The Seminci will award an Honorary Spike to the European Film Academy for its defense of auteur creation

The Seminci will award an Honorary Spike to the European Film Academy for its defense of auteur creation

Presentación de la 68 Seminci
The Seminci will award an Honorary Spike to the European Film Academy for its defense of auteur creation

The festival will pay tribute to the EFA at the Opening Gala of an edition with special emphasis on the Academy, which will hold its annual meeting Valladolid will host a cycle of seven films -including four Oscar nominees from their respective countries- and various activities

For an international festival like Seminci, in which auteur cinema is the cornerstone, it is almost an obligation to recognize not only its filmmakers but also those who make it possible. In the 68th edition of the Valladolid International Film Festival, the European Film Academy (EFA) will occupy a prominent place in its program due to its usual defense of this type of creations.

In addition to holding the annual meeting of its Executive Committee during the next edition of the festival, with the presence of a large institutional delegation, the Seminci has designed a whole range of activities aimed at both professionals and the public. These will include a cycle that will show seven films that take the pulse of the strength of continental auteur cinema, as well as professional sessions open to the public. The EFA will also receive an Honorary Spike in recognition of its support for independent production, which will be collected by its president, Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, at the Opening Gala.

Presentación de la 68 Seminci

The honorary recognitions of the Valladolid International Film Week will be completed with another Espiga de Honor to the Spanish actress Blanca Portillo, in addition to those awarded to actresses Charlotte Rampling, Nathalie Baye and Kiti Mánver. Portillo will receive recognition for a career that has garnered unanimous praise during the Spanish Film Gala to be held on Monday, October 23, just before the world premiere of Paula Ortiz‘s Teresa, in which the honoree gives life to St. Teresa of Jesus.

The call of the great filmmakers, at the source

The tribute to the European Film Academy recognizes the role played by an institution that operates in 52 countries and whose 4,600 members work with the common goal of “uniting all those who love European cinema”. The origins of the EFA date back to 1988, when West Berlin was European Capital of Culture and hosted the first European Film Awards. At the end of the gala, where Ingmar Bergman received the Honorary Award, István Szabó took the stage to read an appeal signed by the filmmakers present (Attenborough, Bergman, Wenders, Angelopoulos, Bertolucci, Fellini, Goretta, Makavejev, Szabó, Rohmer, Oliveira, Menzel, Chabrol….) calling for the strengthening of film culture in Europe and the creation of a European Film Academy, officially founded in 1989 with Bergman as its first president.

The Seminci has been collaborating with the Academy since the creation, in 2000, of the UIP Award (now a category of the European Film Awards) for the best short film, which allows the winner to be nominated for the annual EFA award. In this framework, the Executive Committee of the Academy will meet in Valladolid thanks to the agreement reached in January of this year, during the period of the previous director of the festival, Javier Angulo, and will participate in the opening ceremony of the festival. The current president of the European Film Academy is Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, who is also competing in the Official Selection with Green Border. The president of the Council is Irish-British producer Mike Downey and its executive director is Dutchman Matthijs Wouter Knol. On the horizon, this year’s European Film Awards, to be held on December 9 in Berlin.

Activities for the public and professionals

The Seminci celebration of this meeting will bring to Valladolid some of the continent’s most prominent filmmakers, who will participate in several activities focused on both professionals and the public. Specifically, on Sunday, October 22, the Seminci will host several meetings with academics at the Patio Herreriano Museum. At 12:00 noon, “Moving your films beyond their borders of origin” will begin, open to the general public and aimed at professionals taking their first steps in the film scene and with special attention to the regional industry, with the presence of producers Mike Downey, Mira Staleva and Antonio Saura.

At 4:30 pm, in an event open to the public, producers Ada Solomon, member of the executive committee of the European Film Academy, together with Spanish Andrea Queralt – co-producer of Lo que arde (Oliver Laxe, 2019) and co-screenwriter with Víctor Iriarte of Sobre todo de noche – will talk about “Las grandes productoras del cine de auteur” and highlight the role of women in European production. 

In addition, another outstanding producer, Joanna Szymanska, will offer her experience to the participants in the Castilla y León New Talent / Open ECAM Award activities, in a meeting organized on Monday 23rd, at Casa Revilla, for those registered.

A cycle with seven films

On the occasion of this important presence of the EFA in Valladolid, the festival will organize this 68th edition a cycle dedicated to the Academy, composed of seven films, signed by some of the fundamental authors of continental cinema, such as Aki Kaurismäki, Matteo Garrone, Jonathan Glazer or Christian Petzold, as well as the last Palme d’Or of the Cannes Festival, Anatomy of a Fall, by Justine Triet.

The selected titles -four of which are Oscar contenders for their respective countries- are the aforementioned Anatomy of a Fall (Justine Triet), a puzzle that unravels the events surrounding the death of a man after plunging from a window of the family home through the testimony of his wife, accused of murder; Red Sky (Christian Petzold), winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Berlinale about a group of young friends gathered at a vacation home by the Baltic Sea that is slowly being surrounded by the flames of a forest fire; or Fallen Leaves (Aki Kaurismäki), winner of the Jury Prize at Cannes and Finland’s Oscar nominee, tells the story of the encounter between a supermarket stocker and an alcoholic operator whose paths cross at a karaoke bar.

Also part of the cycle is The Universal Theory (Timm Kröger), a film screened in the Official Selection of the Venice Film Festival that poses an espionage intrigue about a group of scientists holding a congress on quantum physics in the Swiss Alps; The Promised Land (Nikolaj Arcel), premiered at the Venice Film Festival, is a historical epic set in 18th century Denmark starring Mads Mikkelsen (Another Round, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny); The Zone of Interest (Jonathan Glazer), winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes and the UK’s Oscar nominee, is one of the most lucid and harrowing looks at the Holocaust through the family life of Rudolf Höss, a Nazi commandant at Auschwitz whose home is located just a few miles from the concentration camp; and I Captain (Matteo Garrone), winner of the Silver Lion for Best Director and Best Emerging Actor at Venice and Italy’s nominee for the Oscars, which depicts the epic of Seydou and Moussa on their journey from Dakar to the Sicilian coast.

The program of the 68th Seminci includes numerous titles in several of its sections that have been chosen as pre-candidates for the European Film Awards. The Official Selection includes Green Border (Agnieszka Holland), The Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), The Four Daughters (Kaouther Ben Hania), The Old Oak Tree (Ken Loach), How to Have Sex (Molly Manning Walker), The Abduction (Marco Bellocchio) and Teachers’ Lounge (Ilker Çatak). Punto de Encuentro programs the pre-candidates Animal (Sofia Exarchou), Stepne (Maryna Vroda) and Sweet Dreams (Ena Sendijarevic); in Tiempo de Historia compete Between Revolutions (Vlad Petri) and Notre corps (Claire Simon), and in Alquimias, Femme (Sam H. Freeman, Ng Choon Ping). The short film 27 (Flóra Anna Buda), competing for the Golden Spike in the Official Selection, is also a pre-candidate.