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An interview with Estibaliz Burgaleta: "WomanInFan was a necesary boost"

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The Sitges - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia presents a third call for entries to make a short film-teaser as part of the WomanInFan program.  
With this competition, this Sitges Film Festival initiative for the visibility and incorporation of female creators in fantastic genre filmmaking proposes the creation of a piece destined to be shown around the audiovisual market circuit. 

Estibaliz Burgaleta was the winner of the first short-teaser contest Women just wanna have FAN and she did so with a zombie proposal. Two years later, the short film, titled El Chino, is on the verge of beginning its filming this May. The financial support for production has been the final push to take the step towards her feature film project, as Burgaleta describes: “It was the necessary boost to make another version of the script for the feature film and to find the crew to make the short teaser: the Trampoline Production Company, Andrea Casaseca co-directing and the entire technical crew”. 

But let’s take a moment to remember the project of this Spanish promise. As an apocalyptic comedy, El Chino tells the story of a group of normal people who are surprised by the zombie pandemic while shopping. To survive, they choose to lock themselves up in the Chinese store, where they at least have supplies on hand. But their coexistence will prove to be almost as lethal as the zombies themselves. The short teaser, funded by WomanInFan program, is based on that universe and tells a parallel story, about a girl who will try to convince the people who have already locked themselves up inside the bazaar to let her in. In this way both the short and the feature film work independently of each other, but they make you want to know more about this universe. 

And as references for the project, Estibaliz Burgaleta has played it safe: “One of the most creative and fun aspects of the fantastic genre is that it allows you to combine many genres and styles. Those horror films with drama, like The Babadook; the everyday science fiction of Black Mirror or Coherence. Of course, the mixture of horror and comedy of [REC] or Shaun of the Dead, we’re crazy about them, and they are this project’s direct benchmarks”. 

If the feature film project were to achieve, Burgaleta would be the first Spanish (woman) director to helm a zombie movie in the history of national fantasy. This filmmaker already feels part of the fantasy family; a genre that is experiencing one of its sweetest moments, as she herself appreciates: “The fantastic genre is enjoying a good moment creatively speaking. It has a loyal audience, and every year there are genre films killing it, both in the independent and commercial circuits. Even so, there’s still a part of the public that says they don’t watch horror films or that considers fantastic films to be somewhat second rate, and the big awards, and the labs and many useful calls for entries to find support, tend to ignore the fantastic genre. Films like Titane or Everything Everywhere All at Once have paved the way, but they are exceptions to the rule”. 

Remember that until July 1 you can present your projects for the III edition of the short film-teaser project as well as the II WomanInFan Residence.

You can find all the information regarding these and the rest of the opening calls for #SitgesIndustry via this link.