Libertad, Clara Roquet’s debut feature, opens the 66th Seminci this Saturday and kicks off an eight-day programme of film screenings

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  • Argentine filmmaker Juan José Campanella will collect the Honorary Spike  during the Opening Gala, which will be attended by numerous guests from the international film and audiovisual industry.

The 66th edition of the Valladolid International Film Festival, Seminci, will start this Saturday with the premiere in Spain of Libertad, Clara Roquet‘s debut feature which spinned off  from her previous short film The Goodbye, awarded with the Golden Spike and the EFA Prize at the Valladolid Festival in 2016. The movie will play at Teatro Calderón, Seminci’s main venue, within the framework of the opening gala of this edition, which will start at 7:00 p.m.

This  will be the first of  230 titles (154 feature films and 76 shorts) to be screened in six different theatres in the course of eight days as part of the several sections and retrospectives, including the one dedicated to this year’s guest country (Argentina), that make up this year’s edition of Seminci. In addition, as already happened in 2020,  Valladolid’s Film Week  will release part of its contents online through the FILMIN platform.

For the Spanish premiere of  Libertad, Roquet will be accompanied by the film’s producers and by four members of its lead cast: Nicolle García, Carol Hurtado, María Morena and Vicky Peña. The Calderón Theater will also provide the stage on this opening day for the presentation of the festival’s Honorary Spike  to Argentine filmmaker Juan José Campanella. He will receive it from the hands of actors Óscar Martínez, Eduardo Blanco, Clara Lago and Javier Godino, and director-producer Gerardo Herrero. Before that moment,  all of them will parade on the green carpet, which will once again be viewed by the public after last year’s restrictions. The green carpet ritual  will start at 6:00 p.m. and can be followed on  Canal Seminci, as well as the gala, which will be conducted by actresses Ana Morgade and Eva Marciel with the live performance of the Valladolid musical troupe Trío Caracol.

The green carpet will be walked as well by British actor Malcolm McDowell, the protagonist of A Clockwork Orange, and Pedro González Bermúdez, the director of The Forbidden Orange, the TCM documentary that reconstructs the events surrounding the controversial first public screening of Stanley Kubrick‘s film in Spain, which took place in 1975 as part of the 20th edition of Seminci. Another anniversary commemorated  by the festival this year is the 30th birthday of Manuel Iborra‘s Club Virginia Orchestra: the filmmaker will attend Valladolid along with the film’s  protagonists, Antonio Resines and Emma Suárez (the ‘godmother’ of the 66th edition), producer Ana Huete and costume designer Helena Sanchís.

The opening event of the 66th Film Week will likewise be joined by Benito Zambrano, one of the names of this year’s RTVE Gala, which will host the world premiere of his latest film, Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake. The Sevillian filmmaker will walk the green carpet at the opening gala of the 66th Seminci together with the film’s protagonists, Elia Galera and Eva Martín. The other world premiere of the RTVE Gala will be that of Journey to Somewhere, by Helena Llanos, another of the guests at the opening gala, as well as actresses Aida Folch and Estefanía Luyk, who will also walk the carpet.

The Indo-Canadian director Deepa Mehta, the president of the international jury of this  edition of Seminci, will be another of the film personalities to  parade on the green carpet, along with the other members of the jury panel entrusted with issuing the list of winners  of the Official Section: actress Marta Etura, cultural journalist Elsa Fernández-Santos, the Argentine film historian Alberto García Ferrer and the director of the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, Javier Porta Fouz.

The members of the rest of the official juries will also be present at the opening gala, including Meeting Point’s   filmmaker and writer José Luis Montesinos, Argentine actress, director and playwright Romina Paula and Iranian filmmaker Farnoosh Samadí, awarded three times at Seminci;  and Time of History’s  Antonio Delgado Liz,  journalist and former director of DocumentaMadrid for nine editions, Argentine director and editor María Silvia Esteve and film critic Abraham Do. In the case of DOC.España the attending jurors will be directors and screenwriters Ignacio Acconcia (Argentina) , Héctor Domínguez-Viguera (the winner in 2020 of this section’s prize with Tierra de leche y miel, which he directed together with Gonzalo Recio and Carlos Mora) and Manuel Menchón. The Green Spike  jury is made up of director David Baute (the winner of this award at the 65th Seminci for Climate Exodus), the secretary of the Board of Directors of Greenpeace Spain, Miguel López Cabanas, and the journalist, TV presenter and teacher Sandra Sutherland.

The ceremony will be attended by a number of  professionals from the film industry who will participate in the 5th Forum of Spanish Women Filmmakers: Ángela Armero, Concha Gómez Maeso, Coral Cruz, Elisa Puerto, Isabel Peña, Lola Mayo, Marina Parés, Olatz Arroyo , Paula Jiménez, Silvia Herreros de Tejada, Valentina Viso, Virginia Yagüe and Jara Yáñez.

The Valladolid writer Gustavo Martín Garzo will also be present at the event: his second film work behind the camera -and his first solo film El Secreto– will screen in the section Castilla y León en Corto, the same festival slot where the also  Valladolid-born actress, Sara Rivero, competes with her directorial debut, Castilla mal. The director of The  consequences (Spanish Cinema), Claudia Pinto, and one of the film’s  protagonists, María Romanillos, will be present on Saturday at Calderón. In addition, Roberto Lozano, director of All the Souls…, which will screen at the Valladolid City of Film UNESCO Gala, and Alberto Rodríguez Bertoni, former rugby player and director of Valladolid’s public school Cristóbal Colón, where he develops educational projects for social integration, are on the list of guests for the inauguration of the 66th edition of Seminci.

The official  launch of this year’s festival will also have an institutional representation led by Valladolid’s mayor Óscar Puente and the local Councilor for Culture and Tourism, Ana Redondo. Spain’s Institute of Film and Audiovisual Arts, ICAA, will be represented by its general director, Beatriz Navas, while on behalf of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Spain, the institution’s deputy president, Rafael Portela, will join the opening ceremony. The director of Castile and León’s Film Archive Maite Conesa, will also attend the gala.

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