- The Spanish short film ‘El màrtir’ (‘The Martyr’), by Fernando Pomares, joins the competition in the Official Section
- The festival hosts for the third consecutive year the RTVE Gala, which will premiere ‘El año de la furia’ (‘The Year of Fury’), by Rafa Russo
- The program also honors Fellini’s centenary and the life of politician Pasqual Maragall with two documentaries
The Valladolid International Film Festival will honor the recently deceased filmmaker Goran Paskaljević with a tribute screening of the movie Honeymoons (2009), Golden Spike of the 54th edition. Paskaljević died in Paris last September 25 aged 73.
The Serbian director leaves behind a film career that he started in the 60’s, after training at the Prague Film School. During his initial years, he worked in television and shot documentaries. In 1976, he directed his first fiction feature film, Cuvar plaze u zimskom periodu (Beach Guard in Winter). After that, he became one of his country’s leading filmmakers. Many of his movies tackle the complexity of a territory marked by confrontation, whether latent or real, between the different peoples to which it is home.
After winning the Golden Spike for Honeymoons (2009), which will be screened at the Zorrilla Theatre at 5.00 p.m. on Saturday October 24, Paskaljević obtained for the third time the highest award at Seminci, where he declared he felt at home. Before this latest success, the Belgrade-born director had already received the top award at the Valladolid Film Festival for Someone Else’s America, in 1995, and The Optimists, in 2006. With three Golden Spikes, he is the most awarded filmmaker over the Festival’s long history together with Ingmar Bergman, a three-time winner in Valladolid four decades ago.
The Spanish short film El mártir (The Martyr), in the Official Section
The Official Section will add a new short film to the competition — El màrtir, by Fernando Pomares, a short film shot in Arabic and starring Narjis El-Badaoüi Araissi, Diia Alekhaiem Jelud, Amjad Almussa and Lulú Eibo. El màrtir is about two Syrian brothers who cross illegally into a Western country. His sister narrates this journey where present, past and dreams blend together, becoming both a dream and a nightmare of our current world.
Born in Lleida in 1986, Fernando Pomares works both on live action and animation projects. His first feature film, La muerte en la Alcarria (Death in La Alcarria), premiered at the prestigious Visions Du Réel Festival in April 2015, and has been selected by several international festivals. Pomares is also the creator of the children’s animation television series Anna Filoute. He teaches film analysis and history of cinema, and is also a filmmaking professor at the MA in Stop-Motion Animation at the BAU in Barcelona.
For the third consecutive year, Seminci will host the RTVE Gala, in which the state-owned public corporation will give a preview of one of its productions before it is screened in commercial theaters. Sin fin (Endless), by brothers César and José Esteban Alenda, was previewed in 2018, and Salir del ropero (Coming Out), by director Ángeles Reiné, in 2019. This time, RTVE has chosen El año de la furia (The Year of Fury), a Spanish-Uruguayan co-production directed by Rafa Russo and starring Alberto Amman, Joaquín Furriel, Daniel Grao, Martina Gusmán, Maribel Verdú, Sara Sálamo, Paula Cancio and Miguel Ángel Solá. The RTVE Gala will be held at the Zorrilla Theater at 8.30 p.m. on Sunday October 25.
Set in Montevideo in 1972, shortly before the coup d’état, the film tells the story of Diego and Leonardo, who work as screenwriters at a well-known TV comedy show. They have a hard time resisting pressures from their superiors to tone down their scathing political satires in order to avoid offending high-ranking military officers. At the same time, on the side of the oppressors, Rojas, an army lieutenant who has been pressured to torture members or sympathizers of the Tupamaros guerrillas, turns to Susana, a prostitute with whom he finds a kind of emotional safe haven, to escape his deeply guilty conscience. The lives of the screenwriters and the military man will end up deeply impacted by the threat of the dictatorship hanging over them.
The 65th Seminci will celebrate the centenary of the birth of Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini (1920-1993) with a special screening of the documentary Fellini of the Spirits, by Anselma Dell’Olio, featuring many personalities who shed light on Fellini’s magical world, including the fortune teller whom Fellini always saw, filmmakers Terry Gilliam, Damien Chazelle or Oscar-winning William Friedkin, and Gustavo Rol’s collaborators and close friends such as Giuditta Miscioscia. The screening will take place at the LAVA at 5pm on Tuesday October 27.
Maragall i la Lluna (Maragall and the Moon), by Josep M. Mañé and Francesca Català, is yet another special screening taking place at the 65th Seminci. It is a documentary based on the testimonies of Pasqual Maragall’s family members and acquaintances, as well as other politicians, such as Diana Garrigosa, Ernest Maragall, Pere Maragall, Javier Mariscal, Milagros Pérez Oliva, Josep Antoni Acebillo, Joaquín Almunia and José Bono. All their testimonies shape an intimate, universal, human, contradictory, vitalist and shocking portrait of Pasqual Maragall, former Mayor of Barcelona and former President of the Government of Catalonia.