The Golden Spike that leads the Canadian director Philippe Lesage’s way

Philippe Lesage

10/27/2018.- “I make films to help the people who watch them feel less lonely. I also want to show beauty in order to give hope, and I try to be as honest and simple as possible”. These were the words of Philippe Lesage, director of Genèse, after receiving the highest award for his third feature film (The Devils-2015- and Copenhagen A Love Story-2016-), the Golden Spike Award of the 63rd edition of the Valladolid International Film Festival, together with the award to the Best Director. “Thank you for telling me that I have to continue on this path”, thanked the Canadian filmmaker, who received the awards from his admired Miguel Gomes at the Closing Gala presented by Yolanda Flores and Eva Marciel at the Calderon Theater.

These were not the only prizes that the Canadian production received, since it also won the award to the Best Actor, which was handed to its protagonist by the actress Barbara Goenaga. Théodore Pellerin was not able to attend, but he wanted to be present through a video where he thanked Lesage for “his script, his film, and his way of directing”. The actor Antonio Dechent (who participated in Seminci with Jaulas) handed the Best Actress Award to Halldóra Geirharosdóttir, who thanked through a video her role as a fighting and independent woman in Kona Fer Í Strid (The Woman of the Mountain).

The International Jury awarded the Silver Spike ex aequo to the feature films In Den Gängen (Around the corner), which is the German director Thomas Stuber’s third feature film, and The Miseducation of Cameron Post, by the American director Desiree Akhavan. The Argentinian Lucia Cedrón, a member of the jury, handed the award to Miguel Ángel Pérez, from the distributor Surtsey Films, who collected it on behalf of the In Den Gängen team. Ferrán Herranz, from the distributor La Aventura Audiovisual, was commissioned to collect it for the film The Miseducation of Cameron Post. Herranz took the chance to ask the audience at the Calderon Theater to go watch both films next year, which is when they premiere, and invite them to “go to the movies” in general.

The Audience Award of the Official Section, organized by El Norte de Castilla, went to Mi obra maestra (My Masterpiece). The actress Miriam Díaz Aroca handed it to Marisa Armenteros, from Mediapro, who was collecting it on behalf of the director Gaston Duprat. Duprat admitted through a video that this “is the most important prize” for them and highlighted “the quality” of the Festival.

Malene Choi

The Return, by Malene Choi, won the award for Best Feature Film in the Meeting Point section. Choi thanked Seminci for “working on auteur cinema” and hopes that her film “helps bring to light the topic of adoptions.” The Special Mention went to Yomeddine, by A.B. Shawky, who showed his satisfaction because this film that “started five years ago” has been able to “cross political and religious borders and travel the whole world”.

The award for Best Foreign Short Film in the Meeting Point section went to Totul e foarte departe (Everything is very far away), by the Romanian director Emanuel Pârvu, who expressed his wish to return to Seminci. And, within the section ‘The Night of Spanish Short Films’, the award went to Gusanos de Seda (Silkworms), by Carlos Villafaina. “The short film portrays the family as a refuge and as a trench”, said the director who dedicated the award to his family “for being the engine of this crazy dream that is making movies”.

The director of photography, Almudena Sánchez, handed the award for Best Director of Photography to Siew Hua Yeo, director of A Land Imagined, who took it on behalf of Hideho Urata.

In the short films section of the Official Section, Cadavre exquis (Exquisite Corpse), by French directors Stéphanie Lansaque and François Leroy, won the Golden Spike as well as the Best European Short Film Award. The filmmakers could not attend the ceremony because they are filming another movie, but they wanted to express their grattitude through a video. The Silver Spike went to the Polish production Drzenia (Shivers), by Dawid Bodza. Adam Suzin, director of photography, was commissioned to pick it up from the actress Ana Milan. “We tried to be honest in our work and it is reaching the public, crossing borders into different countries”, he said.

The ‘Miguel Delibes’ Award for Best Screenplay went to Den Skyldige (The Guilty), by Gustav Möller. The former director of TVE and ICAA, Manuel Perez Estremera, handed the prize to Enrique Gonzalez, from the distributor Caramel Films, who encouraged everyone to go watch the film at the cinema starting on November 23.

The Venezuelan film Yo imposible, by Patricia Ortega, was awarded the Rainbow Spike that is given for the third year and that was handed by the member of the jury Yolanda Rodriguez. The Seminci is the first festival to include this film. “We like to start on a good note,”, said Ortega. The short film of the Time of History section Sociumis Patimari (Prisoner Of Society), by Rati Tsiteladze, obtained the Special Mention.

Michel Toesca

The film Libre, by Michel Toesca, won the First Prize for Best Feature Film in Time of History. Guillermo Garcia, member of the jury, handed the award to the director, who expressed his hope that this film “will open many eyes in France, Europe, and throughout the world“. The Second Prize went to Our New President, by Maxim Pozdorovkin. “This film has been a satire on the reality of the media we live in today. It is an honor to receive it here, in the land of the satyr and great writer Miguel de Cervantes”, he said. The Best Short Film Award of this section went to Un monde sans bêtes (A world without beasts). Emma Benestan, the director, thanked the recognition through a video.

The DOC Spain Award went to Morir para contar, by Hernán Zin, who collected it together with actress Nerea Barros and producer Miguel Gonzalez. “It’s a film that tells the story of the reporters who work incredibly hard so that we can know what is happening in the world”, said Zin.

Milko Lazarov, director of Ága, collected the ‘Pilar Miró’ Award for Best New Director for this film that takes the viewer somewhere in the North Pole. Lazarov wished to share the award with the jury, the director of Seminci, Javier Angulo, and the staff of the Festival, where he hopes to “return”.

The president of the young jury of the Official Section, Gabriel Raposo, handed the Official Section Youth Award for The Miseducation of Cameron Post to Ferran Arranz, from the distributor La Aventura Audiovisual, who gave thanks on behalf of the director and exclaimed “Long Live the Seminci!”.

Future awards

The new Green Spike award went to Ága. Its director, Milko Lazarov, as well as the film editor, Veselka Kiryakova, collected the award. “It is important to remember every day that we are responsible for the planet”, Kiryakova advised. The jury decided to grant a Special Mention to the Canadian film Youth Unstoppable, by Slater Jewell-Kemker.

Nata Moreno and Giovanna Ribes, members of the jury of the Dunia Ayaso Award of the SGAE Foundation, awarded the film Carmen y Lola, by Arantxa Echevarría. Producer Pilar Diaz collected the award because the director is in France promoting the film. Diaz wished to emphasize that Carmen and Lola‘s crew “were 70% women” and took the chance to reclaim their role in the profession.

Belen Santos, on behalf of the jury, handed the Castille-Leon Short Film Award to Fran Parra for Ángel Caído (Fallen Angel). Love, Simon, by Greg Berlanti, won the Seminci Youth Award. And the director of La Chute de L’Empire Americain, Denys Arcand, gave thanks for the Fipresci Award through a video.

During the gala there was also time to announce new awards starting from the 64th edition. Film producer Ana Amigo announced the Pepe Salcedo Award, which next year will give recognition to the best editing.

The final touch to the gala, which was enlivened with the live performance of Glass Glassy, was the world premiere of the film Head Full of Honey, by Til Schweiger, starring Matt Dillon and Nick Nolte. Lo Malinke, as a representative of the film crew, said he is “proud” of the work they have done. “We hope that this movie that talks about love goes a long way to raise awareness of the damages of Alzheimer’s”, he said.

Family portrait Awards winners

Posted in 63rd Edition, Featured Two.