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Emily Lobsenz: “It’s very rewarding to see people changing their opinions about why it’s important to keep distinct identities alive after watching the film ”

10/01/2015

Even though Emily Lobsenz was in charge of the project, she got help from several people, especially from Marcus Lehmann, as a director of photography (Photos: E.L.)
Even though Emily Lobsenz was in charge of the project, she got help from several people, especially from Marcus Lehmann, as a director of photography (Photos: E.L.)

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It’s been a long road for Emily Lobsenz (Connecticut, 1979) to see her first film, ‘Song of the Basques’, being screened nationwide. In fact, she started and finished several projects before this documentary about the Basques and their land was completely finished, in 2013. “It’s so wonderful to just finally share and show the film! I made it because I love that land, but I also wanted to share it,” said she, in a conversation with EuskalKultura.com.

Ander Egiluz Beramendi, NY. ‘Song of the Basques’ is now available on theater on demand, throughout the US, thanks to Gathr Films: a distribution company with an innovative way to screen movies, based on the requests of the audience.

A project that you started in 2009 will finally be showcased nationwide, six years later. How do you feel about it?

-It’s so wonderful to just finally share and show the film! I made it because I love that land, but I also wanted to share it. It feels very good to share the emotion for the Basque Country.

It must also bring a feeling of pride to see such a long project completed.

-Yes, of course. But the biggest compliment I got was that the people from the Basque Country told me that I really captured the spirit of their land.

Why has it taken so long to bring the film to theaters?

-It took us four years, more or less, to finish the film. We started filming in 2009 and then we edited it, then it was in postproduction… It was a long process, and since it was my first movie I wanted to use traditional distribution, but then I found out how complicated it was. So I tried to premier it at big festivals, really big ones, like the San Sebastian Film Festival (Zinemaldia), but that wasn't possible. But then I saw that people were interested so we decided to do it this way.

So far, how many requests have you received?

-The website only shows a couple, but there are more, I have to update it. We have screenings in Portland (OR), Chino (CA), San Francisco (CA), Champaign (IL), Boston (MA), and New York (NY). And next year we’ll probably also have Reno (NV) and Boise (ID), but those are not set yet.

Have all the screenings been requested by Basque communities?

-Not all of them. In San Francisco, for example, there is a cinema fan with no connections with the Basque Country that wants to screen it, and the Basque Club wants another screening, so we’ll have two. We’re also excited because some Universities want to use it as educational material. There are very diverse people interested in the film, and that’s very nice. Something amazing is that so many people that have nothing to do with the Basque Country were interested because they think it’s a very special place. It’s very rewarding to see people changing their opinions about why it’s important to keep distinct identities alive, after watching the film.

Best case scenario, how many screenings do you expect?

-Our goal is to get 40 screenings in eight months.

Will people still be able to request it after those eight months?

-Oh, yes! It’s a topic that won’t go out of style.

Are you planning on attending the screenings?

-I would like to attend as many screenings as possible. It’s great to talk with the audience after watching the film. We are trying to get a sponsor that would help us with travel expenses.


NEXT SCREENINGS
* All of these screenings still need to reach the minimum capacity, so if you are interested you should get your tickets ASAP.

- Portland, OR. October 22. 7:30pm. Lloyd Center 10 & Imax. Hosted by Conserva PDX. The screening will be followed bya cider tasting by Shacksbury and pintxos prepared by John Gorham, owner and chef of Toro Bravo. 10 reservations so far. Still need 58 more for the screening to happen.

- Champaign, IL. October 27. 7:30pm. Art Theater Co-Op. Hosted by Basajauna. 2 reservations so far. Still need 60 more for the screening to happen.

- San Francisco, CA. November 9. 9:00pm. Opera Plaza Cinema. Hosted by Nickkova. Probably with post screening cider and pintxos. 2 reservations so far. Still need 65 more for the screening to happen.

- Chino Hills, CA. November 12. 7:30pm. Chino Hills 18. Hosted by CBC. 42 reservations so far. Still need 18 more for the screening to happen.

- Boston, MA. November. Date, hour, and location still to be decided. With cider tasting.

- NYC, NY. November. Date, hour, and location still to be decided. With post screening event at Txikito restaurant.

IN 2016

Boise (ID), Reno (NV), Baltimore (MD), DC, Miami (FL), Atlanta (GA), and Vermont. Dates, hours, and locations still to be decided.

Want to watch ‘Song of the Basques’?

- First check the film’s or Gathr’s website to see whether there is a screening nearby you.
- You can also request to be added and be alerted when a screening is taking place in your area.
- Or you can request a screening yourself, very easily.

1.- Request a screening
2.- Gathr contacts the theater and puts tickets on sale
3.- If the minimum capacity is not filled the screening doesn’t happen and the people that bought tickets won’t be charged (and neither will the host).

More information:
http://www.basquefilm.com
https://gathr.us



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