Bayona, Bollain and Fernández, Honorary Spikes at 63rd Seminci

10/08/2018.- Filmmakers Juan Antonio Bayona and Iciar Bollain and actor Eduard Fernández will receive Honorary Golden Spikes during the 63rd edition of the Valladolid International Film Festival. The awards will be presented in the course of a special gala dedicated to Spanish Cinema scheduled for 23 October.

In this way, the Valladolid Festival provides recognition for the film careers of professionals whose work has been showcased at Seminci since they made their debuts.  Iciar Bollain won the Pilar Miró award for best new director as well as the Audience award for her first feature film Hi, Are You Alone?  in the festival’s 40th edition, while the 52nd edition screened Juan Antonio Bayona’s short film Mis vacaciones (1999) as part of the retrospective of graduation films from Catalonia’s Film School  (ESCAC). The Valladolid Festival has often been attended by members of the team responsible for TV show Versión Española ever since the programme’s early beginnings, and has likewise screened a large portion of  Eduard Fernández’s work for the silver screen, including Three Days with the Family (2009),  Far from the Sea (2016), or the 55th edition’s Silver Spike-winner The Mosquito Net (2010).

On the occasion of this tribute, and in collaboration with the University of Valladolid, the Valladolid Festival  is programming two master classes respectively by Juan Antonio Bayona and Iciar Bollain which will take place  in the University’s historic building. Bayona’s is scheduled for 23 October at 11am and Bollain’s will be delivered on the next day, 24 October, at 11.30am.

Juan Antonio Bayona

© José Haro

The 63rd edition of Seminci will be presenting director and producer Juan Antonio Bayona (Barcelona, 1975) with an Honorary Spike. With only four fiction features in his filmography, Bayona has become one of the most relevant figures in Spain’s contemporary cinema as well as one of the country’s active filmmakers with the greatest international projection. His films have shown at the most important international film festivals, including  Cannes, San Sebastian and Toronto (TIFF), accumulating prizes and nominations (Goya awards, Academy awards, Platino awards or European Film awards), as well as becoming great box-office hits.

A graduate in film direction from Catalonia’s Film School (ESCAC), Bayona made his directorial debut with The Orphanage (2007), a movie mentored by Guillermo del Toro (the film’s executive producer) and premiered at Cannes. The winner of seven Goya awards (including one for best new director), Bayona’s ghost melodrama triumphed in Spain, called the attention of international critics and consolidated its lead actress Belén Rueda as the new muse of fantasy and horror films.

Bayona’s second film was the blockbuster The Impossible (2012), inspired by tragic real events (the tsunami that swept across South-East Asia  in 2004) and starring Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor and the then extremely young actor Tom Holland. The movie would become  Spain’s event movie that year, with over six million viewers and five Goya awards (including one in the best director category). Also in 2012, Bayona achieved recognition as the winner of Spain’s National Film Award granted by the country’s Ministry of Culture.

Bayona has likewise left his footprint in television. In 2014, he directed the superb first two episodes of the horror drama television series Penny Dreadful (Showtime)a San Mendes production directed by John Logan and featuring Eva Green, Josh Hartnett and Timothy Dalton in the leading roles.

Released in October 2016,  A Monster Calls was Bayona’s ambitious and thrilling screen adaptation of the novel by  Patrick Ness. Starring  Lewis MacDougall, Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver and Liam Neeson, the film bagged nine Goya awards and drew the attention of Steven Spielberg, who personally chose him to direct Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018). The last instalment in the famous adventure saga is this year’s  third highest-grossing film worldwide, with  a box office take of over $1.3 billion.

Bayona has also started a career in film production, having served as executive producer for Marrowbone (2017), directed by his regular collaborator Sergio G. Sánchez, and I Hate New York (2018), a documentary by Gustavo Sánchez showing in fest section Spanish Cinema.

Iciar Bollain

© Héctor Garrido

Iciar Bollain was born in Madrid in 1967. At the age of fifteen she played the leading role in Víctor Erice’s El sur. She then went on to perform screen parts in over twenty fiction features by filmmakers like Felipe VegaChus GutiérrezJose Luis BorauManuel Gutiérrez AragónJosé Luis Cuerda or Ken Loach. In 1991 she became one of the four founding partners of  Producciones La Iguana and began to combine her acting jobs with the creation, production and direction of films.

 Iciar Bollain’s directorial career is closely linked to the Valladolid Film Festival. In 1995 Seminci premiered  her first feature Hi, Are You Alone?, which won both the  Award for Best New Director and the Audience Award before becoming one of the most viewed movies in Spain in  1996. Her second film,  Flowers from Another World (1999), received the award for best film in that year’s edition of  Cannes Critics Week.

Take My Eyes (2003), a film written and directed by  Bollain,  harvested seven Goya awards, including one in the best film category. Her 2010 pic Even the Rain (2010) opened the 55th edition of Seminci, obtained thirteen Goya nominations, won the Panorama award at the Berlinale, became an EFA nominee for the Best European Film award and was singled out as Spain’s entry for the Oscar race.

The Valladolid Festival has screened most of Bollain’s films, with its Spanish Cinema section programming her short  Amores que matan (2000), and her feature-lengths Flowers from Another World (1999), Mataharis (2007), The Olive Tree (2016) and Yuli (2018), her latest movie to date, which will screen in this edition’s Official Section.

Eduard Fernández

© Paco Navarro

Eduard Fernández (Barcelona, 1964) is one of Spain’s most respected actors in today’s film scene. He studied mime at Barcelona’s Institute del Teatre before starting to work in cabaret shows. For four years he was a member of the renowned theatre ensemble Els Joglars. He also performed at Teatre Lliure in the mid-eighties before taking on TV roles. His silver screen debut took place in 1994 with a part in Rosa Vergés’s Souvenir (1994), but his first substantial screen appearance happened four years later in Zappinga movie that launched his acting career in Spain’s film industry.

His role in Mariano Barroso’s Washington Wolves (1999), earned him his first Goya nomination as best breakthrough performance.  Two years later he won the Best Lead Actor award  for his part in Faust 5.0 (2001), a film by Isidro Ortiz, Alex Ollé and Carlos Padrissa, before bagging the Best Supporting Actor award for his performance in Cesc Gay’s drama In the City (2003).

Additionally he was a Goya nominee for his roles in Bigas Luna’s Sound of the Sea (2001); Manuel Gómez Pereira’s Things That Make Life Worth Living (2004); Marcelo Piñeyro’s The Method (2005); Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful (2010); Mariano Barroso’s Todas las mujeres (2013); Daniel Monzón’s  El niño (2015); and Alberto Rodríguez’s The Man with Thousand Faces (2016).

Other titles in Eduard Fernández’s list of screen performances are Agustí Vila’s The Mosquito Net (2010), Pedro Almodóvar’s The Skin I Live In (2011), Cesc Gay’s  Truman (2015); Gracia Querejeta’s Happy 140 (2015), Imanol Uribe’s Far from the Sea (2015); Inés París’s The Night My Mother Killed My Father (2016), Salvador Calvo’s  1898: Our Last Men in the Philippines (2016), Alex de la Iglesia’s  Perfect Strangers (2017), and Asghar Farhadi’s Everybody Knows (2018).

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