Meet the Irish American pair behind Madrid’s exciting new film slam

Two and a half years ago friends Nichole Hastings and Dominic Anglim first discussed their shared passion of independent filmmaking and wondered why the concept of “film slams” hadn’t caught on in Spain.

Meet the Irish American pair behind Madrid’s exciting new film slam
Photo: gemenacom/Depositphotos

Earlier this year with a film under his belt and looking for a place to screen it, Anglim, an actor and comedian originally from Dublin, remembered the conversation and approached Hastings, an event organiser and ceramicist originally from Vermont, and together they decided it was time to start something up themselves.

Nichole and Dominic are the pair behind Madrid's most collaborative film project. Photo: Tilly May / Anya Shvetsova

This is how the 48-hr Madrid Film Slam, now in its second edition, came into being, an event that last weekend saw seven teams of complete amateurs rushing around Madrid filming on location with a mobile phone, their creative juices flowing.

For those who aren’t familiar with the term “film slam”, Hastings explains: “At 7pm last Friday the teams were given their challenge; to make a complete short film in the genre of a horror – because it’s Halloween, naturally – and to include within that film one specific line of dialogue, a  prop and a location.”

A  still from one of the movies in competition includes the compulsory prop, a thimble. Photo: Andrés Diaz Guerrero/ Low Battery Films

The chosen prop was a thimble and the location was the Madrid metro and the only rule was that each must be included within the short film of between 3 and 6 minutes long.

Each team, of between two and six participants, was also given a mystery sub-genre and told to return by 8pm on Sunday to submit their entry, fully edited and subtitled (either in English or Spanish depending on the language used for dialogue).

The result is seven short films which will all be screened this weekend and judged by a paying audience.

A  still from one of the movies in competition. Photo: Andrés Diaz Guerrero/ Low Battery Films

“It’s great fun and really promotes creativity,” Hastings told The Local. “It proves that people don’t actually need a lot of equipment or experience to create a short film. All you need is an idea, a phone and some very basic editing equipment.”

The screening will take place on Friday at the Artistic Metropol, a 67-seat independent cinema in Madrid’s Acacias neighbourhood.

“The wonderful thing about the project is that it’s totally collaborative. The audience is the judging panel. They will be given voting cards and award each film points based on certain criteria, such as how well they used the prop,” explains Hastings.

“And then the two films with the highest score will get cash prizes and of course glory and recognition!”

For more information about the Madrid 48-Hour Film Slam Contest and to attend the Premiere this Friday at 10pm. CLICK HERE.



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Madrid police end escaped camels’ night on the town

Eight camels and a llama took to the streets of Madrid overnight after escaping from a nearby circus, Spanish police said on Friday.

A camel in a zoo
A file photo of a camel in a zoo. Photo: ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP

It was not immediately clear how the long-legged runaways managed to get out but Quiros Circus, which owns them, blamed sabotage by animal rights activists.

They were spotted at around 5:00 am wandering around the southern district of Carabranchel close to where the circus is currently based.

“Various camels and a llama escaped from a circus in Madrid overnight,” Spain’s national police wrote on Twitter, sharing images of eight two-humped camels and a llama hanging around a street corner.

“Police found them and took care of them so they could be taken back safe and sound,” they tweeted.

There was no word on whether the rogue revellers, who are known for spitting, put up any resistance when the police moved in to detain them.

Mati Munoz, one of the circus’ managers, expressed relief the furry fugitives — Bactrian camels who have two humps and thick shaggy coats – had been safely caught.

“Nothing happened, thank God,” he told AFP, saying the circus had filed a complaint after discovering the electric fence around the animals’ enclosure had been cut.

“We think (their escape) was due to an act of sabotage by animal rights groups who protest every year.”

Bactrian camels (camelus bactrianus) come from the rocky deserts of central and eastern Asia and have an extraordinary ability to survive in extreme conditions.

These days, the vast majority of them are domesticated.