Robert Guédiguian and Paul Schrader will compete for the Golden Spike

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  • The Official Section of the 66th Seminci will screen the latest films by two directors that have close ties with Valladolid: Mali Twist, by the French filmmaker, and The Card Counter, by the American author.

The French director Robert Guédiguian and the American filmmaker Paul Schrader will compete for the Golden Spike with their latest feature films, respectively Mali Twist and The Card Counter, which in this join the lineup of titles programmed in the Official Section of the 66th Valladolid International Film Festival. This will include 23 films, three of them out of competition.

The latest movie by Robert Guédiguian will participate in Valladolid’s film contest. Set in the African country during the 1960s, when the youth of Bamako danced the twist to rock and roll music newly imported from the West and dream of political renewal, Mali Twist follows the story of Samba and Lara. Samba, a young socialist, falls for spirited Lara during one of his missions to the bush. To escape her forced marriage, she secretly flees with him to the city. But Lara’s husband won’t let them be and the Revolution soon brings painful disillusions as they dream of a future together.

Guédiguian teams up with award-winning screenwriter Gilles Taurand to explore a little-known aspect of Mali’s history with this powerful love story in a country torn between tradition and revolution. Born in 1953 in the neighborhood of L’Estaque in Marseille, the city that provides the setting for most of his works, the filmmaker has always stood out for his keen look at the world around him and for his commitment to the less favoured social groups.

Guédiguian’s career is closely linked to Valladolid. In 1999, during the 44th Film Week, he was the subject of an until then complete retrospective and received the festival’s Honorary Spike. A year later, his film The Town is Quiet won the Golden Spike and the best actress award for Ariane Ascaride. In 2000, Marie-Jo and Her Two Lovers kicked off the festival, which he would visit again in 2004, during the 49th edition, as president of the International Jury.

In 2009 he returned to the competition with Army of Crime, which was recognized with the Special Jury Award and the award for Best Screenplay; two years later he competed with The Snows of Kilimanjaro, which won the Silver Spike and the Audience Award; and in 2015 he presented in the Official Selection Don’t Tell Me the Boy Was Mad.

The Card Counter

Starring Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish, Tye Sheridan and Willem Dafoe, The Card Counter, Paul Schrader’s new thriller, will also compete in the Official Section . William Tell (Oscar Isaac) is a former military man and professional poker player who is haunted by the ghosts of his past decisions. His meticulous life is turned upside down when he is approached by Cirk, a young man who seeks help from Tell to execute his plan of revenge against a military colonel.

Paul Schrader (Michigan, USA, 1946) received the tribute of the 58th edition of Seminci, including and Honorary Spike , a retrospective and a book commemorating a four-decade career during which he has written some of the most brilliant pages of US cinema. Wonderful scripts like Taxi Driver or Raging Bull Bull were followed by a new stage as a film director which began with Blue Collar, Silver Spike at the 23rd Seminci. His filmography includes titles like Hardcore (1979), American Gigolo (1980), Cat People (1982), Mishima (1985) or Affliction (1997), presented at the 42nd edition of Seminci, where it won the awards for Best Actor (Nick Nolte) and Best Cinematographer(Paul Sarossy).

Schrader also presented in the Official Section his films Adam Resurrected (2008) –awarded for Best Original Score at the 54th edition- and The Canyons (2013), his latest Valladolid entry to date.

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