The inaugural gala was marked by the humour of the presenter, Javier Veiga, and the immense emotion of Juan Antonio Bardem’s widow and two of his sons for the well-deserved tribute paid to the filmmaker
The 67th edition of the Valladolid International Film Week held its opening gala this Saturday, 22 October 2022, an event whose colour and brightness was not tarnished even by the rain at the beginning of the afternoon and which marks the start of eight days full of cinema in which there will be no shortage of special cycles, such as those dedicated to Juan Antonio Bardem and Pier Paolo Pasolini on the centenary of their birth, or the retrospective on the Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu, as well as important screenings such as that of La aldea maldita, considered the first masterpiece of Spanish cinema, which will be screened at this Seminci in an extended version with 12 minutes of previously unseen footage. The event par excellence of the opening of Seminci was peppered with humour, a lot of humour, something that could not be missing considering that the host of the gala was the Galician actor Javier Veiga, who showed great skill on stage and won the applause and complicity of the audience.
The opening gala of the 67th edition of the Seminci began to the rhythm of “Por el bulevar de los suelos rotos” performed by Los Secretos and punctuated by the ironic humour of Veiga, who did not hesitate to describe Valladolid as “the Mecca of auteur cinema” before requesting the presence on stage of the Festival’s godmother, the Cordovan actress Macarena Gómez. She was in charge of bringing to the audience the message of the director of the Valladolid International Film Week, Javier Angulo, who in his traditional letter alluded to the return to normality as “the great challenge” of this 67th edition. An edition which, he also remarked, is framed against a backdrop of war and economic crisis which “do not frighten us because cinema is the best medicine to combat pessimism”.
In his letter, Angulo also said that in this context, intelligent and funny comedies have been difficult to find in the 2022 film harvest, but, nevertheless, the year does leave us more and more often with stories of sensitivity and realism, of all ages and nationalities, which give lessons in generosity and humanity. Thus, he stressed that the programme of this 67th Seminci is “full of films that move us and stir our feelings”, of “established names” and “highly talented newcomers”, of an “ever-increasing presence of female filmmakers”. The table, concluded the Festival director in his message, “is served with the best cinematographic menu. Bon appetit!
And from one actress to another actress. Eva Marciel from Valladolid then took the stage to share the presentation duties with Javier Veiga and present the 21 feature films in the Official Selection, among which, she summarised, there are family dramas, a parable about the world seen through the eyes of a donkey, works that deal with the taboo of homosexuality in Morocco or the harshness of life in rural China, and among which there is also the Festival’s comedy, the Argentinian Clementina.
Kate O’Toole’s Spanish-language wink
Marciel was also in charge of introducing the members of the International Jury, who, led by the film, TV and theatre actress, as well as member of the board of directors of the Galway Film Fleadh festival and of the Irish Film Board, Kate O’Toole, received a warm welcome from the audience on stage in the form of applause. The President winked at the event in Valladolid with a “good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen” and then emphasised in her mother tongue the wide variety of nationalities of the films in the Official Selection, including one from Ukraine (Pamfir), which should make us “proud”.
“Thank you for having me here. Your land is beautiful”, were the words with which O’Toole left the stage together with the rest of the members of the International Jury, Jorge Arriagada, a Chilean composer linked to film since 1977; the Argentinean film critic and image and sound designer Pablo de Vita; the screenwriter and film and television director Patricia Ferreira; the Mexican sound designer Martín Hernández; the director, screenwriter and producer Gracia Querejeta, and Marie-Pierre Richard, programmer/curator of the French Film Festival at the Irish Film Institute in Dublin and the East Asia Film Festival in Ireland.
The most emotional moment
In addition to reviewing the different sections with videos accompanied by the music of the Glass Glassy quintet, as well as the variety of events included in the programme of the 67th Seminci, the gala experienced a particularly emotional moment when Javier Veiga alluded to the “heartfelt” tribute to Juan Antonio Bardem and called to the stage his widow, María Aguado, and two of his children, Juan and María, who, overcome with emotion, thanked Javier Angulo, Seminci and Fernando Lara for this remembrance. “Thank you for the love you have shown for the memory of my husband”, said the woman who shared more than 50 years of union with the filmmaker, in tears.
There was also emotion at the moment of the video tribute to the personalities of film and culture who have left us in the last year, including names that unleashed applause from the audience, such as the writer Almudena Grandes, or the actor Juan Diego.
A good handful of applause was also given to the singer Amaia after her magnificent piano performance of the central song of No mires a los ojos, the opening film whose director, Félix Viscarret, also appeared on stage along with the cast of performers in the film, Paco León, Leonor Watling, Alex Brendemühl, Juan Diego Botto, María Romanillos and Susana Abaitua; the writer Juan José Millás, on whose work ‘Desde la sombra’ the film is based, and other members of the technical team.
And, as it began, the gala ended, to the rhythm of “Vuelvo a tu lado” by Los Secretos, before giving way to the screening of the inaugural film in a packed Teatro Calderón.
The opening gala was preceded by the most glamorous event of the event, the parade of the attendees on the green carpet. Despite the rain, smiles, elegance and good humour were worn by actors and actresses, directors, members of different guilds of the film world and representatives of different institutions.