58th Valladolid International Film Festival
Spain, October 19 - October 26 2013
The Valladolid International Film Festival is one of the oldest and most consolidated in the whole of Europe. It was established on 20 March 1956 as an additional feature of the Easter celebrations named Religious Film Week, according to an understanding of the seventh art as a vehicle for the transmission of Catholic moral values.
The demand for quality since the Festival’s beginnings became its enduring identity, thought that was not always matched by a sufficient quantity of scheduled films. In other words, quite often there were not enough films to fill the Festival’s programme — not, in any case, of religious subject-matter. This situation led to the first turning point in the history of the festival which, four years after its inception, was converted into the International Religion & Human Values Film Week The name reflects the major novelty introduced to the festival at that time: the admission of films where the emphasis lay on human values and a sense of commitment.
The second turning point took place in 1973, when the festival adopted its permanent title as the Semana Internacional de Cine de Valladolid or — in a literal rendering — Valladolid’s International Film Week. The new name involved getting rid of the festival’s religious orientation in the wake of two major factors: the rise in the number of films entering competition and the fact that producers were beginning to arrange for the premiere of their films to take place in the Valladolid Film Week.
When Seminci began the festival was not conceived as a competition, so in the first edition and the next they didn’t grant any awards. It was not until the third edition of the festival, in 1958, when they awarded the Don Bosco gold for the winning film and silver to the runner-up together with the recognition of a Special Mention.
Its existence, however, was very short. A year later, the Don Bosco gave way to Labarum and the award for Special Mention disappeared and was replaced by the Valladolid City Award.
In 1960 the Spike appeared, which would become the main festival award years later but, until then, there was Labarum paper, the Valladolid City Award and the Mentions. The following editions of the Festival kept these awards and, in 1961 added the St. Gregory Award. In 1974, the nineteenth edition of the Festival, Labarum finally disappeared. From this point, the Spike went on to become the main prize of the contest.
The Festival’s spikes are the awards given to the best competing films in the Official Section. They have become true classics in the world of film awards and some of the most important filmmakers from the last few decades have received them. They can be gold or silver; Spikes are the Valladolid Festival’s main prizes.
The 58th edition of the Valladolid Film Festival — SEMINCI opened on October 19th with the latest feature by Spanish — Catalan director Mar Coll All want the best for her (Tots volem el millor per a ella — Todos queremos lo mejor para ella), where a woman, one year after suffering a horrible traffic accident, is ready to resume her life… or at least that’s what her family wants to see. This year, the festival screened around 200 titles in just eight days of competition and welcomed the presence of international filmmakers such as Paul Schrader and Jean Audiard who received the Spike Honor (Espiga de Honor) of the Festival. (Furio Fossati)
Valladolid International Film Festival: www.seminci.es