The 66th Seminci calls for “letting our senses awaken and our emotions stir” in movie theatres

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The 66th edition of the International Film Festival has celebrated this Saturday, October 23, 2021, the inaugural gala that serves as the green light for nine days of pure cinema, in a year full of anniversaries and special screenings, among which the half a century since the first release of A Clockwork Orange, 60 years since the appearance of the Beatles or the centenaries of Berlanga or Fernando Fernán Gómez, among others. The actress and presenter Ana Morgade started the ceremony with her special sense of humor and began with a tribute to the soundtracks of the history of the seventh art (“Film music changes your life”).

After that, Morgade gave way to Pedro González Bermúdez and Malcolm McDowell, one of the guest stars of this edition who has come to Valladolid to present the documentary The Forbidden Orange about the premiere of Kubrick’s mythical film in the framework of Valladolid’s 20th Film Week in 1975: “It is a true honour to be at a festival that was so courageous as to premiere that film at a time when censorhip was fierce,” he celebrated.

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The ‘godmother’ of the 66th edition, Emma Suárez, then read an emotional letter from Javier Angulo, director of Seminci: a call to return to the cinemas after several difficult months, to recover what we had before the pandemic and to return to the auteur films that Seminci is so keen on showcasing. The letter appealed to those films that have the courage to bring us closer to ” reality, human conflicts and whatever surrounds us yet from new angles, new points of view. ” Angulo further expressed his confidence that we would again “be able to feel our senses aroused and our feelings awakened and triggered” after the health crisis. Next came the time to present the first Honorary Spike of the 66th Seminci. Javier Godino, Clara Lago, Mariela Besuievsky, Oscar Martínez and Eduardo Blanco, along with a video message from Natalia Verbeke, recalled their experiences with the director of Son of the Bride. Juan José Campanella gratefully collected his Honorary Awardand described Seminci as a story that has accompanied my entire career” ever since Juan Carlos Frugone went to Cannes to see The Boy Who Cried Bitch.“Valladolid became like my second home,” he added, visibly moved.

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Eva Marciel presented the titles to the official competition and welcomed the main members of this section’s jury , chaired this year by Deepa Mehta, who took the floor to applaud the fact that the films in competition at the 66th Film Week “represent the diversity of all the countries of the world. “The Indo-Canadian filmmaker concluded by quoting Bertolt Brecht; “Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it,” and encouraged the entire Seminci audience to “celebrate cinema and art.”

A beautiful cover of Todo Cambia (“Everything Changes”) by Mercedes Sosa performed by Trío Caracol provided the emotional soundtrack to the ‘in memoriam’ dedication of those film-related personalities who passed away during the preceding twelve months. The Festival slots Spanish Cinema and DOC.España introduced by Glass Glassy’s version of Take a Walk on the Wild Side, preceded the appearance on stage by Manuel Iborra, Antonio Resines and Emma Suárez, who recalled the series of misadventures that surrounded the filming of Iborra’s 1992 Club Virginia Orchestra in the documentary La Club Virginia, which screens this year at the Valladolid International Film Festival: “Manuel Iborra is a troublemaker but sometimes things turn out well for him,” Resines quipped. Suárez chose to evoke the figure of Enrique San Francisco, who made them live “a fabulous shoot.”

Elia Galera, Eva Martín and Benito Zambrano then took the opportunity to provide some small brushstrokes as an apettiser to a film that would be presented the following day, Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake , which was followed by additional announcements of scheduled Spanish titles featuring great stars. This year’s special screenings include two documentaries respectively on Berlanga and Fernando Fernán Gómez. Regarding the latter, Journey to Somewhere, as the film’s director Helena de Llanos explained, “tries to combine the techniques of documentary cinema with those of fiction in order to tell a story around the presence and the absence of Fernán Gómez and Emma Cohen” ,about whom she highlighted their committment to following their own instinct and to lose the fear of fear itself.

Clara Roquet closed the opening gala accompanied by a large part of the cast of her film Libertad, a title in competition within the Official Section of the 66th Seminci, and which kicked off the 2021 edition of the Valladolid International Film Festival.

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