Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A Summer of Festivals

Find all the information about the FESTIVALS taking place in EDINBURGH during this Summer on the links below:

Encuentra toda la información sobre los FESTIVALES que tienen lugar en EDIMBURGO durante el verano en los enlaces que aparecen a continuación: 





28th July - 28th AugustEDINBURGH ART FESTIVAL





27th - 28th August: EDINBURGH MELA

Send us your pictures and comments about how you are living these festivals at: 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Interview with ALBERTO VALVERDE, Communications Officer at CinemaAttic

"CinemaAttic has that underground thing that makes it so distinctive"

Alberto came to Edinburgh to experience how the life would be living in a foreign country and he was quickly captivated by the city. "There must be something in this city because this is exactly what has happened to many people" - he claims. He is part of the team who monthly brings a selection of short-films in Spanish in Edinburgh and Glasgow. A project that started in an attic with a reduced group of people is now becoming a reference in the cultural life of these two cities.  This is CinemaAttic. 

Why Edinburgh? How did you end up in this city?
Well, in a way it was a premature choice, I wanted to live the experience of living in a foreign country as soon as possible. Summer camps or Erasmus programs were not that attractive to me, I wanted to go somewhere I wouldn't know anyone at all, no friends or relatives and start a long term experience from the very scratch. That was the initial idea, then, of course there was a woman, I had to get back to Spain for my fourth year at Uni and tried to postpone until November that I finally did. After eight fantastic months back in Madrid I realised that despite all I had, I wanted to wake up in that misty grey charming town called Edinburgh. You cannot say it was the case of someone forced to leave. After the 2011 experience I just felt this must be the place, so I finally settled down here by June 2012.

Is your work connected with cinema?  
Somehow I guess. Or I rather want to see it that way. I am currently relocating my career, after studying a Masters degree in International Politics at University of Strathclyde last year, I am trying to find the way to combine a passion for films, my communications background and a career in International Organisations. Ideally, I´d like to work with funding for cultural projects at European level but hey, today I'm just a jobseeker! As you know, I have a second job at CinemaAttic where I'm in charge of communications and production duties to bring films from Spain and Latin American countries every month to both cities Edinburgh and Glasgow.

What is the origin of CinemaAttic?
We should call my big Segovian brother Carlos Redondo at this point. CinemaAttic was born as a personal project after his Masters experience here. He started to organise film nights in a quirky attic in Victoria Street. When he realised that there was a demand for more cutting edge productions from Spanish speaking countries he started to team up with cultural organisations in town taking these “Short-Film Nights” out of the attic. Film festivals, big projects and years of fighting to show Scots the talent of our filmmakers until 2012, when I came across with the fact that there was a guy from Segovia (the city I was born) organising cultural events. I thought it should be a joke, I was looking for the closest thing to a Cervantes Institute in Edinburgh to engage and help promoting Spanish culture and it turns that there's a platform called CinemaAttic bringing films every month, and the organiser was from Segovia. The “castilian” connection made the rest and after several months he called me to participate.

How does this initiative work?
We are not the only ones in town bringing Spanish culture; there are other great Film festivals and people fighting to raise the awareness of our culture around here. I guess CinemaAttic has that underground thing that makes it so distinctive. We work with Spanish and Latin American directors and distribution agencies aiming to showcase their work in top Scottish venues, we are lucky to count on the Summerhall here in Edinburgh and the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow. Most of the people know about CinemaAttic for our short film nights at the Summerhall. We have this ethos of taking cinema out of actual cinemas and enhance the film experience.  There's something casual that we have unintentionally created around our film nights that people tend to find very appealing, must be the chit-chat networking breaks or the short film format itself. You come after a tough week and we have prepared a selection of short films, all tied around a common topic or idea that we want to stress that particular night, for instance these previous months we had programs such as “Drag the past out” or “Oh Relationships” we have also a program focused on the relationship with our relatives called “We are Family” and many others focused in Animation, Sci-fi, homages to ECAM (Madrid School of Cinematography) or KIMUAK, paying tribute to the best short films coming from Basque Country.

What projects does CinemaAttic have in mind for the future?
We have established the platform as a key organisation in Scotland. That was only possible thanks to the work of all the professionals that have been working at CinemaAttic for the last five years. Now we seek to take CinemaAttic to new places in the UK. Rafa and Sara work hard on opening new business formats and parter with key festivals and organisations worldwide.

CinemaAttic is trying to reach new audiences in Scotland and we recently started with our amigos at Yakety Yak Language Cafe the project of bringing our short film nights to senior audiences. Next week we are organising a CinemaAttic Matinee for the first time, our short films as usual but this time accompanied by a glass of wine and tapas, courtesy by Stockbridge deli Goya 23. Then at 8 o'clock we are back at home, hosting our monthly night at Summerhall. A truly intense cinemaattic day. It's too late to stop now!

We' ve also been working for long time on bringing more material from Cuba and seems like finally we may be able to bring a piece of La Habana to the Auld Reekie soon. We are closing partnerships with Cortogenia or ESCAC to keep feeding our CinemaAttic nights with nothing but the best productions coming from Spain and Latin American countries. You should expect special CinemaAttic projects coming soon!

What is your opinion about the current cinema industry in both, Spain and Scotland?
It seems like the industry is going towards specialisation. On one side you see all these series of blockbuster productions; we have already the whole calendar of releases until 2020 between Marvel, DC, Star Wars etc. With the increasing trend of the film festival, art studio and so-called European cinema is finding new ways to enter in cinemas worldwide, great news for those ones preferring these productions. I am the first one narrowing too much my film list to Spanish and Latin American short films because of my job at CinemaAttic, but probably the most exciting productions to me now are coming from African countries.

What is your favourite place in town?
The top of Arthur seat, facing West, at the very edge against the wind in a windy day if possible and early in the morning when is not riddled by visitors. It feels good up there.

What is the best place to get lost in the city?
The New Town. Get lost and come across Dean Path and Dean Terrace and then get to Inverleith Park for one of those radioactive Edinburgh sunsets. Another alternative is to get lost at the very bottom of Leith on a Saturday night, different experience though.

What do you like the most about this city?
The charm that make people get hooked with the city. It is hard to describe. The Old Town with all those grey buildings and kirks everywhere. Scots are another major reason. They are such down to earth people. I've known so many people that came here to visit someone and ended up moving to Edinburgh. There must be something.

What would you change?
It seems like Edinburgh is heading towards a city for investment banks and students. I have this internal dilemma when I hear the word pro-business policies...Most of the urban projects going on with the new St. James mall, New Waverley neighbourhood, Fountainbridge area. It seems like Edinburgh is strictly trying to build dorms and luxury flats everywhere, and obviously offer products, -In my case concerning cultural products- targeted to that people. I hope the balance between heritage and modern times respects the essence of Edinburgh in years to come. So yes, I'd change some horrible buildings nearby the Meadows, Fountainbridge Park etc

How would you describe Edinburgh in just one word?


To get more information about all the events organised by CinemaAttic, click here

Sunday, February 28, 2016

#10years: 2016 - Marked forever

And here we are just now - the Present- There remains the same uncertainty that I had last year but with a big smile on my face because, even though I still feeling obsessed about time, even if I have many doubts, even if there have been things that I haven´t  like it the way they turned out… even all those things that, I am afraid I can´t control, I look backwards and all that I can see is simply amazing - dozens of friends, hundreds of great memories, thousands of pictures. I consider myself a very lucky person because I came here for a completely personal reason. I wasn´t forced to leave my country and after all, I also have the possibility to go back. However, I know that when I take that decision it will be one of the hardest things I will do in my entire life. I am sure that I won´t live here forever, but Edinburgh will always be part of me. This city has marked me on so many levels and now also literally with a tattoo!
 In the meantime, let´s live Edinburgh a bit more.

Y aquí nos encontramos ahora, en el presente. Con la misma incertidumbre del año pasado pero con una gran sonrisa porque, aunque siga obsesionado con el tiempo, aunque tenga muchas dudas, aunque haya habido cosas que han cambiado y no precisamente en la forma que más me hubiera gustado…. A pesar de todas estas cosas que, mucho me temo, no puedo controlar, miro hacia atrás y todo lo que veo es espectacular; docenas de amigos, cientos de buenos recuerdos, miles de imágenes. Ciertamente me considero una persona muy afortunada ya que vine aquí por decisión personal, no fui obligado a dejar mi país y siempre tendré la posibilidad de volver cuando lo decida. Sin embargo sé que cuando tome esta decisión, será una de las decisiones más duras de mi vida. Estoy seguro de que no voy a vivir aquí para siempre, pero Edimburgo es y será parte de mí. Esta ciudad me ha marcado a muchos niveles ¡y ahora hasta literalmente con un tatuaje!

Mientras tanto, sigamos viviendo Edimburgo un poco más. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

#10years: 2015 - Blurry destiny

Last year could be defined well with this picture taken at Princes Gardens where you can see a thistle (the Scottish national symbol) which in my opinion is a very peculiar flower. It is nice but you need to be careful if you don´t want to get hurt. The background of the picture is blurry and this is how this year turned at some moments. It could be quite metaphorical but it makes sense for me when I compare 2015 with this image. I had some tough moments when everything around me wobbled but also a dream came true when my mum was able to visit Edinburgh after a long train trip and I proudly showed her the city and introduced to her all the people that make up my life here. Life has two sides: one that usually is beautiful but also another one that can hurt. Exactly as the thistle.

El año pasado  bien puede ser definido con esta foto tomada en los jardines de Princes, donde se ve un cardo (símbolo nacional de Escocia). Ésta es una flor muy peculiar; Es bonita pero tienes que tener cuidado si no te quieres pinchar. El fondo de la imagen aparece borroso y metafóricamente, es así como he pasado algunos de los momentos de 2015. Momentos en los que todo se tambaleaba pero donde también he cumplido sueños como cuando, después de un largo viaje en tren, llegué a Edimburgo con mi madre y pude enseñarle orgulloso la ciudad y presentarle a toda la gente que es parte de mi vida aquí.

La vida tiene dos caras: Una que suele ser bonita y agradable pero otra que a veces duele. Exactamente igual que este cardo. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

#10Years: 2014 - Travels and decisions

In my last post, I said that once in a while I enjoy the routine but, to be honest, I have got itchy feet and every now and then I need to prepare a trip and start a new adventure. In 2014 I managed to travel to the furthest place I have ever been (until now). I spent two months in South America visiting Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Brazil. It was an amazing trip and the experience reinforced my opinion that travelling is one of the best things in the world. You can learn and grow on so many levels. I will always remember the feeling I had the first day I was walking on Princes St after my big journey. I felt in a safe place. I felt at home again.
This year was also quite important for the city itself as finally the controversial tram arrived in the city. But I can´t forget one of the most important decisions Scotland had to take in recent history - whether to continue or not being part of the UK. For this important date, I felt totally integrated into this society because I also had the right to decide Scotland´s future. I think it is very important to integrate people and also to be part of and participate in the Society. And, whether you agree or not with the final result (55% NO – 45% YES) it was all the citizens of Britain who won on that day from the very fact that on that date, a decision was made, despite different opinions and ideas. A democratic decision was made and acted upon... some politicians in Spain should and could learn from this.

En mi último post hablaba que de vez en cuando está bien disfrutar de un poco de rutina pero, para ser sincero, soy de culo inquieto y cada cierto tiempo me gusta preparar un viaje y emprender una nueva aventura. En 2014 tuve la ocasión de viajar al lugar más lejano en el que he estado (por el momento). Pasé dos meses en Sudamérica visitando Argentina, Chile, Uruguay y Brasil. Fue una experiencia increíble que reforzó mi opinión de que viajar es una de las mejores cosas del mundo ya que puedes aprender y crecer a muchos niveles. Siempre recordaré ese sentimiento que tuve al caminar de nuevo por Princes Street después de mi viaje. Me sentía de nuevo en casa.

Este año también fue muy importante para la ciudad en sí misma ya que finalmente, el polémico tranvía comenzaba afuncionar. Y por supuesto no puedo olvidar la decisión  más importante que el pueblo escocés ha tomado en su historia reciente: si continuar o no siendo parte del Reino Unido. Este día me sentí totalmente integrado en esta sociedad porque yo también tuve el derecho de decidir el futuro de Escocia. Creo que es muy importante integrar a todo el mundo y también ser partícipe de la sociedad en la que vivimos día a día y, aunque se esté de acuerdo o no con el resultado (55% en contra de la independencia – 45% a favor) quienes realmente ganaron ese día fueron los ciudadanos británicos y la democracia por el simple hecho de permitir que se celebrara el referéndum y que cada uno expresara su opinión libremente. Algunos políticos españoles deberían aprender de esto.