51st Gijón International Film Festival
Spain, November 15 - November 23 2013
Widely considered one of the four most important international film festivals in Spain (alongside San Sebastián, Sitges and Valladolid), Gijón celebrated its 50th edition in 2012 under a new festival director (Nacho Carballo, who replaced José Luis Cienfuegos, currently director of Seville European Film Festival) and with a total audience of around 70,000. One of the major cultural events in the Principality of Asturias, the festival enjoys an impressive film programme (conceived by Jorge Iván Argiz), paying a close attention to the latest trends and discoveries in arthouse cinema, the most thought-provoking films and the most straightforward productions of the moment. Thus, Gijón IFF (alias FICXixón) is committed to both new artistic expressions and the most heterodox and edgy views in today’s cinema.
When in Asturias, do as the Asturians do: never forget your umbrella. This could be said after nine days in Gijón. Fortunately, the 206 films selected this year offered enough attractions to forget about the intermittent showers of rain. The main competition comprised 15 feature films. The International Jury, presided over by the reputed French director Patrice Leconte, decided that the best film in competition was Ida by Pawel Pawlikowski. The big winner of the 51st edition, this Polish-Danish co-production, made by a Polish-British director (who had previously won the Best Film prize in Gijón in 2000, with Last Resort), also received the award of the Young Jury and the prizes for Best Screenplay, Best Actress and Best Art Direction. The Best Director prize went to Jeremy Saulnier (USA) for Blue Ruin, while the Special Prize of the Jury was awarded to The Amazing Catfish (Los Insólitos peces gato) by Claudia Sainte-Luce (Mexico). Other highly attractive sections of the festival were the AnimaFICX international animation competition, Enfants Terribles (it should be added that Gijón started out in 1963 as a children’s film festival) and the retrospective of the Korean filmmaker Hong Sang-soo (in honour of whom the festival published a book). (Mihai Fulger)
Gijón International Film Festival: www.en.fic.gijon.es