A film trip From the 30 kilo bottle to the digital archive

Through its 48 years of existence, numerous things have changed in this year’s Huelva Ibero-American Film Festival. Of all the changes the most important one is specifically, the festival’s film participants, which have drastically altered their projection format.

The films that will be shown in the coming week of Huelva Festival have little to have to do with the 35-millimeter film that were once a part of massive reels. “They might weigh around 30 kilograms,” says Lola Morales the head of Film Programming and Traffic at the Huelva Festival who has worked in the Iberoamericano for nearly three decades.

Morales has accumulated a thousand and one stories from the days when films traveled to Huelva through the cargo compartments of planes. She says that the cans says were often seized in customs. To be granted free reign it was essential to describe the contents in a document and be clear for instance, the fact that this was a cultural content and not pornographic. This would have averted any suspicions from the inspectors.

“More than one filmmaker could be waiting with their film under one of the directors arms,” says Morales, recalling the inevitable nerves which were incurred if deliveries were not delivered on time. “Sometimes the date of projection had to be altered, due to the fact that the film had not been delivered on the date it was to be presented,” she says.

When they first came to Huelva the films were occupying an entire warehouse within the Casa Colon and three people were required to transfer the films to theaters.

Since the advent of digital cinema the weight of the shipments decreased dramatically and films began arriving on hard drives that weighed up to two kilograms. This change, according to Lola has provided a variety of benefits. “Everything is more fluid, safe and comfortable” according to the person who is in charge of programming for the Iberoamericano.

Format changes also have influenced the process of selecting films. When they traveled across America to look for new films The Huelva Festival selection committee went on to view thousands of movies on VHS initially, then Blu-ray. Nowadays, these viewings are conducted via hyperlinks to digital media. The convenience of moving files has led to an increase in the amount of films that are viewed. In the past, when analogue was still in use, Lola recalls, around 90 films could be watched during the pre-selection stage, and this year, the selection was drawn from 1300 films. This is why selecting and displaying all films is a significant task from the festival staff.

The manager of the computer and technical department for Huelva Festival, Jose Maria Orozco. Huelva Festival, Jose Maria Orozco explained that currently, the films after being selected, are delivered to Huelva in digital format via the Internet and then the crossing of the water only requires “two to three hours to download”.

Digital versions of 35mm film is known as the DPC An acronym that refers to the words Digital Cinema Package. After downloading, the files are installed on projection server in the room. The majority of times, these are encrypted files, and are protected by keys that permit the reproduction of these files according to the agreed date, time and location. “It is a very secure procedure,” explains Orozco.

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