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"A good editor must be a good dancer": Cruz

Christiane Burkhard, winner of the Best Documentary in FICM 2008, was the moderator of the debate, whose main focus was the way in which the narrative in documentaries is constructed.

Andres Veiel, psychologist and student of Krzysztof Kieslowski, said that the narration in each film has its own limits, and because of that a recipe cannot be established.

Coco Schrijber, whose documentary First Kill was selected in 2001 for the Joris Ivens of the IDFA and won the KNF Award in the Netherlands Film Festival, said that documentaries are actually made in the editing room. "I always tell my cameraman to film everything that happens, even a murder if that?s the case. Ethical decisions of what I leave in or remove are made in the editing room. "

Gianfranco Rosi, whose film Boatman was acclaimed at the Sundance Festival, said that the ethics of a film depend on the team that is making it. "When you are a team,? he said, "these decisions are made easily."

Yolanda Cruz, official selection of FICM 2008 with Reencuentros: 2501 migrantes, said that "a good editor must be a good dancer in order to find the rhythm of the film. The editor is like your lover, your best friend. I`m an expert in editing. I love those changes in rhythm that a film can take you through. "

Luis Ospina, special guest of the first Edition of FICM with his film La desazón suprema: retrato incesante de Fernando Vallejo, said: "I don`t agree with that statement. In fact, I always have to face the fact that I don´ t dance well, and people think that because I´m from Colombia I´m a good dancer. But that?s not true. In parties Im always asked to dance and it`s embarrassing to me. However, editing is the process I like the most about filmmaking. "

Matias Meyer, winner in FICM 2004 for his short film El pasajero, explained that time in documentaries is longer than in fiction. The filmmaker, whose latest project Wadley is about a man who makes a trip to the desert in search of peyote, said that for him there are no limits between documentaries and fiction. "I filmed Wadley as fiction, but the film has been selected in some festivals as a documentary and in other events as fiction. I have registered it in the category that best fits me at the moment. In FICCO, I registered it in the documentary category because the prize was better. Reporters have told me that if the actor actually ate peyote then it´s a documentary. I find that idea hilarious.  That shows the fine line that divides documentaries from fiction films."

About commercial distribution: "Sometimes one has to deal with the frustration of having your film seen in DVD only by the people who organize festivals," says Ospina.

Meyer added: "The only option we have left is that the government subsidize some cinemas so the public can see these types of movies."
Yolanda Cruz talks about her experience, pointing out that "my first movie, an experimental film made in 8 and 16 mm, was elected for Sundance but no one else wanted it. I learned I had to have a clear vision for whom I was making my films. It is necessary to learn to look for an audience. "

"When we edit we should think of the audience that the film is targeting. It?s not the same exhibiting a documentary on a big screen as on a television screen,? Veiel said.

In her concluding remarks, Christiane Burkhard said, "Even Rembrandt had to reduce the size of a painting for economic reasons because the person who ordered it requested it. The same thing happens in a documentary: the narrative depends on whos paying for the film. Documentaries have a very rich narrative, language is at its service, so do whatever you want to do."