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SEMINCI 2019 Awards

This year’s Seminci Golden Spike is bound for Mongolia

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- Öndög, directed by Chinese filmmaker Wang Quan’an, scooped the award for Best Feature-length Film at the 64th Valladolid International Film Festival

This year’s Seminci Golden Spike is bound for Mongolia
Enrique González Kühn from Caramel Films (centre) with the Golden Spike, awarded to Wang Quan’an’s Öndög, alongside jury members Philippe Lesage and Josefina Molina (© SEMINCI)

Saturday 26 October saw the closing ceremony of the 64th Valladolid International Film Festival - Seminci. This year, the spotlight was on Öndög, a co-production between Mongolia and China written and directed by Wang Quan’an (Tuya’s Marriage) and the worthy winner of this year’s Golden Spike, the festival’s highest honour. The film also took the prize for Best Director of Photography, which went to Aymerick Pilarski. Shown in competition at the Berlinale and fêted by the jury at the recent Film Fest Ghent (read more here), it is set to be released in Spain in 2020 under the auspices of Caramel Films.

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The jury for the official competition was formed by veteran Spanish filmmaker Josefina Molina (who was recently awarded Spain’s National Cinematography Prize), Spanish author and journalist Rosa Montero, Canadian director Philippe Lesage (who struck gold in Valladolid two years ago with Genesis), Indian director Dilip Mehta, Georgian filmmaker Keti Machavariani, French producer Thierry Forte and Cuban production manager Iván Giroud. The festival’s second prize, the Silver Spike, was presented to Rio de Janeiro’s Karim Aïnouz for The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Karim Aïnouz
film profile
]
(Brazil/Germany). Aïnouz’s film also won the award for best actress, which was split between its two leads: Carol Duarte and Julia Stockler. It will be distributed in Spain by Vértigo Films, while international sales are in the capable hands of The Match Factory.

On the directing front, this year’s star was Iceland’s Rúnar Rúnarsson, whose film Echo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Rúnar Rúnarsson
film profile
]
, a co-production between Iceland, France and Switzerland (with sales handled by Jour2Fête) was selected to compete in Locarno in the summer.

The award for Best New Director went to Algerian filmmaker Mounia Meddour for her debut film Papicha [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mounia Meddour
film profile
]
, which also won the Audience Award. Papicha will be distributed in Spain by B-Team Pictures, while its sales have also been entrusted to Jour2Fête. It was a good night for Levan Gelbakhiani, who was awarded the prize for Best Actor for his star turn in And Then We Danced [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Levan Akin
film profile
]
, written and directed by Levan Akin (Spanish readers can look forward to the upcoming release of his previous film, Avalon), while the “Miguel Delibes” Award for Best Script went to the renowned duo Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne for Belgian–French co-production Young Ahmed [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
film profile
]
, which they also directed. The Dardenne brothers’ film was also declared the winner of the inaugural “José Salcedo” Award for Best Editing, for the work of Marie-Hélène Dozo and Tristan Meunier. The film’s many admirers will have another chance to catch it in Spanish cinemas thanks to Wanda Visión; Parisian company Wild Bunch is handling international sales.

The full winners’ list for Seminci 2019 is as follows:

Official Section

Golden Spike for Best Feature-Length Film
Öndög — Wang Quan’an (China/Mongolia)

Silver Spike
The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Karim Aïnouz
film profile
]
— Karim Aïnouz (Brazil/Germany)

Ribera del Duero Award for Best Director
Rúnar Rúnarsson — Echo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Rúnar Rúnarsson
film profile
]
(Iceland/France/Switzerland)

Pilar Miró Prize for Best New Director
Mounia Meddour — Papicha [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mounia Meddour
film profile
]
(France/Algeria/Belgium/Qatar)

Best Actress Award
Carol Duarte and Julia Stockler — The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão

Best Actor Award
Levan Gelbakhiani — And Then We Danced [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Levan Akin
film profile
]
(Sweden/Georgia/France)

Miguel Delibes Award for Best Script
Jean-Pierre y Luc Dardenne — Young Ahmed [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
film profile
]
(Belgium/France)

José Salcedo Award for Best Editing
Marie-Hélène Dozo and Tristan Meunier — Young Ahmed

Best Director of Photography Award
Aymerick Pilarski — Öndög

Audience Award
Papicha — Mounia Meddour

Youth Jury Award
The Farewell — Lulu Wang (USA)

Golden Spike Short
The Physics of Sorrow — Theodore Ushev (Canada)

Silver Spike Short
Movements — Dahee Jeong (South Korea)

EFA Short Film Nominee Prize
Carne — Camila Kater (Brazil/Spain)

Meeting Point Section

Meeting Point Best Feature
O fim do mundo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Basil Da Cunha
film profile
]
— Basil Da Cunha (Switzerland)

Special Mention
A Son [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mehdi M Barsaoui and Sami B…
film profile
]
— Mehdi M. Bersaoui (Tunisia/France/Lebanon/Qatar)

Meeting Point Audience Award
A Son — Mehdi M. Bersaoui

Meeting Point Young Jury Award
The Unknown Saint [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
— Alaa Eddine Aljem (Morocco/France/Qatar)

Best Foreign Short
Stay Awake, Be Ready — Pham Thien An (Vietnam/South Korea)

A Night of Spanish Shorts Prize
Summer Solstice — Carlota González-Adrio (Spain)

Time of History Section

Time of History First Prize
The Cave [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
— Feras Fayyad (Syria/Denmark/Germany/USA/Qatar)

Time of History Second Prize
Collective [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
— Alexander Nanau (Romania/Luxembourg)

Best Short Film
Frisson d’amour — Maxence Stamatiadis (France)

DOC Spain Section

Best Documentary Award
Freedom is a Big Word — Guillermo Rocamora (Uruguay/Brazil/Spain)

Special Mention
The Painting [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
— Andrés Sanz (Spain)

Other Awards

Award to a Short Film from Castile and Leon
Muedra — César Díaz Meléndez (Spain)

Dunia Ayaso Award
Belén Funes — A Thief’s Daughter [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Belén Funes
film profile
]
(Spain)

Rainbow Spike
And Then We Danced — Levan Akin
Special Mention
Let There Be Light [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marko Škop
film profile
]
— Marko Skop (Slovakia/Czech Republic)

Green Spike
Honeyland [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara K…
interview: Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir S…
film profile
]
— Ljubo Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska (North Macedonia)

Seminci Joven Award
My Extraordinary Summer with Tess [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Steven Wouterlood (Netherlands/Germany)

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(Translated from Spanish)

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