The Official Section of the 66th Valladolid Festival foreshadows the powerful gaze of a new generation of international filmmakers

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The Festival’s main competition has programmed eleven titles directed by women and eight more by new filmmakers which will compete for the ‘Pilar Miró’ award.

Spanish cinema competes with Clara Roquet’s Libertad and Neus Ballús’ ‘The Odd-Job Men’ and participates, out of competition, with a mockumentary about Fernán Gómez and the new film by Carlos Saura.

The Official Section of the 66th Valladolid International Film Festival will program 21 feature films, three of them out of competition: a selection that represents the festival’s firm commitment to new authors, especially female filmmakers, since the festival’s main section will bring together eleven titles directed by women and eight films that will compete for the ‘Pilar Miró’ award for Best New Director, six of them long-feature debuts.

The work conducted over the last twelve months by Seminci’s selection committee has resulted in a lineup of titles that embodies the philosophy of the Festival, whose Official Section combines the commitment to the new values of international cinema with the discovery by Spanish audiences of widely experienced film auteurs.

This year, the Official Section will show the latest films by Finland’s Juho Kuosmanen (‘The Painting Sellers’, ‘The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki’); the Indian director Pan Nalin, (‘Samsara’, ‘Faith Connections’), an author in possession of numerous international awards; Carlos Saura (‘Cría cuervos’, ‘¡Ay, Carmela!’), one of the most prolific and renowned filmmakers in Spanish cinema; Hany Abu-Assad, a Palestinian director known worldwide for his film ‘Paradise Now’; or the Indonesian Edwin (‘Postcards from the Zoo’, ‘Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly’), the winner of the Golden Leopard in the latest edition of Locarno.

The Official Section will also present the most recent films by the Argentine filmmaker Paula Hernández (‘Rain’, ‘The Sleepwalkers’) and the Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier (‘Reprise’, ‘Oslo’, ‘August 31’), as well as the latest film by the acclaimed Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, Oscar winner for ‘A Separation and Youth Award’ in the 61st edition for ‘The Salesman’. Indian filmmaker Deepa Mehta will close the 66th edition of Seminci on October 30, with her latest film ‘Funny Boy’, a Canadian production edited by Teresa Font.

First and second movies

The Official Section of the 66th Seminci reflects the festival’s commitment to the powerful gaze of new international authors. There will be eight titles competing for the ‘Pilar Miró’ award for Best New Director, among them ‘Clara Sola’, the debut feature by Costa Rican director Nathalie Álvarez Mesén selected to participate in the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. It will be the first film of this nationality to compete in Valladolid.

Iranian cinema will have an ample representation in the Official Section. In addition to Farhadi, two more titles by novel new directors will enter the competition: ‘Hit The Road’ (‘Jadde khaki’), the first film by Panah Panahi, the son of the Golden Spike winner of the 48th Seminci Jafar Panahi and assistant director for Abbas Kiarostami , also selected in the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes; and ‘Forgiveness’ (‘Ghasideyeh Gave Sevid’), co-directed by Behtash Sanaeeha (second film) and Maryam Moghaddam (first film) and endorsed by its selection in the Berlinale competition.

Other films competing for the ‘Pilar Miro’ award are: ‘A Tale Of Love And Desire’ (‘Une histoire d’amour et de désir’), the second film by Tunisian director Leyla Bouzid, who made her debut in Venice with ‘À peine j’ouvre les yeux’ in 2015; ‘The Girl and the Spider’ (‘Das Mädchen Und Spinne’), by Swiss brothers Ramon Zürcher (second film) and Silvan Zürcher (first film), which harvested the award for Best Direction and the Fipresci award in the Encounters section at the Berlinale; ‘Hive’, by Kosovar director Blerta Basholli, Grand Jury Prize, Best Director Award and Audience Award at the World Dramatic Competition section of the Sundance Film Festival; and the previously announced films ‘Libertad’, by Clara Roquet, which will open the 66th edition, and ‘Happening’ (‘L’événement’), by Audrey Diwan, which will premiere at Seminci after winning the Golden Lion in the latest edition of the Venice Film Festival.

Recognized and consecrated directors

The Official Section will show the Spanish audience for the first time the most recent work by several important names in contemporary auteur cinema. Some repeat their participation in Seminci, like the Indian director Deepa Mehta, whose film Funny Boy will close the 66th edition of Seminci on October 30; or the Iranian Asghar Farhadi, who will compete with ‘A Hero’, awarded with the Grand Prix of the Cannes Jury, ex aequo with ‘Compartment No. 6’ by Finn director Juho Kuosmanen, who will also compete in the Official Section in what will be his first appearance at the Valladolid competition.

The Indonesian director Edwin, with seven feature films and numerous international awards to his credit, will participate with ‘Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash’ (‘Seperti Dendam, Rindu Harus Dibayar Tuntas’), the recent winner of the Locarno Golden Leopard. In turn, the Danish-born Norwegian director Joachim Trier, the author of five feature films, will appear for the first time in the Official Selection with ‘The Worst Person In The World’, a film that earned Renate Reinsve the award for best actress at Cannes. Finally, Argentina’s Paula Hernández, whose filmography includes four renowned feature films, will compete this year in Valladolid with ‘Las siamesas’, nominated for the Platinum awards and selected to represent Argentina in the “Best Ibero-American Film” category at the Goya Awards.

The Official Section will also program ‘Last Film Show’, the fifth fiction feature by Indian director Pan Nalin, who signed the multi-award-winning ‘Samsara’ (2001); ‘Huda’s Salon’, by the Israeli-Palestinian filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad, the director of the well-known ‘Paradise Now’ (2005); ‘I’m Your Man’ (‘Ich bin dein Mensch’), the third feature film as director by the also German actress Maria Schrader, for which Maren Eggert won the award for the best performance in Berlin; and ‘La Fam’, the third film by the Swiss Fred Baillif.

Spanish participation

The already announced ‘The Odd-Job Men’ by Neus Ballús, and the opening film ‘Libertad’, by Clara Roquet, will be the two Spanish titles in competition in the Official Section, but not the only ones in this programme. Another two long-awaited movies will have their premiere out of competition: ‘The King of the World’, a new feature film by Carlos Saura that focuses on popular and traditional Mexican music, and ‘Journey to Somewhere’, a mockumentary by Helena de Llanos, granddaughter of Fernando Fernán Gómez , that delves into the professional career and life of her grandfather and the latter’s wife Emma Cohen, coinciding with the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of the Spanish actor and director.

Short films in the Official Section

The Official Section for short films will screen twelve titles: ‘Affairs of The Art’, by Joanna Quinn (United Kingdom, Canada); ‘Aska’, by Clara Milo (Iceland, Canada); ‘Easter Eggs’, by Nicolas Keppens (Belgium, France, the Netherlands); ‘I Gotta Look Good For The Apocalypse’, by Ayce Kartal (Turkey, France); ‘The Hangman At Home’, by Michelle and Uri Kranot (Denmark, France, Canada); ‘Lili Alone’, by Jing Zou (China); ‘L’enfant salamandre’, by Théo Degen (Belgium); ‘Mauvaises herbes’, by Claude Cloutier (Canada); ‘Mi última aventura’, by Ezequiel Salinas and Ramiro Sonzini (Argentina); ‘More Happiness’, by Livia Huang (USA); and ‘Sous la peau, l’écorce’, by Franck Dion (France). In this section, Spain will be represented by the short film ‘The Windshield Wiper’, directed by Alberto Mielgo (Spain, USA).

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