Following in the tradition of recent festival favorites like 11'09'01 or Ten Minutes Older, Spain is about to embark on its own collaborative feature film about the massive oil spill last year off the northwest coast of Galicia.
Tentatively titled Nunca Mais (Never Again), the activist slogan which arose in response to the ecological disaster a year ago this November, the feature-length film is set to include around ten short films of eight to twelve minutes each.
The idea was hatched last February by a group of five media professionals in Galicia, calling themselves Produccions do Pais Nunca Mais, who brought Barcelona-based heavyweight MediaPro on board to co-produce.
One of the originators of the project, Suso Iglesias, says negotiations are underway on both free-to-air and pay TV deals in Spain while the backers also hope to bring in additional co-producers in order to potentially raise the budget and further spread risks.
The current Euros 620,000 budget anticipates minimal fees for creative talents on a par with what oil spill clean-up volunteers have earned, or roughly Euros 63 per day, Iglesias says. Shooting is anticipated to run from March to June.
All profits from the film, slated to premiere on the second anniversary of the spill in November 2004, will go to a local foundation charged with documenting the tragedy.
"We hope a film can contribute to the collective memory, to not letting what happened be forgotten," says Iglesias, adding that directors will have full artistic freedom to provide their "personal vision" and work in a variety of genres.
Considering the criticism the government has suffered over its handling of the spill, the project is sure to have political ramifications as well. The roster of participating talents has not yet been closed, but people already developing projects include Cesc Gay (In The City), Xavier Villaverde (When The Bell Chimed 13), Enrique Urbizu (Box 507), TV director Jorge Coira and writer Eduardo Ulloa.
Numerous others, including Fernando Leon (Mondays In The Sun), have expressed interest in contributing in some form.