SEMINCI | History | Thus were... | Unforgettable moments


1956. First film projection, 'Una cruz en el infierno'                                                

On 20 March, after the Festival’s opening ceremony, the Teatro Calderón hosted the Film Week’s first screening: Una cruz en el infierno (Flame Over Vietnam) . The film was presented by Madrid-born actor Jesús Tordesillas and the screening was attended by the main ecclesiastical and civil authorities as well as by actresses Elena Espejo and Marisa de Leza.

1958. 'Nights of Cabiria' scandal

Having won the Catholic Film Office Award, Federico Fellini’s film was scheduled to close the third edition of the then called Valladolid Religious Film Week.

Festival founder and director Antolín de Santiago, was the target of criticism after the city’s archbishop refused to allow the film’s screening on the basis that it “departed from the moral and religious order”. Eventually the film was screened, bringing about a heated controversy that led to the change in the festival’s designation: from then on, the Film Week’s name would include a focus on “ideal cinema”, “positive cinema” or “hopeful cinema”.

1960. Truffaut’s 'The 400 Blows' wins the Golden Spike

The creation of the Golden and Silver Spikes (the Valladolid Festival official trophies) was one of the new features in the Festival’s fifth edition. The first director to win the Film Week’s new top prize was François Truffaut. The French filmmaker had already received recognition in the form of the Catholic Film Office Award the previous year as well as the Best Director award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival.

1964. Julio Diamante triumphs with 'Tiempo de amor'

The premiere of this movie by Spanish filmmaker Julio Diamante in the 9th edition of the then named “Religious & Human Values” Film Week was a big success —just as had been predicted by the festival founder and director Antolín de Santiago.

The movie won the Best Screenplay Award of the Film Writers Guild (CEC) as well as the Spanish Culture Institute Award and special mentions by the National Federation of Film Clubs.

1969. Premiere of 'The Milky Way'

Luis Buñuel came to the forefront of the Festival’s 14th edition with a double screening featuring Simon of the Desert (1965) and The Miky Way (1969). Expectations were high for the latter film, which was thick with religious allusions, and there was a full house at the Teatro Calderón screening, including such distinguished viewers as Carlos Saura and his sentimental partner Geraldine Chaplín or Paco Rabal and his wife Asunción Balaguer.

1970. Pedro Olea triumphs with 'El bosque del lobo'

First released in the Valladolid Film Festival under the title El bosque de Ancines (the final Spanish title would eventually become El bosque del lobo), Olea’s feature was starred by José Luis López Vázquez, who attended the premiere with the film’s director Pedro Olea. Both received a standing ovation as they collected the Saint Gregory Award.

The film’s success in Valladolid was instrumental in preventing Prime Minister Carrero Blanco from banning a story that portrayed the so-called “Darker Spain” and highlighted the mixture of religion and superstition.

1970. The Conversations lay the focus on Rossellini.

The so-called Conversaciones —a forum for the discussion of religiously-themed cinema— engaged the participation of viewers and critics after several unavailing attempts to revive the event had been made on previous years.

This new edition of the “Conversations on Film” was titled “Roberto Rosellini, a filmmaker under discussion”. The Italian film master —and his eight most representative films— became the protagonist of these debates. His participation was acknowledged with the Festival’s Gold Medal and a commemorative plaque.

1972. Andrzej Wajda at the centre of the Conversations

The so-called “International Conversations on Film” revolved this year around the film work of Andrzej Wajda, who harvested considerable success in Cannes after the premiere of his film Landscape After Battle (1970).

Moreover, the 1972 edition saw the creation of a special award named after this event which was given to the Polish filmmaker. Wajda’s cinematic output was analyzed and reappraised by national and international experts in the course of this set of lectures.

1973. The Film Week leaves the 'Human and Religious Values ' qualifier

After eighteen editions, the Valladolid Semana de Cine gave up its official designation as a film festival specialized in “Religious and Human Values”. In a year of strong upheaval in the Spanish film industry, the Festival’s name and corporate image underwent equally drastic changes.

While the Festival was running, there took place the Spanish release of Buñuel’s Academy Award-winning The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, which was chosen by Hollywood as best foreign language film that year. Buñuel thus became the first Spanish filmmaker to receive an Oscar.

1975. Premiere of 'A Clockwork Orange'

Although Kubrick initially denied permission for A Clockwork Orange (1971) to premiere in Valladolid, the filmmaker changed his mind on condition that the screening should take place in the University and not in a film festival.

Finally two screenings were scheduled amid high expectations by students in Valladolid, Madrid and other Spanish cities who stood in a long line outside the box office in order to buy their tickets.

The result were masive turn-ups surveilled by police forces keen on repressing any revolt by subversive students.

1980. Spanish Film Party

Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the Valladolid International Film Festival, a special event called the Fiesta del Cine Español was programmed in order to showcase quality films produced in Spain during 1980.

A number of unreleased films were screened in a retrospective that ultimately bore witness to an incipient boom of young fimmakers (incidentally including the then unknown Pedro Almodóvar).

1980. Yilmaz Güney retrospective

Little known in Spain and in the rest of Europe at the time, Turkish filmmaker Yilmaz Güney became the protagonist of Valladolid’s 25th International Film Festival.

Ten films by Güney —including his best features as director and screenwriter— made up this groundbreaking retrospective. Some of those films had been directed by Güney through an intermediary while he was in jail on several criminal charges.

His films were highly acclaimed in Valladolid, where the Festival channelled a petition signed by journalists, critics and filmmakers from several countries in order to have Güney immediately released.

1982. A retrospective on American independent cinema

"Cine independiente norteamericano" was the name of one of the sections scheduled as part of the 27th Valladolid International Film Festival. A selection of thirty-five films brought together the filmwork of the heirs of the New American Cinema Group, which was founded in 1960 with Jonas Mekas as its most outstanding figure.

Jim Jarmusch (Permanent Vacation, 1980), John Sayles (Return of the Secaucus 7, 1980), Alexander Rockwell (Lenz, 1980) and Kathryn Bigelow (The Loveless, 1982) were some of the filmmakers included in this retrospective.

1985. Napoleón premieres in Valladolid with a live performance of new orchestral score

One of the best remembered screenings from the 30th Valladolid Film Festival was the premiere of Abel Gance’s Napoleón (1927) to the accompaniment of live symphonic music conducted by Carmine Coppola, father to famed director Francis Ford.

The project had already opened at the New York’s Radio City Music Hall before being presented in other outstanding international venues including Rome’s Colosseum and theatres in Japan, Austria, the Netherlands and Canada.

1988. Nikita Mihalkov retrospective

After directing two feature-lengths at the beginning of his film career and playing as an actor in some other four, Nikita Mikhalkov became the main protagonist in the 1988 Valladolid Film Festival as well as receiving a Special Golden Spike which was handed him by former Film Week director Fernando Lara for his film Oblomov.

1989. Stanley Donen retrospective

Stanley Donen received a standing ovation after performing Fred Astaire-style a few tap-dancing steps on the stage of Teatro Calderón. It happened right after he had been paid tribute by the Valladolid Festival and just before the screening of his 1963 film Charade.

1991. Brad Pitt in Valladolid

There had been a failed attempt to bring over to Valladolid Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis —the two leading actresses in Thelma&Louise (1991)— so that they could collect Ridley Scott’s Golden Spike (which he shared with Atom Egoyan’s 1991 film The Adjuster). Eventually it was Brad Pitt, who had played a small yet remarkable part in Scott’s film, who was entrusted with the latter’s representation in the Valladolid Festival.

In those days the now great Hollywood star was hardly known and the media did not quite heed his presence in the Film Week. Pitt would later claim more than once that Thelma&Louise had been a major springboard in his acting career.

1992. Julie Christie in Valladolid

British actress Julie Christie joined the Valladolid Festival’s International Jury together with Marion Hänsel, José María Prado or Fernando Guillén. Those who spent some time with her on that occasion highlighted her professionalism and her genuine interest over the Festival. In turn, the British actress said that she had agreed to come to Valladolid because it was not a very large city and it lay close to Soria, where Doctor Zhivago’s shooting had partly taken place.

1993. Aardman Animation retrospective

In order to bring to the Film Week the best of international animation cinema, a retrospective on Aardman Animation was scheduled in 1993 in collaboration with the British Council. The co-founder of this groundbreaking animation studio, David Sproxton, and producer/editor Bridget Mazzey travelled to Valladolid, where 26 Aardman films were screened as part of a retrospective, to explain their methods and working procedures.

Additionally, the Palacio de Santa Cruz housed an exhibition featuring Aardman’s regular characters, stills illustrating the full creative process and a video showing the resulting moving images. The Aardman short Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers received the Jury’s Special Award.

1996. Golden Spike to Dardenne brothers

Belgian filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne won the Festival’s top prize with their film La Promesse, their first fiction feature after a long career in documentary filmmaking. The directors expressed their surprise at such a high recognition, which led Vertigo Films to buy the rights to distribute the film in Spain.

1998. Takeshi Kitano's retrospective and exposure

The cinematic output of Japanese director Takeshi Kitano was collected and showcased in Spain thanks to a retrospective organized by the 1988 Valladolid International Film Festival. Additionally, the exhibition hall of Caja España at the institution’s Fuente Dorada venue hosted a display of thirty-four paintings by Kitano that feature in his film Hana-bi (Fireworks), while the Valladolid Festival published the Spanish translation of a japanese collection of essays on Takeshi Kitano.

1998. Paul Auster and Mira Sorvino in Valladolid

Paul Auster’s solo feature-length debut Lulu on the Bridge, brought him to Valladolid as well as the film’s leading actress Mira Sorvino. While their visit created a lot of expectation, the film did not harvest any award. Auster’s previous filmmaking experience included Smoke and Blue in the Face.

1999. A retrospective on Alexandre Trauner’s film work

Art director Alexandre Trauner received the Film Week’s tribute in 1999. A restrospective included the documentary film Le voyage surprise d'Alexandre Trauner (Teri Wehn Damish, 1991) and 21 films where he collaborated with directors like Hawks, Wilder or Besson. The Teatro Calderón’s exhibition hall brought together paintings and photographs by the artist, while his widow received a memorial plaque and the Festival published a book on Alexandre Trauner’s creative universe.

2004. Jonathan Demme in Valladolid

Internationally known for films like Philadelphia and 1991 Academy award winner for The Silence of the Lambs, the American writer, director and producer Jonathan Demme travelled to Valladolid for the out-of-competition presentation of his 2004 long feature The Manchurian Candidate.

2005. Golden wedding

Aside of the Festival’s regular sections, the Valladolid Film Week programmed a special retrospective of the fifty most significant long and short films in the history of Seminci, plus ten additional films that achieved their reputation in parallel to the history of Valladolid’s Film Week. Additionally, Enrique Monís wrote and directed a documentary on the Valladolid Festival’s 50-year history, while Isabel Coixet shot a short clip on Seminci whose abridged version was used as the Film Week’s header right before Official Section screenings. Finally, a 50th Anniversary Special Award was set up with a cash endowment of € 50,000 which went ex-aequo to Lars Von Trier’s Manderlei and Michael Haneke’s Caché.

2007. Sophia Loren in Valladolid

In the course of its 52th edition, the Valladolid International Film Festival awarded Sophia Loren an Honorary Spike for her lifetime achievement. The Italian actress got a warm welcome in Valladolid coinciding with a double celebration: the 25th anniversary of Man of La Mancha’s shooting in Spain and the 8th centenary of the composition of Spain’s medieval epic The Poem of the Cid (whose film adaptation was co-starred by Loren in the role of Doña Jimena).

2008. Golden Spike to Woody Allen

«I feel really honoured. When I started making films, my models were some of the filmmakers who have taken part in the Valladolid Film Festival». Those were Woody Allen’s thankful words after receiving the Film Week’s Honorary Spike on 29 December 2008. Allen, who was in Valladolid in order to give a concert with his New Orleans Jazz Band, took the opportunity to collect the award as well as the formal invitation by festival director Javier Angulo to take part in a future edition.

2008. 'Metropolis'

The special screening of Metropolis, Fritz Lang’s visionary feature, was accompanied by the music of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León and became one of the most successful highlights in the 2008 edition.

An award for Carmen Maura

Spanish actress Carmen Maura received a “Spike of Honour” in recognition of a long and successful career in which she has worked with the greatest directors.

2008. Atom Egoyan

The Canadian filmmaker of Armeanian descent is already a classic in Valladolid’s Film Festival, where his features have been acclaimed by audiences and rewarded by juries on several occasions. In 2008 he joined the Official Section with his feature Adoration.

2008. The tribute to Elías Querejeta

Film producer Elías Querejeta was the subject of one the the Festival’s tributes in its 2008 edition. In the picture Carlos Saura, a director with whom he produced some of the best-remembered titles in Spanish cinema, hands him the “Spike of Honour”.

2009. Goran Paskaljevic, the winner of the Golden Spike

Goran Paskaljevic was born in Belgrade in 1947. With over thirty documentaries and fifteen fiction features as a filmmaker, he received the Official Section’s Golden Spike for his film Honeymoons. This was the third time this famous director obtained the Festival’s top prize.

2009. An exhibition on Carlos Saura’s ‘Other Glances’

The festival provided an opportunity to study the work of the Aragonese-born filmmaker from a unique perspective. An exhibition organized in Valladolid’s Museum of Contemporary Art (‘Patio Herreriano’) and divided into six different sections approached the most characteristic features of Saura’s artistic output.

Violence and death, women, Spanish history, music and dance, photography and film as seen by the always inquisitive and in any case special eyes of this mutifaceted artist.

2009. Winning films in Meeting Point and Time of History

During the 2009 edition , the Meeting Point section –featuring sixteen long features—had a specific jury of its own. The award given to the best long feature in this section went to Aram Bash va ta haft beshmar , while La causa de Kripan obtained a special mention. As for short films, La Rubia de Pinos Puente won the ‘Night of Spanish Short Films’ award, and Formic harvested the award to the Best Foreign Short Film.

Time of History, on the other hand, engaged the participation of 21 films (including two shorts). Puskás Hungary obtained the First Prize, while the Second Prize was shared by Septiembre del 75 and Los Caminos de La Memoria. The Third Prize went Señora de.

2009. L’Assassinat du Duc de Guise’s original score in a live concert

On the occasion of its hundredth anniversary, there took place on Oct. 29th a concert featuring the live performace of the original score from the film L’Assassinat du Duc de Guise: the first film ever to have its own music score. Conducted by Andrés Calmettes and Charles Le Burgy, the concert took place in the Miguel Delibes Auditorium simultaneusly with a screening of the film.

2009. A personal retrospective and an Honorary Spike for Ettore Scola

One of the great masters of European cinema, the Italian filmmaker Ettore Scola received the recognition for his contribution to the seventh art in the form of an Honorary Spike which he collected during the opening gala of the 54th edition of the Valladolid International Film Festival. Additionally, the festival organized a retrospective on the basis of Scola’s own selection of ten of his films.

2009. Carlos Saura wins an Honorary Spike.

Together with Ettore Scola, Carlos Saura was the recipient of an Honorary Spike during the festival’s opening gala on Friday 23rd October, 2009. In the course of this ceremony he received the affectionate support of his wife Eulania Ramón, his son Antonio Saura, Spanish actor Juan Diego and renowned cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, who handed him the award on the stage of the Teatro Calderón.

2010. An Honorary Spike for Antonio Banderas

Spanish actors Juan Diego and Imanol Arias were entrusted with handing Antonio Banderas the Valladolid Festival’s Honorary Award during the opening ceremony of the 2010 edition. The award was a tribute to Banderas’ career as a screen actor, which has already obtained an early recognition during the 1989 Film Week as the Malaga-born star received the Best Actor Award for his performance in Juan Miñón’s The White Dove.

2010. Tributes to Miguel Delibes and Claude Chabrol

The 55th edition was dedicated to the memory of two unforgettable figures: Spanish literary master Miguel Delibes and French filmmaker Claude Chabrol, who had both died earlier that year.

The Festival paid homage to Miguel Delibes with the celebration of a round table on the 1950s literary generation of Spanish writers and the screening of Josefina Molina’s Función de noche (Evening Performance), based on Five Hours with Mario, a novel by Delibes.

Another big protagonist in the 55th edition of Seminci was no doubt Claude Chabrol, whose death shocked the Festival just as it was preparing Chabrol’s visit to Valladolid in order to receive a film tribute including the retrospective ‘Universo Chabrol’. Also in the 55th Film Week there took place the international premiere of Chabrol’s last picture Bellamy. The Valladolid Film Festival awarded the French film master an Honorary Spike in posthumous recognition of his lifelong achievements.

2010. Brazil: 21st Century Cinema

In 2010 the Valladolid Film Festival screened a sample of some of the most representative films from recent Brazilian cinema. The retrospective —named Brasil: El cine del Siglo XXI (“Brazil: A Film Industry for the Twenty-First Century”)— also included a round table and the premiere of The Sky We Were Born Under (Corpos Celestes), the latest film by Fernando Severo and Marcos Jorge. The latter had won the 53th edition’s Golden Spike for Estomago: A Gastronomic Story.

2011. An Honorary Spike to Maribel Verdú

Spanish actress Maribel Verdú was the recipient of a special tribute in an edition of the Valladolid Festival where Enrique González Macho —distributor, producer and the president of Spain’s Film Academy— also received an Honorary Spike for his contribution to the seventh art in our country. A deeply moved Verdú collected the Film Week’s symbol in Teatro Calderón, the festival’s main venue where she likewise received a standing ovation as a ‘long-distance runner’ in film acting and one of the greatest stars in the Spanish film industry.

2012. Ángela Molina and Alberto Iglesias become Film Week protagonists

An actress and a music composer were the recipients of Honorary Spikes in an edition of the Valladolid Film Festival which also included a retrospective of Mexican cinema. Both in possession of long years of professional experience and many awards in recognition of their spotless careers, Ángela Molina and Alberto Iglesias came to Valladolid to receive once again the love and admiration of the film world.

2013. José Sacristán and Concha Velasco received tribute from the festival

José Sacristán and Concha Velasco, two celebrity figures from the national scene, were mutually awarded with the Golden Spike Award of Honor at the 58th Sacristán in the tribute gala for Spanish cinema. Fernando Méndez and Pedro Olea were there to present the award.

2013. Jacques Audiard and Paul Schrader, Golden Spike Award of Honor winners

The French filmmaker Jacques Audiard received the Golden Spike Award of Honor from Seminci and dedicated it to Spanish cinema while he also greeted Manchegan director Pedro Almodóvar.

The second award winner was for the screen play writer of 'Taxi Driver', Paul Schrader, also a director and star of the 58th edition. Schrader is, without a doubt, one of the most important figures from the generation of filmmakers that rose up in the seventies in Hollywood.

2014. Bong Joon Ho, renowned and with masterful class

The South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho was honored with the Golden Spike Award of Honor at the 59th edition of Seminci. The festival also recognized one of the most suggestive and imaginative films from the continent of Asia. Bong Joon Ho also offered his masterful class that was unforgettable in the Mergelina Room.

2014. Verónica Forqué and Imanol Arias, Golden Spike Honor recipients

The actress Verónica Forqué received a trophy as compensation for her brilliant career where she has performed roles that the viewers have remembered most. Imanol Arias, for his role, received the same award and was the star of the day dedicated to Spanish cinema.

2015. Juliette Binoche received the Golden Spike of Honor Award

The 60th Valladolid International Film Festival started with a tribute to Fernando Lara, the festival director for 21 editions, who received the Golden Spike of Honor. We were honored with the visit of some of the most renowned filmmakers, living history of the independent film: Robert Guédiguian, Goran Paskaljevic, Naomi Kawase, Icíar Bollaín, Fernando León de Aranoa, Josefina Molina or Gracia Querejeta, among others. To complete a remarkable edition actress Juliette Binoche received the Golden Spike of Honor Award.