MAC CHAKAVEH, the director and founder of the Marbella International Film Festival (MIFF) talked exclusively to the Euro Weekly News (EWN) about how the festival began nearly a decade ago, the inspiration behind it, the programming for this year and his ambitions for the future.
Having run his own very successful business, in 1998, Mac was approached to invest in a TV net-working company.
As his involvement in the networks increased, it soon led to annual visits to the Cannes Film Festival, where after a few years he realised there was a need to combine the smaller independent film industry insiders with a film networking venue that was accessible from all over the world.
He then recognised, after spending much time on the coast, that Marbella had the potential to become the perfect location to host the event.
He said: “We decided to start the Marbella International Film Festival in 2005.
I’ve always loved the place and it’s nice to do something here.
“Comparing here to Cannes, Marbella is far better; it has more facilities and is a good place to hold events.
Cannes is not for independents and we wanted something like Sundance in America, which had no equivalent in Europe.
He explained that the success of the festival was due to the fact that it was a platform for independent film-makers to show their films to the public and to network with industry insiders.
EWN was made privy to the secret that will be divulged on Saturday night, regarding the announcement of the setting up of an Independent Producers Association.
This new international group of experienced film-related individuals can meet, network and join together to not only give advice to independent filmmakers but also introduce them to top media law firms and funding institutes.
This is virtually impossible for anyone trying to do it without the necessary contacts.
They will be present each year in conjunction with the film festival, to support and encourage anyone interested in pursuing a career in the film industry and to promote global independent talent.
Discussing the festival events, which started yesterday (Wednesday, October 1) Mac explained that this year there are films from 50 different countries.
They include feature films, documentaries, shorts and animations.
Entrance will be free to the public, with the chance to win a holiday to London, if they participate in voting for winners in each category.
The festival continues until Sunday October 4, and will be held at the Palacio de Congresos.
Doors open at 4pm every day.