53rd Gijón International Film Festival
Spain, November 20 - November 28 2015
In Asturias, on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean – Mar Cantabrico, as they call it there – in the magnificent Teatro Jovellanos and the cozy halls of Cines Centro, over 250 films were screened as part of the 53th International Film Festival in Gijon (FICX). Some of those films were also screened in the neighbouring towns of Aviles, Oviedo, Pola de Siero, Cangas de Onis. The organization and the artistry of the festival are supported by the expert committee from Instituto de la Cinematografia y de las Artes Audiovisuales (ICAA), while the main driving force behind the event is the festival’s director Nacho Carballo.
The festival has four competitive sections, where the winner in each section is selected by a different jury. Those four sections are: feature films program (Seccion official) consisting of 16 films from all over the world (Belgium, Brazil, Romania, Philippines, France, Mexico, Korea, Morocco, USA, India, Denmark, Netherlands and of course – Spain); shorts (Cortometrajes, 17 films); animated films (AnimaFICX, 20) and documentaries (DocuFICX) – a competition established in 2014, and this year consisting of 7 films. A former children’s films festival, FICX, still has an interesting children’s films selection (?nfants terribles), this year consisting of 11 films, among them the newest film by Gabriele Salvatores, The Invisible Boy (Il ragazzo invisibile). The “Convergencias de la Critica Cinematografica” selection is especially exciting, presenting films that are Spanish film critics’ favourites (it resembles the Semaine de la Critique in Cannes) and the goal is to create a dialogue between critics and audience. This year, six films were proposed by a heterogeneous group of established critics and young voices from the Internet. Together with all the other film selections, eight of the most impressive films by the world famous Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul had special screenings, and Weerasethakul, a special guest in Gijon, also gave a master-class for young cinematographers. Another interesting, up-and-coming program is FICXLAB – a section of Gijon International Film Festival and LABoral Centro de Arte. Its goal is to give visibility to certain artistic practices regarding the exploration of the moving images in the mix of formats and artistic traditions, for example the presence of British artist Emily Richardson’s works. The films made in Asturias (Principado de Asturias), lined up in a special selection – Dia d’Asturies – were a focal point in the richly varied nine-day festival program. (Bojidar Manov, edited by Birgit Beumers)
Gijón International Film Festival: www.gijonfilmfestival.com