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Mapi Galán: "Creating a space of closeness and exchange between spectators and directors is the added value of DiBierzo".

  • The actress is the designer and presenter of the film-colloquium cycle of La Térmica Cultural.


She was born in Ponferrada, although she has always been a woman without borders. Her profession as an actress has led Mapi Galán to work in countries such as Cambodia and to live in other countries such as France, Italy or the United States. With more than 30 roles in film productions behind her, she has filmed with Luis García Berlanga, Jean Pierre Jeunet or Alberto Sciamma, among others. He has also participated in television series such as Médico de familia or Cuéntame cómo pasó.

In her latest professional project, she has taken on the role of producer in order to create DiBierzoa film-colloquium cycle that will be hosted by La Térmica Cultural throughout 2023. This initiative consists of three sessions in which films selected under criteria of energy, sustainability and equality will be screened, accompanied by a subsequent colloquium with their directors, moderated by herself, so that viewers can share their impressions. This afternoon the cycle will be inaugurated with the screening of Cenizas del cielo, by José Antonio Quirós, which is already fully booked.


THE CULTURAL THERMAL. El Bierzo has had and still has several experiences linked to the seventh art, such as the Film School or the Ponferrada Film Festival. What is the objective of DiBierzo?

MAPI GALÁN: Cinema, like dance, music or theater, had to be in La Térmica Cultural. We want to bring this aspect of culture closer to the people through films with themes that match the informative axes of this space, such as energy. The work that opens this cycle, Cenizas del cielo, is a story that is totally current and shows within a framework of humor certain parallels with what has happened in the territories in just transition.

As Bestas is a very well shot film in which the landscapes of El Bierzo are another protagonist of the story. And Retorno a Hansala is an example of cinema made by women, as well as a story of great social significance that deals with the integration of people from different cultures in another part of the world.


L. T. C. How was the creative process?

M. G. I've always been on the other side and this was the first time I created something from scratch. I started with a list of films that fell into the categories we were interested in. Offering this project to the directors, even though I already knew some of them, involved a lot of office hours: calls, meetings, trips to Madrid. I took a risk, and when all parties accepted, there were still aspects to polish. I thought I had forgotten all that production work, but I'm happy I did it.


L. T. C. You have developed your career, in addition to Spain, in other European countries. Cenizas del cielo won several awards at environmental festivals. Do you think that Spanish cinema is currently experiencing a sweet moment?

M. G. Of course. There were some years when people knew Buñuel or Berlanga, then it was Almodóvar, and then Amenábar. And all of a sudden a great batch of directors and actors have emerged, who have been recognized in all the festivals.

There are filmmakers now who come from television or the world of advertising. Before, everything was more pigeonholed. The platforms have also encouraged more productions and young people have more possibilities when it comes to producing in digital formats, with much less budget. All this has given good results. Very good films are being made in Spain.


L. T. C. Precisely El Bierzo has been the setting for the shooting of a film as renowned as As Bestas. How do you think culture can contribute to revitalize the territories affected by the energy transition?

M. G. La Térmica Cultural is the best example. I remember seeing this place abandoned for years and I did not imagine that it could become such a beautiful space, and with possibilities to bring various samples of art and culture to the people. The proof that there was a need for such a place, nearby, is in the good reception of the events.


L. T. C. We have seen you in movies and television. You also directed a short film. In recent years, nominations for works signed by female directors seem to have become equal to those of male directors. In this cycle we will have Chus Gutiérrez, with Retorno a Hansala; a recent example is the success of Alcarrás, by Carla Simón. How do you value this process?

M. G. It is great that the balance has been balanced. Human beings are creative by nature, regardless of gender, but perhaps because we have been so long behind, repressed, there has been an explosion of creativity. Cinema made by women is increasingly represented, has more and more quality and awards, and that in any case is positive.


L. T. C. Will we see you again in the role of director?

M. G. It's not on my horizon, but maybe El Bierzo will inspire me. Of course it has to be a story that comes from my heart. If so, why not?


L. T. C. What would you tell people to encourage them to attend the next DiBierzo sessions?

M. G. First of all, they should hurry up when the tickets come out (laughs). The interesting thing about this proposal is the fact that the directors are coming. You can go to see a film and not come back to discuss it with your friends. But creating a space of closeness for the exchange of impressions between spectators and directors is the added value of DiBierzo.


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