10/21/2017. – Today the Valladolid International Film Week raised the curtain of its 62nd edition with the celebration of both auteur cinema and the role of the female filmmaker, as well as the very existence of film festivals, during the Opening Gala, presented by José Corbacho and Marta Nieto, which also paid tribute to the Mexican director Arturo Ripstein and Madrid actress Marisa Paredes.
The gala began with José Corbacho doing a version of the classic of the folk song “Soy minero” (I’m a Miner) in the key of auteur cinema and with numerous winks and nods to the Valladolid Film Week and its spectators, after which followed a monologue on the differences between auteur cinema and commercial cinema.
Then, actress Paz Vega, maid of honor of the 62nd edition, read the welcome letter from the director, Javier Angulo, in which he called for support “from institutions that claim to love culture” so that film festivals remain “the last trench for a cinema that lives in constant evolution and shock, seemingly without limits.”
Marta Nieto reviewed some of the sections, cycles and honors of this edition, such as the Spike of Honor for Jose Luis García Sánchez and the memory of Basilio Martín Patino on the Day of Cinema of Castilla y León, and the cycles on Jean Pierre Melville and 50 years of the Barcelona School.
Director Jorge Grau, actress Serena Vergano and the director of the Film Archives of Catalunya, Esteve Riambau, took the stage to present this retrospective. Riambau noted that “the Barcelona School put a note of color in a world of black and white.”
British director Sally Potter spoke to the large audience that crowded the Calderón Theatre on behalf of the filmmakers participating in the Official Section. She said – in Spanish – that “it is a great honor to be at this festival and to participate with so many directors and very interesting films.”
At the Calderón Theatre, members of the International Jury also took the stage: Ray Loriga, novelist, screenwriter and Spanish film director; scriptwriter and director Santiago Tabernero; Claire Dobbin, president of the Melbourne International Festival; producer Uberto Pasolini and Spanish producer Emma Lustres, who recognized that they have “a complicated challenge” ahead of them and thanked the festival for “continuing to bet on auteur cinema for 62 years.”
The festival provided commentary on director Arturo Ripstein, who received the Spike of Honor from his great friend, the also honored actress Marisa Paredes. The tribute to the Mexican director was attended by his colleagues, directors José Luis García Sánchez and Sergio Cabrera, who said that Ripstein is “a great filmmaker and a figure that has enlightened all the Ibero-American directors.”
The honoree thanked this recognition, “I accept this with enthusiasm and some humility, although not much,” he joked, while thanking the Festival and the director, Javier Angulo, for “making visible, even if only for a while, the invisible directors.”
For her part, Marisa Paredes was supported by, in addition to Risptein, to whom she gave the Spike of Honor, director Jaime Chávarri and her daughter, actress María Isasi. She emotionally remembered her father, Antonio Isasi-Isasmendi, recently deceased, saying, “He gave me many valuable things, but the best thing he did was fall in love with the most incredible woman in the world.” Her mother, Marisa Paredes, “taught me about the humanity within the artist, to fight for my rights, humility and the value of friendship.”
The surprise was the on-screen appearance of a video sent by the filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, with whom Marisa Paredes has worked on titles such as Entre tinieblas (Dark Habits), Tacones lejanos (High Heels), La flor de mi secreto (The Flower of My Secret), Todo sobre mi madre (All About My Mother) y La piel que habito (The Skin I Live In). “I saw Marisa act in the theater before becoming a film director and I always dreamed of working with her; the day I achieved it, she far exceeded my dreams,” he said.
The honoree thanked everybody’s kind words, as well as the festival for awarding her with the Spike of Honor, an honorary prize that precedes the Goya of Honor which the Cinema Academy will award in a few months. “The awards are received with great emotion, but also with the idea that there are many other people who deserve them but who are not here.” “I’m here,” she added, “because in this profession, besides being good at your trade, you have to be lucky, and I have had the immense fortune to have good directors, good stories and good characters that have made me who I am.”
The gala continued with a review of the rest of sections – Meeting Point, History Time, Spanish Cinema, Icelandic cycle, Cinema & Wine, Miniminci and Young Seminci – and remembering cinema professionals who died in the last twelve months. The public broke into applause when the portraits of Luz Cobos, Eduardo Rodríguez Merchán and Juan Antonio Pérez Millán, three professionals linked to the Festival for many years who left us recently, appeared on the screen.
The presenter of the Supernovas cycle noted that this year only 25% of the films screened were directed by women and that only 28% of the main protagonists are female. Journalist Jara Yáñez, coordinator of the Forum of Women in Spanish Cinema that Seminci celebrates this Monday, opted to promote parity in the industry because “promoting referents of equality is essential.”
Lastly, the team from the film The Bookshop took the stage, led by its director, Isabel Coixet, who presented the film surrounded by actor Bill Nighy and producers Jaime Banacolocha, Adolfo Blanco and Albert Sagalés.
José Corbacho topped it all off with another musical number, this time a version of Raphael’s Como yo te amo (How I Love You), with lyrics that were a plea in support of auteur cinema.