Interview with Festival Director Xavi Herrero (IBIZACINEFEST)

IBIZACINEFEST is facing its second edition in 2017 with the organization of UTOPIKFILMS and the collaboration of the Ibiza Town Council, Gobern Balear and the Film Commission of Balearic Islands. Among those selected will be nominated FINALISTS that will participate in the Festival and will be screened in our Auditorium and will opt for the IBIZACINEFEST grand prize.

Matthew Toffolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?

A: I’m surprised at the success of IBIZACINEFEST in its first year.
This success began when many registrations came to us and above all of great quality.

The name of Ibiza is a good brand and a place known worldwide, this has helped us.

I am also a filmmaker, in 2016 I have directed 2 short films that I personally distribute and I am about to release my first feature film in April.

I believe that being in the two sides I have been able to create a festival to taste mainly of the Director.

Our format is not typical at festivals. We make a first selection of shortfilms and have their space on our website, with their poster and corresponding links. This helps to access the Festival to many works and to promote them. Of these pre-selected, we chose 44 shorts for the projections.

Another novelty is to communicate in less than 30 days if your shortfilm has been selected. This speed is very much liked by the Director of a short film. It has also been definitive the support of the Ibiza Town Hall to cede to IBIZACINEFEST the Auditorium of Can Ventosa. It has capacity for 400 people and a great quality of projection.

We invited the Festival to 5 Directors and a Director of Photography and they loved the Auditorium.

Our budget allowed us to pay for the trip and a 4 star Hotel thanks to the collaboration of the Department of Culture and the Film CommissioN of the Balearic Islands.

We also have a multicultural space, bar and restaurant for the attention to the press, some projections and conferences.

All this and with the full support of the media and press of Ibiza, we have achieved that the Festival is a cultural event of reference in Ibiza.

But most of all, the filmmaker, Lionel Auguste, actor and French director, who won with his short film “El Mecenas”, asked me during the festival to be part of the Jury, is the best prize for me and
the Festival.

MT: What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2017)?

Our second edition will have much more budget, thanks to the support of the Balearic government. We will have another projection room for parallel activities. We plan to screen 50 shortfilms in competition and the Festival will last 6 days. We will have a section on feautures and shorts or created in Ibiza, activities for children, conferences, etc …

MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?

We have a jury that covers all the cinematographic aspects.

I come from the direction of photography and I look a lot in this aspect, but in the Jury there are two actors, producers, screenwriters and directors of film and experimental cinema.

We also value the originality of the work and shortfilms made with little budget but high quality.

I believe that the three winners of our first edition represent very clearly the spirit of IBIZACINEFEST.

MT: Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals? And if so, why?

There are many Festivals in the world. I would recommend to the Directors that they distrust the on-line Festivals without projections and without the assistance of at least the winners to the event.

If the Festival charges fees it is obliged to give cash prizes.
The collaboration of public institutions also gives confidence to the Festival.

Personally I came across a Festival that rewarded a shortfilm of mine …. but you had to buy the trophy that was worth 70 eu ….. I do not think it serious.

MT: What motivates you and your team to do this festival?

The Festival is my initiative. From time to time I was thinking about this possibility.

In 2015 I left my professional activity as director of photography in Barcelona and I settled to live in Ibiza. In Ibiza I produced 2 shortfilms and seeing the good reception of the island, I thought about organizing an International Short Film Festival.

MT: How has your FilmFreeway submission process been?

Filmfreeway is my favorite platform for several reasons, it is very complete at the editing level and offers many possibilities to promote a Festival, in a clear and semzilla way. It was the platform that gave us more inscriptions, I can only be grateful to Filmfreeway, all are facilities and no problem.

I can tell an anecdote with them. We can all make mistakes, we are human, but even one mistake with us was good and fun. They put us as an Oscar-nominated Festival for a week, participants told me if this was true and I telephoned filmfreeway and fixed the misunderstanding.

We laughed a few minutes with this.

MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?

Simply,celebrating the 4th edition with the same illusion as the first.

MT: What film have you seen the most times in your life?

My first movie, I’m finishing now … jajjja.

Seriously, maybe Mulholland Drive by David Lynch or Europe by Lars V.Trier.

MT: In one sentence, what makes a great film?

A good script well photographed.

MT: How is the film scene in your city?

Ibiza is a small island well known for its party, beaches and discos. It really is a place where tourism affects a lot and alters the lives of its inhabitants.

During the winter months, Ibiza is another island, a quiet place where many artists and culture-related people still live. It is a few months where it is easy to see 2 or 3 sessions of films and independent and interesting short films every week.

There is a lot of activity and many projects are supported by institutions.

I invite you to visit Ibiza in winter.



Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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