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ZINEBI 2023 Awards

In the Rearview and Beyond the Other Shore come out on top at Zinebi


- Maciek Hamela’s devastating documentary has won over the feature jury at the 65th edition of the Basque film festival, while three industry prizes were also handed out

In the Rearview and Beyond the Other Shore come out on top at Zinebi
The winners of Zinebi 2023 (© Zinebi)

It’s a wrap for the 65th edition of Zinebi, the Bilbao-based festival centring on documentaries and short films. A press conference on Friday morning, which preceded the awards ceremony set for the evening of the same day in the Arriaga Theatre, saw a slew of prizes announced by the various juries and the head of the festival, Vanesa Fernández Guerra.

In addition to the three Honorary Mikeldi Awards that were presented over the course of the gathering to Rita Azevedo Gomes (see the interview), Frederick Wiseman and Félix Linares, an array of features and, chiefly, short films picked up prizes. The Polish-French-Ukrainian feature In the Rearview [+see also:
film review
film profile
by Maciek Hamela, a devastating film documenting evacuation attempts during the first few days and weeks following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which played at both Cannes and Toronto this year, was crowned with the €12,000 Grand Prize in the ZIFF International Competition – Zinebi First Film. In its statement, the jury pointed out the exceptional “strength of the film’s minimalist focus” on an international conflict, “exploring the horror from a humanist perspective. […] As the characters and the director travel further away from the war, the viewer is transported to the very heart of it.” Rounding off the list of award-winning features, the Basque title Zarata (Spain) by Tamara García Iglesias was the recipient of the ZIFF Youth Jury Prize (UPV/EHU), worth €2,000.

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Moving onto the shorts, although the Zinebi Grand Prize was snagged by a Singaporean title – Beyond the Other Shore by Pek Jia Hao and Ang Jia Jun – it was an Iranian one, It Turns Blue by Shadi Karamroudi, that took home the biggest haul, winning three gongs: the Mikeldi for Best Short Fiction, the EITB Audience Award and the UNICEF Prize.

Other notable awards for short films were the Grand Prize for Basque Cinema, handed to the documentary short The Monkey by Itziar Leemans (Spain/France), and the Grand Prize for Spanish Cinema, which ended up going to El Soldado by Alejandro Cabrera (Spain). It was a British work, The Veiled City by Natalie Cubides-Brady, that scooped the Mikeldi for Best Short Documentary, while the Mikeldi for Best Animated Short went to La Perra by Carla Melo (Colombia/France).

As for the Zinebi Networking industry awards, two prizes worth €10,000 apiece were handed out after 12 projects (four 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 La isla sumergida by Lucía Malandro and Daniel Saucedo, produced by Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola – EQZE, focusing on a character called Johnny who delves into the secrets harboured by court records in Cuba. Meanwhile, Jo sóc by Patricia M Félix (Spain), produced by Roger Torras Mayneris (WKND) and Diana Toucedo Films, was gifted with the award in the Spanish section of the networking event. The project is conceived as a documentary following the social and academic development of several children in a Catalan school, over the course of their primary education. Furthermore, a new addition to the prize list this year was the Zinebi Networking ECAM Impulse Award, which went to Inmersas en el Imserso by Aitor Arruti (Spain).

Here is the complete list of award winners:

Official Section – International Short Film Competition

Zinebi Grand Prize
Beyond the Other Shore – Pek Jia Hao, Ang Jia Jun (Singapore)

Grand Prize for Basque Cinema
The Monkey – Itziar Leemans (Spain/France)

Grand Prize for Spanish Cinema
El Soldado Alejandro Cabrera (Spain)

Mikeldi for Best Short Documentary
The Veiled City – Natalie Cubides-Brady (UK)

Mikeldi for Best Animated Short
La Perra – Carla Melo (Colombia/France)

Mikeldi for Best Short Fiction
It Turns Blue – Shadi Karamroudi (Iran)

EITB Audience Award
It Turns Blue – Shadi Karamroudi

Cineclub FAS Prize
Kusikozu – Aitor Irulegi Lopez (Spain)

It Turns Blue – Shadi Karamroudi

Short Film Candidate for the 2024 European Film Awards
Valerija – Sara Jurincic (Croatia)

Zinebi First Film International Competition

ZIFF Grand Prize
In the Rearview [+see also:
film review
film profile
– Maciek Hamela (Poland/France/Ukraine)

ZIFF Youth Jury Prize (UPV/EHU)
Zarata – Tamara García Iglesias (Spain)

Zinebi Networking

EITB – Zinebi Networking 2023 Award
La isla sumergida – Lucía Malandro, Daniel Saucedo (Spain)
Producer: Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola – EQZE

Zinebi Networking 2023 Award
Jo sóc – Patricia M Félix (Spain)
Producers: Roger Torras Mayneris (WKND), Diana Toucedo Films

Zinebi Networking ECAM Impulse Award
Inmersas en el Imserso – Aitor Arruti (Spain)

Aukera – (H)emen Prize
Mi reina – Irene Royo (Spain)

Aukera Prize for Creation
Ezagutzen ditugun bekain guztiak – Marta Codesido, Núria Ubach (Spain)

Aukera – Biscay District Council Prize
Gure gozamena – Amaia Chocarro (Spain)

Aukera – Zineuskadi Internationalisation Prize
Ezagutzen ditugun bekain guztiak – Marta Codesido, Núria Ubach

Honorary Mikeldis
Frederick Wiseman
Rita Azevedo Gomes
Félix Linares

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