Anhell69 and All My Scars Vanish in the Wind emerge victorious at Zinebi
by Matthew Boas
- Colombian cinema has shone bright at the 64th edition of the Basque film festival, which celebrated Theo Montoya’s feature, and Angélica Restrepo and Carlos Velandia’s short
It’s a wrap for the 64th edition of Zinebi, the Bilbao-based festival centring on documentaries and short films. During the light-hearted awards ceremony on Friday night, which was interspersed with a range of entertaining performances and took place in the grandiose surroundings of the Arriaga Theatre, a slew of prizes was handed out by the various juries and the head of the festival, Vanesa Fernández Guerra.
Kicking things off was incomparable Catalan auteur Albert Serra, who came on stage to pick up his Honorary Mikeldi after Agnieszka Holland did likewise at the festival’s opening ceremony. Colombian cinema then went on to dominate the awards list, as the feature Anhell69 [+see also:
film profile] (Colombia/Romania/France/Germany) by Theo Montoya, a hybrid film blending fiction and documentary, reality and imagination, which premiered in Venice’s International Film Critics’ Week, was crowned with the €12,000 Grand Prize in the ZIFF International Competition – Zinebi First Film. Montoya was not present physically but sent an emotional video message in acceptance of the award. In its statement, the jury pointed out the movie’s “brilliant, poetic structure” and its “spectacular, inventive and formal hybridisation”. Diana Bustamante’s Our Movie (Colombia/France), which had its European premiere at Zinebi, snagged a Special Mention for the same prize, with the jury highlighting “its courageous approach to tackling Colombia’s historical reality, with brilliant editing in which the use of images brings us closer to a new dimension where the victims of violence are remembered and respected”. Another victory for Colombia came when the visually striking animated short All My Scars Vanish in the Wind by Angélica Restrepo and Carlos Velandia scooped the Zinebi Grand Prize in the Official Section – International Short Film Competition, endowed with €7,000.
Rounding off the list of award-winning features, How to Save a Dead Friend [+see also:
film profile] (Sweden/Norway/France/Germany) by Marusya Syroechkovskaya was the recipient of the ZIFF Youth Jury Prize (UPV/EHU), worth €2,000.
Other notable awards for short films were the Grand Prize for Basque Cinema, handed to the documentary short Wild Flowers by Croatian filmmaker Karla Crnčević, and the Grand Prize for Spanish Cinema, which ended up going to another short doc, Smells by Alba Esquinas. Searching Heleny by Esther Vital García pulled off a double win, bagging the Mikeldi for Best Animated Short and the EITB Audience Award.
As for the Zinebi Networking industry awards, two prizes worth €10,000 apiece were handed out after 13 projects (five of which were Basque and eight Spanish) took part in pitching sessions and one-to-one meetings earlier in the week. In the Basque strand, the award went to Zikuñagako Ama by Pello Gutiérrez Peñalba, produced by Iñaki Sagastume, of production outfit Zazpi T’erdi. Meanwhile, Chiara Marañón and Juan Soto’s Spanish-Colombian co-production Elena dio a luz un hermoso niño – a project that Soto said he hoped would be “worthy of Zinebi” once finished – was gifted with the award in the Spanish section of the networking event. The LaCima Producciones production is conceived as a documentary using a Catalonian family’s seemingly innocent home-movie footage, which nonetheless unwittingly captures key moments in history from the 1940s almost up to the present day.
The 65th edition of Zinebi will unspool in Bilbao from 10-17 November 2023.
Here is the complete list of award winners:
Official Section – International Short Film Competition
Zinebi Grand Prize
All My Scars Vanish in the Wind – Angélica Restrepo and Carlos Velandia (Colombia)
Grand Prize for Basque Cinema
Wild Flowers – Karla Crnčević (Croatia)
Grand Prize for Spanish Cinema
Smells – Alba Esquinas (Spain)
Mikeldi for Best Short Documentary
Balls – Gorana Jovanoic (Slovenia)
Mikeldi for Best Animated Short
Searching Heleny – Esther Vital García (Spain/Brazil)
Mikeldi for Best Short Fiction
Backflip – Nicola G H Johansen (Germany/France)
EITB Audience Award
Searching Heleny – Esther Vital García
Cineclub FAS Prize
Espera y sedimento – Tana Garrido Ruiz (Spain)
Son of the Sun – Dastan Madalbekov (Kyrgyzstan)
Short Film Candidate for the 2022 European Film Awards
Zoon – Jonatan Schwenk (Germany)
Zinebi First Film International Competition
EITB – Zinebi Networking 2022 Award
Zikuñagako ama – Pello Gutiérrez Peñalba (Spain)
Producer: Iñaki Sagastume (Zazpi T’erdi)
Zinebi Networking 2022 Award
Elena dio a luz un hermoso niño – Chiara Marañón, Juan Soto (Spain/Colombia)
Producers: Ricard Sales, Luis Ferrón, Sandra Tabares-Duque (LaCima Producciones)
Aukera – (H)emen Prize
Ultramarino – Maren Zubeldia (Spain)
Aukera Prize for Creation
87 hadas – Beatriz de Silva (Spain)
Aukera – Biscay District Council Prize
Komando Marmitako – Uxue Botas, Ane Nafarrate (Spain)
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