Vitalina Varela shines bright at the Gijón Film Festival
- The latest effort by Portuguese maestro Pedro Costa continues raking in the awards, having scooped the top prize at the Spanish gathering, where other European films also excelled
After having scooped the Golden Leopard at the most recent Locarno Film Festival and racked up further wins at other more recent festivals, such as France’s La-Roche-sur-Yon, the latest (and inimitable) work by outstanding Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa, Vitalina Varela [+see also:
film profile], has come out on top at the 57th Gijón International Film Festival. The jury, made up of directors Andrés Duque and Meritxell Colell, director of the Chicago Film Festival Mimi Plauché, distributor Christophe Mercier and musician Juan Pedro Martín “Pucho”, the frontman of the band Vetusta Morla, handed the Principality of Asturias Award for Best Feature in the Official Section to this new instalment in the Portuguese helmer’s cinematic world, an impressive chiaroscuro about mourning and despair in the Cape Verdean immigrant community in Lisbon, narrated through the moving figure of its protagonist. On the technical level, the creative process behind this chiaroscuro, courtesy of Leonardo Simões, was also rewarded by means of the Best Cinematography Award.
In addition, other non-European films stood out on the winners’ list in the Official Section, such as Saturday Fiction by China’s Lou Ye and Sword of Trust by US director Lynn Shelton, but European output also reared its head in the form of Rounds [+see also:
interview: Stephan Komandarev
film profile] by Bulgaria’s Stephan Komandarev, which received the Best Actress Award for the performance by Irini Zhambonas. Meanwhile, a special spot on the awards list was reserved for a documentary hailing from Asturias itself (in co-production with the UK), Work, or to Whom Does the World Belong [+see also:
film profile], in which first-time director Elisa Cepedal plunges into the world of the region’s miners. The movie picked up the Special Jury Prize.
Spanish cinema shone especially bright on the winners’ list, as the short film Lonely Rivers, directed by DoP Mauro Herce, triumphed in its respective category of the Official Section. Meanwhile, the Spanish Cinema Jury Prize for Best Feature, which comes with the RCService Award for its director, was conferred upon the faux documentary My Mexican Bretzel [+see also:
film profile] by Nuria Giménez, which was also singled out with the ALMA Award for Best Screenplay for a Spanish Film. In addition, Enero [+see also:
film profile], the directorial debut by photographer Ione Atenea, took home none other than the Audience Award for Best European Feature Debut.
Since the arrival of Alejandro Díaz Castaño at its helm, the Gijón Film Festival has managed to establish a curious consensus between the jury members and the film critics, and this year has been no different, as awards have so far been bestowed upon titles by Eugène Green, Hong Sang-Soo and, now, Portuguese master Costa.
Here is the list of the main award winners:
Official Section - Feature Films
Lou Ye - Saturday Fiction (China)
AISGE Award for Best Actor
Marc Maron - Sword of Trust (USA)
Lynn Shelton - Sword of Trust
Leonardo Simões - Vitalina Varela
“Gil Parrondo” Award for Best Art Direction
Zhong Cheng - Saturday Fiction
Official Section - Short Films
Best Short Film
Lonely Rivers – Mauro Herce (Spain)
Cavalcade - Johann Lurf (Austria)
Youth Jury Award
Leaking Life - Shunsaku Hayashi (Japan)
Luke Lorentzen - Midnight Family (Mexico/US)
ALMA Award for Best Script of a Spanish Feature Film
Nuria Giménez - My Mexican Bretzel
RTPA Award for Best Asturian Feature Film
Cuca (Retrato de una mujer) - Carlos Navarro (Spain)
Swab 2000: Steve Wynn & Australian Blonde, live at Moby Dick Club - Aure Roces (Spain)
Asturies Curtiumetraxe RTPA Award
Gniele baila - Ana Izarzugaza (Spain)
(Translated from Spanish)
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