri)

FICMA was born as a utopia and became a path towards the horizon: Catalonia, Spain, Mexico, Latin America and many countries on all continents, which thousands of producers, distributors, young and adult audiences move through, uniting their synergies, believing in change and making it possible. Today there are many more of us who are following that journey, year after year, edition after edition, opening windows to let the fresh air in, that message of hope, the answers that excite us, the search for solutions to the great issues and problems which we are all a part of.

“Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.” (Bertolt Brecht)

I’m going to make a confession: 30 years of SUNCINE is half my life. I am moved by a passion for cinema and nature, and fuelled by a large dose of perseverance, dedication, optimism and hope, so I can offer and share this space for entertainment, reflection, art and debate with you.
Cinema and audiovisuals are a powerful tool for social and environmental transformation. The festival has it in its DNA.

What we have all experienced and learned at FICMA – or SUNCINE as it has been known for 6 years now – is inexhaustible and impossible to explain in one or more pages. Perhaps one day it will take the form of a book or a documentary, which recovers all the images and moments, films and interviews with so many people who have passed through and left their cinematographic and/or activist mark both in society and on this festival. It is a debt that I owe to both you and to myself.

Establishing SUNCINE has kept me in and close to an industry and part of a club that I have felt I have belonged to since I was a teenager; the permanent and seamless fight for the freedom and rights of all living beings that inhabit the planet. I’ll never give up no matter how tough it gets.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” (Mark Twain)

In this 30th edition of SUNCINE I feel I must remember and acknowledge all the colleagues who have been a part of the team since the beginning, enthusiasts and true dreamers who played their part to keep this projector alive and switched on. They are the light that gives life to this wonderful art that is cinema, so vital for illuminating our present and our future, enhancing our culture and allowing us to dream and imagine even that which can’t be predicted.

“Be grateful.” (Mariluz Cabrera)

We have been joined by many public and private institutions on our crusade, and I only have words of gratitude for them. Also, for the tens of thousands of people who trusted in our revolutionary commitment – which at times was uncomfortable for some – and for those who continue to believe that change is possible, that peace is possible, that life is possible!
I feel deeply honoured and fortunate to be an active part of this collective dream. Being a father to my daughter and SUNCINE are two of the most beautiful gifts that life has given me!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Enjoy SUNCINE and its films, the same way we have enjoyed creating it!

Note: “Thomas, this is not over yet, my friend!”
Jaume Gil

Jaume Gil

SUNCINE Director

Dear SUNCINE, it was in 1998 when I came into your life, or you into mine. I had no idea what a film festival was, but a whole new world opened up to me. It was your fifth birthday. Little did I know that what seemed like a job, a job like any other, would become a lifestyle. You would become a place where, as well as helping me grow professionally, you would make me grow as a person, allowing me to search for the best version of myself, thanks to the cinema that you show and, most importantly, thanks to the people behind all these films. These films that are essential and necessary in order to have a future as a species.

Through you, I have met hundreds of people who have been an inspiration and who help me every day to do things better, not only for myself, but for others and for the planet. This is what you are, SUNCINE: passion, commitment, activism, struggle, demand, education, respect, generosity, culture, strength, love, perseverance and, above all, hope and conviction that a healthier and better world is possible.

I would like to thank everyone who has made the festival possible over the past 30 years, all those who have played their part. To each of the co-workers, who have allowed the cinema’s doors to open each year, to each of the filmmakers who have presented their films, and the professionals and people who are committed to the planet, who have awakened our critical sense and who have pushed us to change for the better.

Thanks to all the companies and institutions that have believed in you and who have contributed to ensuring that you have been present year after year; to all the viewers who have taken part in your editions. But more than anything, thanks to you, FICMA, now, SUNCINE, for bringing us together and opening our eyes to leave a better world for the new generations.

Here’s to many more years!