A Season of Classic Films - Free Screening of ‘Sanz y el Secreto de su Arte’
02 February 2021

A Season of Classic Films - Free Screening of ‘Sanz y el Secreto de su Arte’

Sanz y el Secreto de su Arte (Sanz and the Secret of his Art) is a hybrid drama documentary made in 1918 about ventriloquist and puppeteer Francisco Sanz Baldoví who wanted to create the perfect automaton. Join the free worldwide screening on Friday 5th February at 6pm CET (5pm Irish time) with live music as part of Creative Europe's ‘A Season of Classic Films.' The screening will be freely accessible worldwide with English subtitles via the YouTube channel of the Institut Valencià de Cultura.

Filmed in 1918 in the Hispano Film studios in Barcelona, Sanz y el Secreto de su Arte presents the manufacture and handling of robot-like dolls, known as automata. The popular Valencian ventriloquist and puppeteer Francisco Sanz Baldoví (1872-1939) wanted to create the perfect automaton, a robot, which would realistically assimilate human movements. He became famous for his exquisite automata collection, making the media of his time claim that he had the best robot in the world.

Sanz collaborated with director Maximiliano Thous to display the art of automaton, uniting fiction and documentary elements. The humorous adventures of Sanz’s dolls, Don Liborio, Panchito, Juanito, and Lucinda, are interspersed with his commentary. After each act, Sanz shows how they are all animated by complex mechanisms. The most famous automaton, Don Liborio, will escape to the city and mingle with real people.

Film Recovery and New Music Score

The film elements, consisting of two incomplete copies of the film, a promotional brochure, and fragments of dispersed images, were donated in 1995 to the Filmoteca Valenciana by the descendants of Sanz. Inmaculada Trull Ortiz, Head of Acquisitions and Access to the Collections, said: 'An exhaustive reconstruction and restoration work resulted in this surprising film. Thanks to the support of A Season of Classic Films, the purposely created music score will make this silent classic more accessible to a wider audience.'

A Season of Classic Films consists of a series of free screenings across Europe until June 2021. The selected films are presented in a catalogue which provides an inspirational source to European cinema history for film festival programmers around the world.

You can watch Sanz y el Secreto de su Arte via the link below on Friday 5th February at 5pm Irish time.