Close this search box.

The 68th Seminci awards the Espiga de Honor to the European Film Academy at its Opening Gala

Pan Nalin, on behalf of the International Jury, celebrated three good things about Valladolid: “The food, the friendship and the cinema”

It was in 1988 when forty filmmakers from the Old Continent joined forces to carry out the first European Film Awards, the seed of the current Academy (EFA), which, this afternoon, received the first Espiga de Honor of the 68th Seminci for its defense and promotion of the industry and auteur cinema. It was the Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, president of the institution and director of Green Border, in competition in the Official Selection, who received the award – “very nice”, as she acknowledged- from the hands of her Spanish counterpart, Fernando Méndez-Leite.

“It is very important that, in these days, European cinema works together,” said Holland, who shared the stage with the director of the EFA, Dutch producer Matthijs Wouter Knol, as well as Irishman Mike Downey, Romanian Ada Solomon, British Rebecca O’Brien and Spaniard Antonio Saura, all members of the executive committee.

The EFA has taken advantage of its appointment in Valladolid to hold its annual meeting within the framework of the Seminci, a commitment acquired by the previous management team and that the current one, with José Luis Cienfuegos at the helm, has reinforced with the presentation of this honorary award and a cycle of seven films nominated for the European Film Awards, to be held next December in Berlin.

Méndez-Leite also praised the role of the Seminci and Valladolid in the organization of the Goya Gala, which will take place in February, and remarked on the importance of the festival -which he has visited regularly since 1968, as he recalled- in the Spanish film scene, words that were also echoed by Antonio Saura, who described this year’s selection of films as “spectacular”.

The traditional and new sections

With the music of Guadalupe Plata as welcome and farewell and actress Marta Nieto as master of ceremonies, the Opening Gala held this afternoon-evening has served to review the contents of a week of cinema in a “city of cinema”, from the usual sections to those incorporated to the festival: Alchemy and Memory and Utopia.

The tour began with the seventeen authors competing in the Official Selection, recognized names, emerging talents “and a lot of cinema with an author’s stamp”, followed by the appearance on stage at the Teatro Calderón of the International Jury, made up of Spanish director Meritxell Colell Aparicio, British producer Mike Goodridge, Indian director Pan Nalin, director of the magazine Caimán Cuadernos de Cine and Spanish critic Jara Yáñez and director, producer and teacher Iván Granovsky.

The winner of the Golden Spike of the 66th Seminci with The Last Film, Pan Nalin, on behalf of the International Jury, celebrated three good things about Valladolid, “food, friendship and cinema” and the fact of having the “privilege of enjoying seven days of cinema”. “We need stories, we need storytellers, more than ever,” he said after lamenting the 32 wars the world is suffering.

Marta Nieto has drawn attention to an offer that goes far beyond the Official Section. “It’s worth stopping at other sections, such as Tiempo de Historia and Punto de Encuentro; without forgetting the stories set in distant latitudes under the suggestive name of Alquimias”, she stressed before stopping at “the ambitious project Memoria y Utopía”, which has been presented by the directors of the Film Libraries of Castilla y León and Catalonia.

Cinema with history

Maite Conesa, as hostess of the meeting of institutions dedicated to the preservation of the film legacy, stressed the “importance of preserving heritage and restoring the damaged”. Her counterpart in Catalonia, Esteve Riambau, recalled the presence at the festival of important film libraries and festivals dedicated to this goal. Thanks to them, “today we can see films from a hundred years ago,” he said.

New reminders for the Guest Country, India, with its cycle of twenty films; the Espigas of Honor to Charlotte Rampling, Nathalie Baye, Blanca Portillo and Kiti Mánver, in addition to the one awarded to the oenologist Raúl Pérez and the Special Award for Artistic Creation and tribute to the photographer Cristina García Rodero, as well as outstanding and innovative activities such as the Independent Film Market – MERCI Valladolid, in addition to the thanks to sponsors and collaborators without whom the Week would not be possible, have given way to the other protagonists of the day.

The team of the opening film, La contadora de películas, with its director, Lone Scherfig, at the helm, has presented a work that Antonio de la Torre has described as a “wonderful experience, a gift” that shows that “the local is universal”.  “Chile, Spain, Denmark, all places have film stories to live,” he concluded in his allusion to the nationalities of the team. Moments before the official opening of the edition, the first guests paraded down the green carpet with the films that will be shown during the week, welcomed by the festival director, José Luis Cienfuegos, and the mayor of Valladolid and president of the Seminci’s Governing Council, Jesús Julio Carnero.

Noticias relacionadas

2 de January de 2024
The public, the audiovisual industry and the media are the driving force behind the new Seminci proposals
28 de October de 2023
‘La imatge permanent’, debut feature by filmmaker Laura Ferrés, Golden Spike of a Seminci whose list of winners includes a new line-up of female directors
27 de October de 2023
Ken Loach traces “the seeds of racism” with ‘The Old Oak Tree’
27 de October de 2023
‘El maestro que prometió el mar’, by Patricia Font, joins the Official Selection out of Competition
27 de October de 2023
Cristina García Rodero, the photographer who hates being filmed, submits herself to Carlota Nelson’s camera in ‘La mirada oculta’
27 de October de 2023
The Independent Film Market closes its third edition with the intention of continuing at Seminci