69th edition. October 18-26, 2024
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‘It Snows in Benidorm’ will tomorrow open the the 65  Semincil in an edition heavily influenced by anti-Covid-19 measures

Frame of ‘Snow in Benidorm’, by Isabel Coixet
  • Spain’s Minister for Culture, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, will be attending the Festival’s opening gala, which will be joined  by numerous  personalities from the world of culture, the audiovisual sector and several institutions

The Valladolid International Film Week begins its 65th edition tomorrow with the world premiere of the film “It Snows in Benidorm” which opens an eight-day film contest marked by the health crisis generated by Covid19. This will entail a reduction in the number of films and screenings in the Festival’s programme and in the seating capacity of venues as  compared to previous editions, all in accordance with the provisions issued by the health authorities.

This year’s Festival will be screening 150 films —100 feature-lengths and 50 shorts— in its several sections: the Official Section, Meeting Point, Time of History, DOC. España, Spanish Cinema and Climate Change. For the first time, the festival will be streaming  part of its content online through the FILMIN platform. More particularly, the 2020 edition will host the ‘Film Lovers’ Window’, a section jointly organized with the Seville Festival which will replace the regular slots for kids and teens Miniminci and Seminci Joven. The films programmed within the sections Castile and Leon For Long (‘Castilla y León en Largo’) ‘ and ‘Film&Wine’ will likewise be available  on streaming,  while the tiles in the section Castile and León for Short (“Castilla y León en Corto”) and the retrospective dedicated to Britain’s Free Cinema will have both theatrical and online screenings.

Numerous international directors, producers, distributors, actresses, actors and professionals from the film industry will join the Festival’s opening gala. Isabel Coixet will be accompanied by a large representation of her film’s cast and crew, including  performers Sarita Choudhury, Edgar Vittorino and Pedro Casablanc, and  producers Esther García and Agustín Almodóvar. Also joining the Festival’s kickoff event, Valladolid will welcome a top-level representation from  the film Puppy Love, screening on Sunday in the Official Section:  the movie’s  director Michael Maxxis and the actress Paz de la Huerta.

The green carpet

The inaugural green carpet of the 65th Seminci, this year  only accessible to the media, will also feature a significant presence of Spanish actresses and actors, such as this edition’s special host or ‘godfather’  Javier Gutiérrez; Brays Efe and Greta Fernández, who will take part in the presentation of the Honorary Spike to Isabel Coixet; the presenters of the opening gala, Eva Marciel and Álex O’Dogherty; and the actresses Natalia de Molina and Ruth Díaz, (respectively representing the films The Girls and A Normal World in the section Spanish Cinema), as well as the  long-time festival friend and actress Irene Visedo.

Emma Suárez, the winner of three Goya awards, will also walk the green carpet along with the rest of the members of the International Jury, chaired this year by British producer Peter Beale, the founder of the Bafta headquarters in Los Angeles and the promoter of historic film classics like Star Wars or The Elephant Man. The Jury will also include Spanish scriptwriter Alicia Luna, the winner of a Goya  Award for Take My Eyes; producer Antonio Pérez, the founder of Maestranza Films; and France’s Stéphane Sorlat, the director of Mondex & Cie and a producer and distributor of feature films and documentaries.

The gala will be attended by the members of the rest of the official juries for sections Meeting Point (Argentina’s filmmaker and writer Enrique Gabriel, the Romanian producer Razvan Lazarovici and the Spanish producer and distributor Paco Poch); Time of History (director Sally Gutiérrez, documentary producer and director of the DocsBarcelona initiative Joan González Herrero, and the director of Scotland’s  Ibero-American Documentary Film Festival Mar Felices); DOC.España (producer and consultant Ana Amigo, multidisciplinary artist Nadia Hotait and producer and director Tomás Martínez Antolín); or Castile and León In Short (director and screenwriter Pilar García Elegido, actress Elisabeth Larena and film critic Marta Medina del Valle). The list of jurors attending the 65th edition’s opening gala is complete with the trio entrusted with granting this year’s Green Spike: senior sound technician Carlos de Hita, General Manager of Greenpeace’s  Board of Directors Office Miguel López Cabanas, and Manuel Rodríguez Fernández, a member of the grassroots confederation Ecologistas en Acción since 1985.

The gala  will be attended by the women  directors paricipating in the 4th Forum of  Women Filmmakers: Patricia Ferreira, Belen Bernuy, Belen Funés, Marta San Vicente, Maria Luisa Ortega, María del Puy Alvarado, Conchi Cascajosa, Eulalia Iglesias, Mercedes Miguel and Laura Bermejo.

The kickoff ceremony of the 65th edition will also have the backing of film directors taking part in Seminci’s numerous program sections, like Marta Figueras and Susana Cardona (Descubriendo a José Padilla); Gonzalo Recio, Héctor Domínguez-Viguera and Carlos Mora Fuentes (Tierra de leche y miel); and Gonzalo Gurrea (En la frontera de lo desconocido) —all of them showing their films in the DOC.España section. The  list of opening gala attendees is complete with directors Manuel Menchón (Words for an  End of the World) and Ana María Gomes (Bustarenga), both taking part in this year’s Time of History; David Ilundain, whose film One For All will be screening in Spanish Cinema; and Estrella Asensio de la Fuente, the director of Cosplay, screening in Castile and León for Short .

In addition, the green carpet (green is the corporate colour of Unicaja Banco, the Silver Sponsor of the 65 Seminci)  will be paraded by  a large institutional representation. With the Mayor of Valladolid Óscar Puente and the Councilor for Culture Ana Redondo acting as hosts, the opening gala will be attended by the Minister of Culture and Sports, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, Spain’s Director General of  the Film and Performing Arts Institute Beatriz Navas; the Minister of Culture and Tourism of the regional Government of Castile and León Javier Ortega, the region’s central Government’s High Commissioner, the regional Government’s representative in Valladolid Augusto Cobos, the deputy president  of Valladolid’s Provincial Council Gema Gómez, and the Republic of India’s ambassador in Spain Sanjay Verma.

Finally, the Festival’s debut night will be joined by the director of Castile and León’s Film Archive Maite Conesa; the director of the Mérida Film Festival David Garrido; and Cristina Andreu, the president of the Association of Film and Audiovisual Media Makers.

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