FICMEC starts its 19th Edition


FICMEC, or Festival Internacional de Cine Medioambiental de Canarias (“Canary Islands International Environmental Festival”) opens its gates one more year. The 19th Edition will be developed between the 27th of May and the 4th of June 2017, and, as always, the nerve centre will be the town of Garachico, in northern Tenerife. There, a series of screenings, workshops, fairs, presentations, conferences, exhibits and even gigs will take place. All of these due to the aim of celebrating and vindicating the power and importance of nature, and especially the need of protecting the environment; a festival we must talk about in StarExcursions.

FICMEC 2017One of the most relevant attractiveness of FICMEC is its teaching approach. Apart from offering a space for cultural development, it is an essential way of raising awareness among our population about topics such as nature protection and environmental damage.

It is worth mentioning the interest that the event shows for approaching to young people, when they are still on time to be educated about environmental matter.

All of these reasons make FICMEC an essential festival. Because of that, it receives government support (from the Cabildo of Tenerife). To make sure that the message is received by the population, de base of this event is the use of audiovisual footage, as it is the easiest way to share any idea. So the aim of raising awareness is certainly clear, but FICMEC is also interested in culture and art. It is fundamental to warn about the danger that the environment is suffering, but it is also necessary to offer a high-quality cultural selection. As a result, FICMEC is divided in a series of sections, every one of them committed to different ways of artistic expression, such as fitional and documentary cinema, videogames or photography.


Playing in green


One of the most remarkable activities of FICMEC are the Liable Video Games Sessions. Normally, video games have a bad reputation, and they are hardly ever considered as a new artistic expression. However, video games can play an important role in the raise of awareness of young people, who are the ones who normally use them, as well as they are their main way of entertainment.

This section of the festival will take place between the 25th and the 27th of May, and it will also have conferences, workshops, exhibits, networking places and screenings, all regarding the video game world. During these days, experts in this field will try to analyze the the current situation, as well as the impact that this kind of entertainment has among youngsters. It is very interesting to know that several videogames have introduced in their universe a strong eco-friendly speech.

FICMEC sessions are completed with two other sections. On the one hand, we have Vulcanalia, which will take place between the 31st of May and the 1st of June. During these days, experts in volcanology will analyze the current situation in the Canary Islands -as you sure now, they all have a volcanic origin-. There will be conferences, screenings and even guided routes through the different volcanos that Tenerife has. The main idea of this section is to focus on the relationship between the human being and the volcano, which, as you can read in FICMEC website, is


“sometimes complex, but fruitful; not always easy and, in occasions, tragic”.  


Ecological agriculture is the focal point of
the third section of the FICMEC sessions


The First Sessions of Ecological Agriculture, called Photosynthesis, have the aim of analyzing the evolution of this cultivation model in the Canary Islands, which offers viable solutions for human feeding, as well as it does not collapses the use of the land.

During one day, the 29th of May, a series of workshops, conferences and screenings will take place, but the main activity of this section is the presence of the Ecological Agriculture Fair, which this year celebrates its fourth edition.

FICMEC workshops


Environmental Education workshop

Another one of the most relevant activities that FICMEC has are workshops. This year, we have up to 5 of them. The first one is the Environmental Education workshop, in which the experts will vindicate the absolute necessity of an education based on total respect for nature and the environment. Balance between development and sustainability is already a non negotiable need, and this is why in this activity they want to raise awareness among young people, both children and adolescents, about the state of risk in which we live nowadays.


The idea is to achieve the total implication of participants, to make them think about these topics in order to assimilate a series of ecological conducts, which are needed to be implemented as habits. But it is also fundamental that people start to have a critical attitude, in order to see the world in a different, more reflexive and eco-friendly, way. To achieve this complex goal, the workshop will use a series of both documentary -the authors of these will be present- and fictional screenings, as well as conferences, debates and sub-workshops, which will be divided by age.


Environmental Cinema workshop


On Friday, the 2nd of June, the Environmental Cinema workshop will take place. In this case, it will be an activity in which the necessary stages to develop an audiovisual project of this kind will be taught. Prestigious professionals of this sector will explain their experiences and will share their knowledge in the production, filming and distribution sectors of environmental cinema. This workshop is valid for people who have never worked in this field and also for young directors who want to expand their knowledge.

Express EcoCinema workshop

A usual practice among these kind of festivals is to organize a short film contest. Normally, a concrete topic is chosen, and the contestants have a few days to develop their short from the beginning. This is the main idea of Express EcoCinema workshop, in which the town of Garachico will become a film set for young directors of the Canary Islands.

Every year, an expert in this field has supervised the evolution of the contestants, and also develops his or her own project. The ecological view is always present in all of these shorts, and also the idea of joining local with universal. In this edition, the chosen one is the Spanish documentary maker Miguel Ángel Rolland.

Environmental Photography workshop


The famous photographer Antonio Liébana will be the professional responsible of supervising the Environmental Photography workshop of FICMEC. It will take place between the 26th and the 28th of May, and de people who participate will discover their personal way of understanding this art, which in this case is based on patience and perseverance.

This is a workshop in which pupils will learn a lot, for sure, because Liébana commits himself, body and soul, to everything he does; in this case, learning while having a great time. He has more than 15 years of experience, split between advertising, trips and nature, as well as the inherent experience of having organized a lot of previous workshops national and internationally. It is a unique occasion for every person interested in photography from a professional point of view!


More Sustainable People workshop


The concept “sustainable development” was first used in 1987, and it has been present in the field of urbanistic development ever since. However, the world evolves far from the optimal state, from any balance. Because of that, More Sustainable People workshop has been created as a way of creating a direct communication with our population, in order to transfer them the importance of this concept.

This activity has been organized by the Environmental Area of the Cabildo of Tenerife, and has been put inside the strategic plan More Sustainable Tenerife. The workshop will expose a series of small habits that everybody can include in the routine. With many small efforts, a huge change can be made in order to improve the current environmental situation.


FICMEC: the film festival


FICMEC has so many sections, that we have not talked about the film festival yet. It is divided in some sections; every one of them is dedicated to concrete ways to cover environmentalism in the audiovisual world. As it is usual in film festivals, films are split between fiction and documentary, and, inside this division, between short and feature films.


Inside the different sections, there are ecological or scientific documentaries, as well as genuine pieces of art from prestigious authors. For example, the German director Werner Herzog will introduce his brand new film Into the inferno (2016).

Another example is the Dutch director Michael Dudok de Wit, which will introduce his feature film The Red Turtle (2016), which was already present in the last edition of Cannes Film Festival.


FICMEC is about to start!


This has been our approach to FICMEC, also called Festival Internacional de Cine Medioambiental de Canarias (“Canary Islands International Environmental Festival”). After having analyzed every section and the variety of activities available, it seem to be clear that culture, environmentalism and art can coexist. Between the 27th of May and the 4th of June, the northern town of Garachico will be sort of the environmental capital, and in StarExcursions we have not missed the chance to give this event more visibility, as its ideals are fundamental for a proper relationship between humans and nature.


All the photographs has been kindly shared by the press deparment of FICMEC.