Private Project

Born Balearic: Jon Sa Trinxa and the Spirit of Ibiza

Adjacent to Ibiza’s party capital, resident DJ Jon Sa Trinxa has spent a quarter of a century on the beach spinning an eclectic mix of musical styles that stir the hearts of the Balearic artist community.

  • Jon Sa Trixa
    Key Cast
    "as himself"
  • Lily Rinae
    Director / Producer
  • Gabe Harden
  • Emanuele Michetti
    Editor / Colorist
  • Hiroki Kidono
    Executive Producer
  • Hiroshi Watanabe
    Executive Producer
  • Collin Meath, Keep or Destroy Prod.
    Associate Producer
  • Lily Rinae
  • Lily Rinae
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Music, Biopic
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 10 minutes 35 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 5, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    160,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Indonesia, Spain, United States
  • Language:
    English, French, Japanese, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, 35mm
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    February 5, 2020
    World Premier
    Ibiza Selection
  • Seeyousound International Music Film Festival 2020
    February 23, 2020
    International Premier
  • Madrid international festival2020
    September 1, 2020
    Best Cinematography in a Documentary
  • Media Library 2020, Visions du Réel, International Film Festival
    April 15, 2020
  • ARFF Paris // International Awards
    Best Music Video
  • 35th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
    United States
    November 6, 2020
    North American Premier
  • Chelsea Film Festival 8th Annual Edition
    New York
    United States
    October 15, 2020
  • Southeastern International Film Festival 2020
    United States
    October 30, 2020
  • Doc'n Roll Film Festival in London
    United Kingdom
    November 4, 2020
  • 23rd annual Indie Memphis Film Festival
    United States
    October 21, 2020
    Best Sounds Feature award
  • Musical Écran 2021
    September 5, 2021
  • NewFilm Makers NY 2021
    New York
    United States
Director Biography - Lily Rinae

After working for many years as a director for Japenese television station JRT and as a producer for the largest advertising company in Japan, Dentsu, Lily Rinae moved to New York City to pursue her directorial career in 2018. In New York City, Lily’s work as a producer and director spans television, short documentaries, music videos and art films. She also works as a Thompson Reuters reporter for TBS “Business Click” and as director for a US-based Japanese television station, Fujisankei Communications International. At Fujisankei, she directs “Hangout NYC,” a series that showcases the rich stories and contributions of NYC artists, entrepreneurs, and more. Past works span multiple formats and countries of publication, including a short documentary of musicians performing in Carnegie Hall, a short documentary of rising Japanese musicians hoping to hit it big on the international stage, a 360º virtual reality tour of Portland, Oregon, and many more. Lily’s personal projects include work that focus on the transformative and healing power of musical expression. In addition to Born Balaeric, Lily has founded Multitude, a creative studio that produces multi-sensory videos focused on the physical nature of techno and deep house as expressed by female dancers and their physical expression of passion and emotion.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

-- a Q&A with director Lily Rinae --

What inspired you to make this film?

Being born in Taiwan and growing up in Japan with Taiwanese parents, I always struggled to explain my identity. Even though I had lived in Japan my whole life, people there still thought of me being Taiwanese. Whereas people from Taiwan saw me as Japanese. I felt trapped in between worlds. As a result, I found myself working a corporate job in Tokyo, desperately trying to rectify these different parts of myself. So, I set out on a quest to find my own sense of my humanity. I picked up my life and traveled the world. I eventually settled in New York City, but a particular feeling I’d found on a beach in Ibiza, Spain – under the sun, bathed in music, surrounded by all different kinds of people – stayed with me. It was vibrant and organic. It was the Balearic spirit. And a lot of that spirit was Jon’s music. He created a space for everyone, without any kind of walls. Jon’s music didn’t care where his listeners were from, or what language they spoke. It’s about communication through music, how music make communities and breaks down borders, which is so important nowadays. And since, I've wanted to share Jon and his music with as many other people in search of a beautiful community as I can.

How did you begin the process of making Born Baeleric?

I spent 5 years appreciating Jon and his music via the radio and his soundcloud, all while improving my English. In 2016 I finally mustered the courage to write him a letter telling him that “his music makes my life brilliant” and I handed it to him on the beach at Sa Trinxa.

How was did Jon receive the letter you gave him?

He said he never imagined receiving a love letter to his music. I wanted to talk but there was too much crying. It was kind of like my “Beatles moment.”

So how did Born Baeleric go from an idea and a love letter to a feature length documentary?

In 2017, Jon came to Montauk to DJ. We had been messaging on Facebook and I had thrown out the idea of making a movie about him and his impact on Ibiza and the world in general. I hopped in the car for three hours and when I arrived in Montauk I presented him with an outline for the film, a crowdfunding plan and a logistical attack plan. And he said “okay!”
What was the experience of shooting Born Balearic like for you?
It was beautiful and exhausting. We traveled to Ibiza three times, to Bali, and to Montauk to shoot this film. I was so surprised in Ibiza by the beautiful brilliant community of locals and immigrants that was brought together and built by the island -- by their surprisinging grasp of realism combined with a sense of hippy ease. But there were the tiring moments too: the 200 steps down to the house we were using for holding every day and just a skeleton crew to transport the gear. Or the challenge of liaising with Spanish locals who much prefer face to contact to email or text. This was all trumped by Jon and his Balearic spirit, the way he embraced the mutli-cultural fabric of this film and our team, the effortlessness with which he welcomed us into his world.

What is unique about your movie and why is it different from other documentaries?

Born Balearic is in many ways abstract. I’ve incorporated both images and music to create the effect of actually being at Sa Trinxa with Jon. The film is a sensory experience as much as a narrative one. If you close your ears, the visuals will transport you. If you close your eyes, the music and sounds will still create the Balearic experience.

What do you hope that audiences take away from the film?

There have been tons of movies made about DJs, but none about Balearic culture. That is the topic of this movie -- why the Balearic ideals of inclusivity, creativity, and being present resonate so strongly with so many people. And also, just as importantly, why Jon and his music are perfect expressions of the Balearic way of life. Every person's path to Ibiza and to the life they live there is equally valid. Jon and his music are just central points where a lot of these ideas connect. Jon’s music communicates the Balearic approach to life so clearly. It’s his philosophy of living. If I can pass that onto audiences I will feel satisfied. If I can encourage audiences to remember that if you’re doing what you love, it’s impossible not to share joy. Pursue passion and your spirit will affect others in a positive way, just like Jon.