Seminci launches its Education Department to encompass and permanently develop innovative training proposals aimed at the school population

The European project Young Programmers – Moving Cinema is added as a novelty to the Miniminci, Young Seminci and Ventana Cinéfila sections

The Valladolid International Film Festival premieres this 2023 Seminci Education, a specific and permanent department that encompasses the educational proposals already consolidated in previous editions -the Ventana Cinéfila initiative and the Miniminci and Young Seminci sections-, as well as new innovative educational proposals, such as the European project Young Programmers – Moving Cinema.

The educational aspect is one of the pillars of the project of the new Seminci Management, so that not only will numerous initiatives aimed at the school population be organized during the 68th edition, but this department will promote and develop other activities throughout the year, both in Valladolid city and province, as well as in the rest of the Autonomous Community, and will be permanently at the disposal of educational centers.

The activities aimed at the school population that Seminci will develop from this 68th edition are the traditional Miniminci and Seminci Joven sections, which will once again take students from all over Castilla y León to the cinemas; the Ventana Cinéfila program of cinema in the classroom and, as a novelty, the European Young Programmers project.

For the first time, Seminci is joining forces with the A Bao A Qu Association to promote Young Programmers Seminci – Moving Cinema in the framework of the 68th edition. Through this program, a group of up to 15 young people between the ages of 15 and 20 will meet and participate in the process of selecting and curating a film that will be part of the festival.

To this end, the students will meet for seven face-to-face sessions between September 29 and October 20 to view three titles pre-selected by the Seminci programmers and the Moving Cinema team. Afterwards, they will discuss in depth and reach a consensus on the programming criteria, both cinematographic (conception of the shots, staging, script, photography, editing and sound) and cultural, thematic and narrative, to finally select the film, which they will accompany on its journey through the festival: the young people will be responsible for its presentation to the public and the subsequent discussion with the filmmakers.

Miniminci and Young Seminci are the sections with which the Festival pursues one of its fundamental objectives: to promote cinephilia in the new generations and build the audience of the future with a critical and restless look, capable of understanding the challenges of the present through cinema. In this way, the festival reaffirms its commitment to the creation of new audiences through these two sections that, on the one hand, show schoolchildren the cinema as a useful tool to make them think and understand their own crossroads -themes such as integration and coexistence, respect for the environment or the challenge of finding one’s own identity are key in the programming – through titles with an accessible and universal language, as well as offering the opportunity for the youngest to enjoy the films in the movie theater, immersing themselves in their expressive aesthetic proposals, participating in an intense collective experience and getting to know the creators first hand in colloquiums after the screenings.

Miniminci: one world premiere and four national premieres

Miniminci, the section aimed at primary schools, has become a fundamental space in the context of Spanish festivals for cinema dedicated to children. This year, Miniminci will present Robot Dreams, the first foray into animation by Pablo Berger (Blancanieves, Torremolinos 73), a film destined to be the most important animated film in Spanish cinema this season. Premiered at the Cannes Festival and winner of the Grand Prix Contrechamp at the Annecy Festival, Berger adapts to the big screen the popular graphic novel by Sara Varon, in which Dog, a lonely dog living in Manhattan, decides to build himself a robot to be his friend, a friendship that grows until they become inseparable to the rhythm of New York in the eighties. BTeam Pictures is distributing the film in Spain.

Miniminci will offer four national premieres and one world premiere, the Spanish film La Navidad en sus manos, by Joaquín Mazón (La vida padre, Cuerpo de élite), a comedy for all audiences that shows what would happen if one year Santa Claus could not keep his Christmas Eve appointment with all the children in the world. The film, distributed by A Contracorriente Films, stars Ernesto Sevilla (Descarrilados, Lo dejo cuando quiera), Pablo Chiapella (Llenos de gracia), the child Unax Hayden (Irati, 20.000 especies de abejas) and a funny Santiago Segura (El día de la bestia, Padre no hay más que uno) in the role of Santa Claus.

The section will premiere in Spain the feature film Nina and the Secret of the Hedgehog, presented out of competition at the Annecy Festival and at the International Animated Film Market (MIFA) 2023, about Nina, a 10-year-old girl, worried when her father is fired and stops telling her every night the funny stories of a hedgehog, decides to organize with her friend Mehdi the search for a hidden treasure. The film by Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli, César nominees for A Cat in Paris, features the iconic voices of Audrey Tautou (Amélie, The Da Vinci Code) and Guillaume Canet (The Beach, Minions) in its original version. Pack Magic is distributing the film in Spain.

Inseparables, by Jérémie Degruson (La casa mágica, La familia Bigfoot) arrives at Seminci after its premiere in competition at the Annecy Festival and the Shanghai International Film Festival. The film, distributed by A Contracorriente Films for Spain, tells the story of the friendship between a runaway Don Quixote puppet with a boundless imagination and DJ Doggy Dog, an abandoned stuffed animal. Their paths cross in Central Park and they come together against all odds for an epic adventure in New York City.

The fourth premiere is Enzo D’Alò’s Mary and the Forest Fairy, a film programmed in the Berlinale’s Generation Kplus 2023 section and which in its original version features the voices of Sharon Horgan (Pulling, Catastrophe) and Brendan Gleeson (Inishereen’s Souls in Sorrow, The Irishman -Best Actor Award at the 56th Seminci-, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). The film, a co-production of seven European countries that adapts the novel of the same name by Roddy Doyle and distributed in Spain by Surtsey Films, is a journey that spans several generations of women from the same family, starring Mary, an 11-year-old girl who dreams of becoming a cook, and her grandmother, with whom she has a very special relationship and who encourages her to pursue her dream.

The Miniminci program will be completed with the films Tony, Shelly and the Magic Lantern, by Filip Posivac, a funny and touching story of friendship, diversity and transition from childhood to adulthood, winner of the special jury prize at the Annecy Festival and distributed by MODIband; and the film programmed at Meeting Point Sirocco and the Kingdom of the Winds, by Benoît Chieux, which opened the Annecy Festival and received the audience award.

Miniminci, which will also offer a program of six international animated short films, will choose its official image through the school poster contest, will hold colloquiums with some of the film crews and will provide schools with didactic guides for each film so that teachers can work with their students before and after the screening.

Young Seminci

Young Seminci, a section conceived for a wide age range -from high school students to university and beyond- will offer a series of formally innovative films with stimulating discourses that, for the most part, also participate in other sections, indicative of their high quality standards. This section, of a competitive nature, will award a prize of 6,000 euros to the director of the winning film, chosen by a vote of the schoolchildren attending the screenings.

Young Seminci will show titles programmed in the Official Selection such as El amor de Andrea (Manuel Martín Cuenca) and La contadora de películas (Lone Scherfig); Gasoline Rainbow (Bill Ross IV and Turner Ross); Sirocco y el reino de los vientos (Benoît Chieux), participating in Punto de Encuentro; or Gallo rojo, by Enrique García-Vázquez, which premieres in Castilla y León in Largo.

The rest of the titles programmed are Drylongso, by Caulen Smith, a Spirit Award-winning production that addresses numerous issues related to race, gender and identity through the story of a young art student who begins a series of portraits with her Polaroid in the face of the dizzying pace at which the young black men around her are dying; El sueño de la sultana, an animated fable directed by Isabel Herguera and distributed by Filmin, inspired by a feminist science fiction tale written in Bengal in 1905; Croma Kid, by Pablo Chea, a Dominican film premiered at the Rotterdam Festival that mixes fantasy and drama about a boy who must deal with the disappearance of his parents in another dimension after a magic trick gets out of control.

Young Seminci will also program The Siren, an animated feature set in 1980 and premiered in the Panorama section of the Berlinale, in which Iranian director Sepideh Farsi tells a moving anti-war story against the backdrop of the siege of the Iranian city of Abadan by Iraqi forces; Axel Danielson and Maximilen Van Aetryck’s And the King Said, What a Fantastic Machine, presented in the World Cinema Documentary section of the Sundance Film Festival, the film distributed by Filmin chronicles how we have gone from capturing the image of a backyard to a multi-billion dollar content industry in just 200 years, from the camera obscura and the Lumière brothers to YouTube and the world of social media.

The selection of titles competing in Seminci Joven is completed with Blue Giant, a Japanese anime directed by Yuzuru Tachikawa and distributed by Selecta Visión that adapts the Japan Media Arts Festival Award-winning manga of the same title, about young Dai Miyamoto, who puts all his passion into the saxophone to become the best jazz musician in the world, with the soundtrack composed by virtuoso Hiromi Uehara; and Bulbul Can Sing, by Indian filmmaker Rima Das, who proposes a deeply honest portrait of teenagers in rural India starring Bulbul, Bonny and Suman, three young people who discover love, the awakening of sexuality and the spirit of rebellion in the face of a group of villagers who consider their behavior scandalous.

The Seminci Education program is completed with the Ventana Cinéfila project, a free online film channel on the FILMIN platform aimed at educational centers that seeks to promote film education for future spectators developed by Seminci and the Seville, Huelva, Malaga and Sitges festivals, brought together under the Profestivales21 brand.

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