- They received the honorary recognition award of the Festival for their outstanding careers in film
10/27 / 2020.- True, this Tuesday evening the Festival’s main venue, Valladolid’s beautiful Teatro Calderón, was only half-house due to seating capacity restrictions, but the rounds of applause received by film artists Javier Cámara, Gracia Querejeta, Julio Medem and María Galiana when they were awarded the Spike of Honor of this atypical 65 Seminci completely filled the theatre.
The first awardee to come onstage was Javier Cámara, one of Spain’s most prolific actors. He was presented with the Valladolid Festival’s honorary award by Fernando Trueba, the director with whom he has recently worked on the film Forgotten We’ll Be. The filmmaker praised Cámara by describing him as a versatile all-terrain actor “willing to push the dolly in a tracking shot if allowed to! Javier embodies the two schools of acting: the concentrated actor, deeply involved with his character, and the totally free and natural performer. He has it all, and it is a luxury to work with him, ” said Trueba.
The actor received the Spike of Honor before voicing his trust in the pandemic not preventing the film industry from functioning. “This profession is so very much alive and so full of beautiful things still waiting to be done, that I hope the pandemic won’t hold us back from making films. I will keep this award in my heart, ” he said.
For her part, the screenwriter and director Gracia Querejeta, who presented her first film (Whistle Stop) at Seminci in 1992, collected the festival’s honorary award from actress Adriana Ozores, who sent her a loving message, and from fellow film star Emma Suárez, who is also a member of the 65th edition’s International Jury.
Visibly moved, the filmmaker dedicated this award to her father, the great Spanish film producer Elías Querejeta, on the day that he would have turned 86.”For me it is special to receive this award from this festival, where I practically started as a director screening my first movie to a demanding audience. And it’s even more special because my father would have turned 86 today. It was him who brought me to Valladolid on my first trip here and I want to dedicate this award to my dad Elías, for being part of that large group of top-class filmmakers some of whom are still active today; and also because he taught me to love this profession, to respect it and work with all the rigour that one can possibly have,” she said.
The third awardee to go onstage and collect his Spike was the Basque director Julio Medem, the author of unforgettable films like Lovers of the Arctic Circle, Sex and Lucía, or the polemical documentary The Basque Ball.
The filmmaker collected the Spike of Honor deeply moved by the Festival’s tribute, while regretting that his Valladolid-born wife could not be with him today for work reasons. “Last year I was invited to Seminci to hand in the award to Najwa Nimri and now I’m collecting it myself! It’s a nice flow, but it would like to dedicate it to a woman from Valladolid: Montse Sanz, my wife, who is an art director and is right now shooting in Cáceres,” he explained.
Despite a very complicated year marked by the coronavirus pandemic, the director chose to send a positive message by stating that culture is safe and that, despite the difficulties, “stage productions, rehearsals and film shots should go on, because audiences can go to theatres in the assurance that these are safe places,” he pointed out after congratulating Seminci for still existing in these troubled times.
In turn, actress María Galiana, the most veteran in years, albeit with the shortest film career since she started in cinema when she was over the age of 50, received the Spike of Honour from film producer Antonio Pérez and actresses Ana Fernández and Irene Visedo .
Galiana, who made her film debut in 1999 with Solas, Benito Zambrano’s first feature, has become something of a granny icon by sneaking into the living rooms of all Spanish homes since 2001 with her part in the TV hit series Cuéntame cómo pasó, the longest running show in Spain. Hers was no doubt the evening’s loudest round of applause in the theatre.
“My career is very short for my age and to be presented with the Seminci’s Honorary Spike seems to me an act of extreme generosity by the Festival. Besides, I’m collecting this award surrounded by “my family”, since I’m joined today by a father, Antonio Pérez, who hired me for my part in Solas; Ana Fernández, my daughter in that film; and my granddaughter Irene Visedo in Cuéntame. I am deeply honoured to receive this distinction, and also really moved,” concluded the Sevillian actress.