Month: November 2015

Dear Father Christmas

hand writing letter

It’s been quite a long time since I last wrote to you, I hope you can forgive me for my silence, I’ve been rather busy being a grown up, and I see now that I have been neglecting you. I’m writing to ask you if I could have a very special present this year: I’d like just one more Christmas with my daughter before she stops believing in you. She asked me last week if you really existed and I had to turn away from her to answer her. “Father Christmas is magical, and if you believe in magic then yes, he does exist”, is what I said. But it’s been hard to believe in magic recently with all of the terrible things that have been going on in the world.

I know most of your letters probably come from much younger correspondents, because as adults we’re supposed to be depending on reality rather than magic as a way of getting things done, but I think I need a bit of help with this. We often choose to be logical, rational, when really we should be allowing ourselves to dream and be carried away with the wonder and amazingness (it’s a word, I looked it up) of the world. And I don’t want my daughter to be drawn down into the adult world so quickly where things are so serious, so relentless and so mean. She’s only just ten, and being a grown up seems to be lasting for a very long time. I don’t want her to be in such a rush to get there.

fire-candle-flame-hearts-medium

So Father Christmas do you think you can help me? Children need magic, and to be honest, I could do with some magic too. I’d like my daughter to have more time being a kid, to have more time to play and have fun. And can you help all the other children as well? My daughter has a great life with so many privileges, but what about the children living in fear, or suffering illness, hunger or poverty? Can you help to light up their lives with a moment of joy, a sparkle of magic? I know that there are charities and organisations in Mallorca collecting frantically for presents for children for Christmas parties: The Allen Graham Charity for Kidz, The Salvation Army, The JoyRon Foundation, the local radio stations as well,  so there are lots of island based Father Christmases doing their best. I must remember to tell people that they can take their donations of gifts to drop off points such as the local charities, or Mood in Portals.              Hearts on Branch                   

Please Father Christmas, it would mean so much to me, and to her, and we’ve both tried very hard to be good this year.

Lots of love to you and Mrs Christmas

Vicki xxx

PS: I’ll leave a mince pie, carrot and wee dram out as usual. The chimney is quite narrow, so you might be better coming through the window.

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The luck of the draw

Mediterranea     Medditerranea

I’ve been staring at a blank screen trying to write this column for days. What do I say when everywhere I look there are stories of terror and brutal killings? I tried to wean myself off of the news on Monday, but I kept being dragged back in, checking Facebook or listening to the radio, 24 hour rolling news on the TV. It’s quite difficult to avoid. When 911 happened I was with my boyfriend on holiday in France, we had been out for the day at a beautiful medieval village called Brantome. We’d canoed around a moat, had fun, eaten a delicious menu, and wound our way back through country lanes to the house where we were staying. Then we turned on the TV to see that two planes had flown into the Twin Towers and a new reality began.

Absorbing the emotive messages from the families of the dead, trying to understand the intricate political situation that brought us to this point, wondering what I can do to help, or what I can do at all has occupied most of my waking thoughts since Friday. And in the end, what can I do? Or you for that matter. I think the key lies in remaining as loving and patient towards ourselves and our neighbours as we possibly can. Look for the goodness in people because most people are simple beings who want to have what we all want: a happy family, a safe home, the opportunity to plan for the future and have ambitions and dreams and the chance to realise some of them.  Many people around the world don’t have that lucky situation. It’s the luck of the draw that I was born where I was and not in Syria or Iraq. I’m not sure that I can directly help them all, although I want to, but there are things which I can indirectly do which help people and spreads kindness: like raise money for reputable charities who are making a difference in parts of the world that I am unlikely to go to. Which is why I have chosen to raise money for Mediterranea this weekend. Mood Beach and the Casino de Mallorca have partnered together to do a Casino night on Saturday 21st November from 8pm. You can either go for a set menu including wine for 39€ per person, or just go straight to the gaming tables from 9pm and give a donation of 10€ per person. The tables (for Roulette and Blackjack) will be set up and run by the Casino staff who will be able to teach beginners how to play.  There will be spot prizes for individual games and the overall winner of the night will go home with two VIP tickets worth more than 300€ for next year’s Son Amar show. All of the donations will go straight to Mediterranea who support people here in Mallorca, and in parts of the “Third World” as well. I hope that you will be able to join us for the evening, or if not  that you will visit http://www.mediterraneaong.com to find out more about the organisation.

Majorca’s the star

Text Vicki McLeod

Photos Evolution Film Festival

Sandra Seeling Lipski, the festival's founder and director.jpg

Last year I went to meet a very impressive woman, Sandra Seeling Lipski, the founder and director of the Evolution Film Festival. A year on, following a very successful festival last year, Sandra is now preparing for this year’s held right here in Majorca. The film festival features movies and documentaries (long and short) in English or subtitled in English which have been created by film makers from all over the world. Sandra, who was born in Berlin and grew up in Majorca is now a resident of LA where she works as an actress, most recently shooting the new series of “Jane the Virgin”.

VMc: So! What’s new, last year you told me that you wanted to have developed the festival enough to have a large sponsor, did you manage to do that?

SSL: We have a new official media partner:  iB3 are onboard with us so that’s really exciting. The Islas Balear Film Commission will be presenting the “Evolutionary Island” award for the best film connected to Majorca. Palma Ayuntamiento are supporting us, we have a big poster on the back of a bus going around and around the city. We have Perrier Jouet champagne sponsoring our reception.. so yes, things are changing and improving!

VMc: Great, so you are growing. This is the fourth year of the festival, you’re doing really well I think.

SSL: The Evolution Film Festival is evolving! We’ve expanded from six days to nine days, we couldn’t fit everything in. We were asked by the people at Port Adriano if we could collaborate with them in some way so we came with the idea of doing a drive in! That’s happening on Saturday November 7th. We had to figure out a way to get the sound inside the cars so we are going to broadcast on a radio signal which you can listen to in your car. It’s only 10€ per car, so you can load it up with people and go in and watch the movie. There’s limited space so it’s best to book in advance on our website. We’re hoping it will be fun! Marc Fosh is hosting a movie food event at San Juan Mercat where he will recreate food from famous scenes in the movies. And we are hosting Mallorca Go which is in association with the Islas Baleares Film Commission where we will take five film makers around Majorca with the intention to inspire them to make movies here.

VMc: Where will you take them?

SSL: They’re thinking around Deia and Valldemossa will be a good place to start. You can see a great variety of different locations there within a small area.

VMc: And will you continue to have the events at Rialto Living?

SSL: Oh yes, Cafe con Cine, yes they are great! They will be in the mornings on the 14th and 15th of November where you will be able to get free coffee and pastries and talk to the film makers who are showing films here. They will be at the beautiful concept store Rialto Living. We welcome filmmakers and actors for a casual Q&A incorporating questions from the audience while enjoying complimentary coffee, croissants and sandwiches from the Rialto Living Bistro. Come early as this event fills up fast!

VMc: And you are also doing a workshop for wannabe film makers?

SSL: Yes, The Producers’ Club, we will talk about the process of producing a script. That will be at Es Baluard on Wednesday 11th November.

VMc: But it all starts with the big premier night.

SSL: Opening night is Tuesday November 10th, we will start the evening with a VIP, Red carpet champagne cocktail reception presented by Champagne Perrier Jouët at the Fundacion La Caixa Bar and Restaurant at 19:00. After we’ve mingled with the filmmakers and actors on the red carpet we will simply cross the street to the majestic Teatro Principal and enjoy the Opening Ceremony and movie, beginning at 21:00. On Wednesday 11th November afternoon at 16:00 we will finally start our screenings at the wonderful cinema Cineciutat a non-profit organization in the heart of Palma aiming to preserve and feature indpendent arthouse cinema. For the following four days you can enjoy a stellar line-up of international feature films, short films, documentary features and shorts, music videos, experimental films and films for Kids – There is something for everyone, comedy, romance, dramas, midnight thrillers and documentaries with social and political themes that aim to educate and inspire you.

VMc: Tell me about the movies, I know it must be hard to choose a handful from the many that you are showing, but which ones stand out for you?

SSL: It’s tricky that’s for sure, everyone asks me this question! We’ve got some amazing, brilliant films to show. “Blood Orange”, which is the film for our premier event this year, was shot in Ibiza. It stars Iggy Pop playing “Bill” a retired, aging rock star. It’s a fun, modern film, a noir thriller. “In Stereo” is our drive in movie, David and Brenda are perfect for each other, and everyone knows it except David and Brenda. It’s a New York City love story. “Pikadero” is a movie examining modern life problems in Spain where unable to fly the nest due to economic limitations young couples have to find a place where they can be alone. “Die Geschichte Vom Astronauten” was shot here in Majorca, it’s about a an author who retreats here to work. “Sling Shot” and “A Candid Affair” were both shot in Majorca as well . Then we are showing “Bridgend” which is about a series of suicides in a small village. And another one that I am really excited about is “The Tribe” which features deaf actors playing pupils in a boarding school for the deaf. They communicate entirely with sign language so you may think you won’t understand it, but you will. Then we have something for children on the Sunday afternoon as well. So we’ve got a wide choice of films for everybody.

Blood Orange, the first movie of the festival        Die Geschichte Vom Astonauten, shot in Majorca (1)

Blood Orange                  Die Geschichte Vom Astronauten

In Stereo, the drive in movie showing at Port Adriano tonight

         In Stereo

Pikadero, takes a humorous look at a problem facing many young Spanish couples

       Pikadero

Bridgend, about a series of sad incidents in Wales (1)

         Bridgend

VMc: Are there any themes running through your choices?

SSL: I’d say love is a theme this year. Second or even third love, what happens when you meet someone after having been in love before. What happens when seniors fall in love again.

VMc: And the whole thing is judged by a panel and then the winning movies get to be shown at an event in LA?

SSL: Yep, after the last film has been shown we will make the presentations. There are 13 awards and then some of these go to be shown next year at my other festival! It’s a win win situation, I get to bring Majorca to LA and the independent film makers get the chance to have more exposure in heart of the film industry.

Congratulations to Sandra and her team, and good luck for the festival, please support this amazing initiative for Majorca.

A Festival Pass is 50€ and includes: The Opening Champagne Cocktail presented by Perrier Jouet, The Gala screening at Teatro Principal and ALL 22 Blocks at Cineciutat for 50€. More information at : http://www.evolutionfilmfestival.com To see more articles about people on the island visit http://www.mallorcastories.co

Let’s be friends

A previous Supper Club meeting

Networking needn’t be nasty

I spent an hour today talking about networking on Frank Leaver’s show on Radio One Mallorca. I hope I did myself proud. I was on the radio because this week (in fact 7pm on Thursday November 5th, then Thursday December 10th) I am restarting (after a year off) an informal networking and friend making group that I had originally set up five years ago. It’s called The Supper Club and is a great opportunity to make new contacts, catch up with old ones, possibly do some business, definitely have a laugh, and get dinner thrown in all for under 20€. If you want to attend then email your reservation to info@moodbeach.com and get yourself over to Portals.

It’s not so long ago that I hadn’t even heard of the term “networking”, but I think I’ve always been a “networker”. Back in the day I might have been called less flattering things, like “busy body”, “do gooder” or (crivens) “nosy parker”. Why? Because in order to be an effective networker you don’t spend hours talking about yourself “selling” whatever it is that you need to get across, no, you spend time finding out about others and working out what might be helpful for them, perhaps make connections for them which they will find useful, and think about their issues and problems trying to find solutions. It can be exhausting doing this, it’s a relentless one way street so you need to know when to politely slow to a halt on your helpful assault and wait to see if the other side reciprocates. Like unrequited love, it’s not healthy to be in a one sided relationship.

But networking needn’t be frightening, approach it with an open mind, remember to stay authentically true to yourself, perhaps arm yourself with five opening questions that you can try out to get the conversation going, or perhaps a joke, and step in. If you need one then ask for an introduction, go to the organiser and say “Can you introduce me to….” and get them to help you. The good thing is that at a networking event other people are there with the same aim as you so you don’t need to feel strange about talking to a complete stranger, and remember, you get out what you put in. Don’t forget your business cards.  The networking doesn’t finish there either, the next day you need to send a message to the people you connected to: either as an email, a Facebook request, a text message, a phone call, whatever seems appropriate to the situation.

The more you network, the easier it gets, but you have to keep doing it. There are plenty of different types of groups in Mallorca, so go find one, invite me to it, and let’s do it! http://www.familymattersmallorca.com