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Seminci completes its Official Competition Section with ‘Desconocidos’, the new film by Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott, and ‘Sala de profesores’, the big winner of the German Film Awards

The Official Selection will include out of competition the world premiere of Cristina García Rodero: La mirada oculta, with which Seminci will pay tribute to the pioneer of Spanish photography

The festival will include in its program another world premiere: No, no quiero, by Belén Santos, the first non-fiction film produced by Vertigo Films

The films Desconocidos (All os Us Strangers) by British director Andrew Haigh; Sala de profesores, by German director Ilker Çatak, and The Shadowless Tower, by Chinese director Zhang Lu will complete the selection of feature films in competition in the Official Selection of the 68th International Film Festival of Valladolid, which will also program the world premieres of two other Spanish productions.

Within the Official Selection, out of competition, the festival will screen Cristina García Rodero: La mirada oculta, a film by Carlota Nelson about the first Spanish photographer at the Magnum Agency, which will also be accompanied by a tribute to the artist from La Mancha. Seminci will also include in its program a special screening of No, no quiero, by Belén Santos, the first non-fiction film produced by Vértigo Films, which denounces the reality of forced marriages in Spain.

The actor Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott star in Andrew Haigh‘s new film, All of Us Strangers, which participates in competition in the Official Selection, to which the British author returns after presenting 45 Years in the 60th edition and winning the Best Actress Award for Charlotte Rampling. All of Us Strangers is his most personal film, in which he freely adapts the novel Strangers, by Taichi Yamada, to combine two themes addressed in his previous films: fleeting passion that leads to something deeper (Weekend) and the precarious balance of marriage (45 Years).

Adam is a screenwriter who, after a chance encounter with his mysterious neighbor, returns to his childhood home where a painful reunion between the living and the dead takes place when he discovers his parents, who died 30 years earlier in an accident, as if nothing had happened and looking the same age and appearance as on the day of their death. Strangers stars Paul Mescal (Aftersun, Creatures of God, Gladiator 2), Andrew Scott (1917, Fleabag), Claire Foy (First Man, The Crown, Millennium: What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger) and Jamie Bell (BIllie Elliot, The Adventures of Tintin, Rocketman). The Walt Disney Company Iberia (Searchlight Pictures) is distributing the film in Spain.

Germany’s Oscar submission, Ilker Çatak‘s Teachers’ Lounge (Stambul Garden) was the winner of the German Film Awards – including Best Film, Director, Actress and Screenplay – as well as the CICAE and Europa Cinemas Awards in the Panorama section of the Berlinale. Leonie Benesch (The White Ribbon, The Persian Teacher, The Crown) plays a young, idealistic teacher starting her first job at a high school. A petty theft that the teacher decides to investigate on her own triggers a series of consequences in which prejudice, the limits of privacy, bullying and the inquisitorial role of social networks intersect. A Contracorriente Films is in charge of the film’s distribution.

The Shadowless Tower, the last title in competition in the Official Selection, refers to the Buddhist temple of the White Tower in Beijing, whose eccentric design makes it difficult to see its shadow. Chinese filmmaker Zhang Lu (Mang zhong, Dooman River, Yanagawa), winner of awards at the Berlin and Cannes festivals, uses this metaphor to narrate this humanist and tender story, premiered at the Berlinale, about a gastronomic critic of small restaurants in decline, divorced and lonely, whose gray life is altered when a young photographer who works with him encourages him to resume his relationship with a distant daughter and get closer to her father, whom he has not seen for over forty years. The tower, symbol of a protagonist who feels that he casts no shadow on the present, is also the lighthouse that guides the character through his emotional labyrinth.

World premieres and tribute to Cristina García Rodero

Out of competition, the Official Selection will offer the world premiere of Cristina García Rodero: La mirada oculta, a film in which filmmaker Carlota Nelson approaches the work and figure of the visual artist from La Mancha, the first Spanish photographer to be part of the Magnum Agency, National Photography Award and Medal of Merit in Fine Arts. The film accompanies García Rodero through different popular festivals in Spain and India, as well as her exhibitions and daily work, and reflects her particular way of working, which flees from the cliché and the exotic to look behind the obvious. To do so, she shares the emotions and feelings of those portrayed, a style that for more than half a century has forged the prestige of a photographer capable of seeing the human soul behind the looks and gestures.

Seminci will present a special award for Artistic Creation to Cristina García Rodero, who will come to Valladolid to attend the premiere of a film that pays tribute to a pioneer in portraying how life, love, beauty and death are celebrated in the world. Wanda Films produces and distributes the film in Spain.

Seminci programs as a special screening the world premiere of No, no quiero, the second feature film by Spanish filmmaker Belén Santos (Los dioses de verdad tienen huesos), which documents and denounces the reality of forced marriages in Spain through the testimonies of four young women forced to marry men they did not know, by family imposition. Aya and Amy are of African descent born in Catalonia, Jamila is of Moroccan origin born in southern Spain and Maria comes from Bangladesh but grew up in Badalona. Each of them suffered, in different ways, this type of modern slavery, which is a crime in our Penal Code. The filmmaker gives them a voice, so that they can tell how they were able to rebel, help themselves and confront their families, abandoning everything to start a new life. Vertigo Films produces and distributes this feature film in Spain.

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