An Honorary Spike for Versión Española on its 20th anniversary

Cayetana Guillén Cuervo (© Raúl Tejedor Navas, RTVE)

10/08/2018.- Veteran TV programme Versión española (showing on La 2) will be presented with the 63rd Valladolid Festival’s Honorary Spike  in commemoration of  its 20th birthday: a record only within the reach of few TV shows,  which makes this one a true a flagship of Spain’s major public broadcaster (RTVE). The programme was created by Santiago Tabernero, who directed it during its first six seasons before Felix Piñuela took over in 2004, and has been hosted by Spanish actress Cayetana Guillén Cuervo ever since it was first broadcast.

Versión Española is a must-see show for anyone interested in the history of Spanish Cinema, particularly from the current century, featuring exclusive documents in this regard. Versión Española’s film archive probably constitutes the most comprehensive documentary collection for the understanding of Spain’s cinematic output over the last few decades.  The show’s set has been visited by all household names in Spanish cinema, who regularly appear in long, insightful conversations and in-depth interviews.

Julio Medem, a major representative of the new Spanish cinema, was the show’s first emblematic guest with the screening of his films Cows and Earth. Since then, the programme has encouraged the meeting of great film masters and younger filmmakers who followed the former’s  example: Pedro Almodóvar with Fernando Fernán Gómez, Miguel Albaladejo with Luis García Berlanga, Alejandro Amenábar with Miguel Picazo…

Film auteurs like Bigas Luna, Carlos Saura, Iciar Bollain, Pedro Almodóvar, Rafael Azcona, Mario Camus, Iván Zulueta, Basilio Martín Patino, Isabel Coixet or Álex de la Iglesia have presented their work in Versión Española. The show’s conversations are supported by journalistic features that constitute important documents in order to know and understand their filmic output.

Antonio Banderas, Javier Bardem, Antonio de la Torre, Bárbara Lennie, Carmen Machi, Victoria Abril, Paco León, Marisa Paredes, Ricardo Darín, Eduard Fernández, Penélope Cruz, Emma Suárez, Luis Tosar, Carmelo Gómez and practically all Spanish actors of renown have shared their experiences with viewers. Oscar-winners Gil Parrondo and  Yvone Blake gave one of their (sadly) last in-depth interviews  in this highly reputed programme: a valuable testament of both creative geniuses.

Versión Española has always had a keen focus on female  talent in the audiovisual media. Indeed, several instalments have dealt with women and film, including programmes singly devoted to actresses like  Carmen Maura and Maribel Verdú that turned out  real master classes.

Films screened and discussed in Versión Española are always considered against the backdrop of their social and cultural context, so that they often become launch pads for entirely free discussions on such topics as the Spanish Civil War, the Blue Division, emigration, lesbian visibility, adoption, foster care, etc.

The  Versión Española/SGA Ibero-American Short Film Competition is held in the highest regard and its awards are most valuable. They helped discover and  launch the careers of some of the key names in today’s Spanish cinema: Daniel Sánchez Arévalo, León Siminiani, Paco R. Baños, Nely Reguera, Mar Coll, Álvaro Pastor, Rodrigo Cortés, etc. The competition’s award-giving ceremonies have become a traditional meeting point for the whole of Spain’s film sector.

Posted in 63rd Seminci.