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Martin I. Petrov

Cine-voyeur. Festival traveller currently based in Glasgow, UK. 

Festival director at WoFF: World of Film International Festival Glasgow. 

Festival Coordinator at MIAFF: Montreal International Animation Film Festival 

Writing reviews, articles and a passionate interview lover. 


Sandra Seeling Lipski on the upcoming 6th edition of Evolution! Mallorca FF


Evolution! Mallorca International Film Festival’s 6th edition is landing at the end of October (October 26 - November 4) in the vibrant town of Palma with a great line up of feature and short films, including great tributes to acclaimed filmmakers from around the world. For a full week, Palma will transform again into a film hub for local film enthusiasts, filmmakers and talent from Spain and beyond, brought together under the umbrella of constant film evolution for the island’s film vision, created six years ago by Sandra Seeling Lipski, the director of the festival. 





Despite being young in age, Sandra has travelled the world after moving with her family from Berlin to Mallorca where she went to school, learned the language and got so emotionally attached to the people and the land. Currently living between Los Angeles and Mallorca, Sandra knows that every October she has a rendezvous with the local film community she merged under Evolution! “When I was just finishing mu studies in LA and pursuing my career as an actress, I knew that Mallorca needed a festival. A place where cultures would merge under the umbrella of film.” She tells me about the conception of the idea for the inaugural edition of the festival, now over seven years ago. “My friends were telling me that I should totally do it. I was at film school and surrounded by fellow colleagues from Egypt, Canada, Spain and all places in the world. That’s why I felt the festival needed to bridge all these cultures, establish strong connections between the local film production in Mallorca and the world.” 


Now Sandra travels across to Mallorca for at least few months every year, to put the final touch to a film event she’s been fully invested in for the past six years. “It was difficult in the beginning. I needed to get people to trust me, but they were really excited with the idea of a film festival and we all joined forces to educate the local audiences into seeing film they hadn’t been exposed to before.”, says Sandra for the very first steps of putting Evolution! together. “The local authorities and the film professionals were thrilled, though. As crazy as it sounds, there are 12 production companies based on the island and working on co-productions with many countries globally to produce documentaries, local TV content and much more.” 





The festival has of course changed in the first few years of its life, evolving along with the message it carries to bridge cultures and bring new talent together. “We did try a couple of new things in the course of year two and three, but I always wanted the initial mission of the festival, that of merging cultures, to remain vivid and present throughout. We have introduced a lot of new things, including the ‘Evolution Edge’ section for first and second time filmmakers, along with a pitching forum, where first time directors can present their ideas to a panel and get ideas, interact and become more aware of how things in the industry work. Our kids strand has also been quite successful and cannot wait to have it back in the programme”. 


This year’s festival is full of exciting projects from young filmmakers and first time directors from Spain, Europe and the world, documentaries and short films that will challenge with new ideas offering unique cinematic experiences. “Also, in the highlights for the sixth edition are our distinguished guests, among them Academy Award Winner director and producer Paul Haggis and fast emerging Norwegian talent Joachim Trier.”, Sandra continued. Haggis will present a special screening of his multi-awarded film Crash, that got him an Academy Award for best director among other. Joachim Trier will present at Evolution! his new film Thelma, closing the festival on November 4th. 


Evolution! Mallorca International Film Festival runs from October 26 to November 4th in the Spanish town of Palma. More information for this year’s programme can be found on Keep an eye for live updates from the festival in this space and on social media. 


Interview by Martin I. Petrov 




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