- The programme includes films like There Is No Evil, Here We Are, The Disciple, The Wasteland, The Cloud In Her Room and Servants, all acclaimed in Berlin, Cannes, Venice and Rotterdam
- The Festival will also screen new works by authors like Mohammad Rasoulof, Arab and Tarzan Nassir, Nir Bergman, Chaitanya Tamhane, Ahamad Bahrami, Zheng Lu Xinyuan and Alexandre Rockwell
The Valladolid International Film Festival has selected 15 feature films, two of them out of competition, for the Official Section of its 65th upcoming edition running 24-31 October. The selection of titles reflects the thematic and aesthetic diversity of auteur cinema in different parts of the world through the eyes of directors of various generations and from highly diverse nationalities.
Film authors like Mohammad Rasoulof, Arab and Tarzan Nassir, Nir Bergman, Alexandre Rockwell and Isabel Coixet will visit the Festival once again with their latest proposals; others, like Ahmad Bahrami, Zheng Lu Xinyuan or Chaitanya Tamhane, will meet Seminci audiences for the first time with films that were recently awarded at international festivals and hold the promise of a great future for their incipient careers.
The Official Section’s lineup of titles that have already triumphed in previous film competitions include There Is No Evil (Mohammah Rasoulof), the winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlinale; Here We Are (Nir Bergman), which received the Cannes 2020 Seal of Approval, along with two award-winning films at the Venice Film Festival: The Disciple (Chaitanya Tamhane), award for Best screenplay and Fipresci award, and The Wasteland (Ahmad Bahrami), dubbed Best Film in the Orizzonti section and the winner of Fipresci awards in parallel sections. In addition, The Cloud in Her Room (Zheng Lu Xinyuan) has just won the Tiger Award at the Rotterdam Festival; Nimari (Lee Isaac Chung) bagged the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at Sundance, and Servants (Ivan Ostrochovsky), was presented in Encounters, the new competitive section of the Berlin Festival, and is one of the European Film Awards nominees.
For some filmmakers this year’s “Film Week” will mean their reunion with a festival that had previously programmed their work. This is the case of Palestinian brothers Arab and Tarzan Nasser, whose debut feature, Dégradé, was screened in the 60th edition, and now return with their second feature film, Gaza mon amour. That same edition featured the screening of , The Wednesday Child by the Hungarian director Lili Horváth, who this year participates in the Official Selection with Preparations To Be Together For An Unknown Period of Time.
Also the American director Alexandre Rockwell, the author of Sweet Thing, joined the 59th edition with Little Feet and achieved a special mention for the work of its two child protagonists. In addition, the Italian director Uberto Passolini, known in his facet as producer of titles like The Full Monty, competes this year with Nowhere Special, after having been a member of the International Jury of the 62nd Week. To them we should add the already announced opening inaugural film, Isabel Coixet’s It Snows in Benidorm (out of competition). This is the second time Coixet opens our festival after doing so in 2017 with The Bookshop, a film that won the Goya awards for Best Film, Best Direction and Best Adapted Script. In 2005, she moreover directed the promotional short film that commemorated Seminci’s 50th anniversary, and she closed the 60th edition with her feature film Nobody Wants the Night.
Also second-time visitors at Seminci are the Israeli Nir Bergman, who will be presenting Here We Are after winning the Meeting Point’s Youth Prize of the 47th edition with his first film, Broken Wings, and the Iranian Mohammad Rasoulof, the protagonist of a retrospective cycle and a book in the 2017 edition, who will compete for the first time at the festival with There Is No Evil.
Together with the above filmmakers, the Official Section will be programming two debut features. Puppy Love, by Canadian Michael Maxxis, a love story between two very different characters starring Paz de la Huerta, Hopper Penn, Rosanna Arquette and Michael Madsen, and screening out of competition; and (this time in competition) the animated feature film Josep, by the press cartoonist and designer Aurel: a film inspired by the story of the Barcelona cartoonist Josep Bartolí during his confinement in a concentration camp in France in 1939, whose narration is provided by the Catalan actor Sergi López.
The festival has also selected four second films that, together with Josep, will compete for the Pilar Miró award for Best New Director. These are the above-mentioned The Wasteland, by Iranian Ahmad Bahrami; The Disciple, by the Indian director Chaitanya Tamhane; Preparations To Be Together For An Unknown Period of Time, by Lili Horvát, and Gaza mon amour, by Arab and Tarzan Nasser.
The Official Section is complete with the feature films Minari, by US director Lee Isaac Chung, who became internationally known in 2007 at the Cannes Festival with his first film, Munyurangabo, and Persian Lessons, by Ukrainian director Vadim Perelman, the author of titles like House of Sand and Fog (2003) and The Life Before Her eyes (2007). The Festival will announce the closing film in the coming days, thus finalising the list of titles making up the Official Section.
Official Section for short films
Animation will be a leading feature of the Official Section for short films this year. Animated entries are Altötting (Germany / Canada / Portugal), by Andreas Hykade; How My Grandmother Became A Chair (Germany / Lebanon), by Nicolas Fattouh; Moi, Barnabé (Canada), by Jean-François Levesque; or, Black Hole! (UK) by Renee Zhan; Rivages (France), by Sophie Racine, and Thanadoula (Canada), by Robin McKenna. In addition, the following live-action short films have been selected for Valladolid’s Official Section as well : The Unseen River (Vietnam / Laos), by Phạm Ngọc Lân; Gramercy (USA), by Jamil McGinnis and Pat Heywood; and Play Schengen (Norway), by Gunhild Enger.