Tarik Saleh and Chloé Zhao with Seminci by video

The two great winners of this year’s edition thank by video the recognition given to ‘The Nile Hilton Incident’ and ‘The Rider’ during the Closing Gala of the 62nd Valladolid International Film Week

10/28/2017.- “Are you kidding? Oh my God … thank you so much,” director of The Nile Hilton Incident, Tarik Saleh, appeared up to three times at the 62nd Closing Gala. He had to do it by video, since he is filming in Los Angeles, to express his thanks for the Golden Spike, the award for Best Director and the Miguel Delibes Award for Best Screenplay. The great winner of this edition regretted not being able to be in Valladolid, despite having done “everything possible”.

“Isn’t it too much? I am proud of this film,” Saleh said in his message for the Best Director award. The Swedish director underlined the honour of being part of a festival that has given awards to creators such as Bergman and Ridley Scott, and joked about the possibility of attending the next edition, even if he has no film in the contest. The award sponsored by Ribera de Duero was presented by director and member of the International Jury Santiago Tabernero, who recalled that the decision was “absolutely unanimous”. “We have been fascinated by the film,” he added before acting on behalf of the award-winning filmmaker Guillermo Garcia López.

Previously, Ray Loriga had awarded the Miguel Delibes Award for Best Screenplay, which was received on behalf of Tarik Saleh by actress Ana Cela. President of La Aventura, Ferrán Herranz, collected the award for the Golden Spike to The Nile Hilton Incident, from the hands of the producer of Full Monty and jury-member Uberto Pasolini, who thanked Valladolid for “the food, the films, the hospitality, the sun, the friendliness… “.

The other great winner of the night: Chloé Zhao, director of The Rider, also appeared on the Calderón Theatre screen to express her thanks in the distance for the award, the Silver Spike sponsored by Renault España, which was collected in her name by Enrique González Kuhn, from Caramel Films. “Thank you for the generosity and support, and thanks to the jury for believing in the film,” said the creator of this film that addresses “a family affair” and she stated her intention to come to Spain when it opens to the public.

It was the second time that her name sounded at the closing gala since Zhao was also distinguished with the prize for the Best New Director, an award that bears the name of Pilar Miró. The Spanish director’s son, Gonzalo Miró, presented this award -which was collected by actress Eva Manjón on behalf of the winner- and he stressed that on the 20th anniversary of the his mother’s disappearance, Seminci had an edition in which half of the Official Section films had been directed by women.

Palestinian actress Lamis Ammar, a member of the Meeting Point Jury, awarded the Best Actor Award to Brady Jandreau for his role in The Rider, collected on his behalf by actress Yara Puebla. Actor Unax Ugalde did the same for the award for Best Actress, which went jointly to awarded Laetitia Dosch for Jeune femme and Agnieszka Mandat-Grabka, for Pokot, who in turn was represented by Eva Almaya.

The Best Photography Award also had a female star: Agnes Pákózdi, for Me Mzis Skivi Var Dedamicaze, who thanked the Seminci for the award: “awards of this type allow us to continue making films like these,” she stated.

Farnoosh Samedi

The Official Section awards started off with the EFA Short Film Nominee Valladolid 2017 award, which went to Kapitalistis, by Belgian director Pablo Muñoz Gomez, who was delighted to receive the recognition in his grandparents’ country. The Silver Spike for best short film was for A Drowning Man by Madhi Fliefel, and Golden Spike, sponsored by TVE Television, went to Negah by Farnoosh Samadi, who won for the second year in a row and was able to receive it personally this year.

The Spectators’ Award, which sparked some expressions of “bravo” from among those attending the Gala, was given to the story that reflects the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis in L’insulte. Awarded by the editor of El Norte de Castilla Newspaper, Carlos Aganzo, and received by actor Carlos Santos as the distributor A Contracorriente’s representative, it had the video message from its director, Lebanese Ziad Doueiri, who personally presented his film at Seminci but could not be at the gala. “I can only say: Long live the public of Valladolid!” He said from the screen on stage.

The Closing Gala, hosted by actress Marta Nieto and TVE presenter Elena Sánchez, with live music by Pía Tedesco (voice) and Néstor Ballesteros (piano), began with the Castilla y León Short Film Awards, which acknowledged ex aequo the work Vida y Muerte de Jennifer Rockwell, by Javier Rodán, and Ya No Te Quiero, by Francisco Hervada. The latter director pointed out that “the greatest enemy of cinema is time” that will condemn his work “to oblivion”, unlike the awards that allow us to remember those films.

After the Seminci Youth Awards, who were won jointly by Sing Street, by John Carney, and The Big Sick, by Michael Showalker; Maider Oleaga received the DOC.España prize for Verabredung. “We know the hard work involved in making a movie that deals with real things and how necessary they are,” he said. His is a story about “people who have to flee” and although inspired by the Basque president José Antonio Aguirre, it can be situated in present times. “We can all be refugees,” he warned before underscoring the need to “be able to listen to people.”

Everardo González

History Time brought to the stage Mexican Everardo González, to whom actress Norma Ruiz awarded the prize for La Libertad del Diablo (The Devil’s Freedom). “I am celebrating something with a film that celebrates little,” he said to remember that in his country more than 3,000 families suffer the phenomenon of the disappearances.

The section aimed at recognizing first-time directors or those who have created only their second film, Meeting Point, awarded Best Foreign Film to the short film British by the Grace of God by Sean Dunn, while the Renault Award for the Night of the Spanish Short Film went to Álvaro Gago for Matria. The Galician director wanted to demystify the image of “matriarchy” of Galicia. “The truth is that there is a lot of work to do,” he warned.

The Spectators’ Prize in the Meeting Point section, awarded by actress Ana Otero, went to As Duas Irenes (The Two Irenes), directed by the Brazilian Fabio Meira, who, accompanied by the director of photography Daniela Cajías, recalled that he had written the first version of the film precisely in Spain. The best feature film in this section was Spina, by Tereza Nvotová, an award collected by producer Milos Lochman.

The Youth and Fipresci Juries agreed on their decisions to give their prizes to the film Daha, by Onur Saylak, which completed the awards list along with the Rainbow Spike. This award was given in collaboration with the Triangle Foundation and went to Sally Potter‘s The Party for “normalizing sexual diversity”, as stressed by jury member José Ramón Rubín, who presented the award with Valladolid actor Dani Muriel.

After the traditional photo of all the winners on stage together, the closing film was screened, Sage Femme by Martin Provost, film number 235 of the 62nd edition of Seminci.

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