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Seasons and Retrospectives


(Votes count 477)

(Rating average 3,02)

banderola 46
Line-up for the 46th Edition of Gijón Film Festival
The season "A Piece of Heaven: European Female Directors in the New Millenium" will screen films by renowned European female filmmakers, mostly never released in Spain before.

The Yankee utopia season will deal with the American political documentary genre.

Guest directors this year will be Lebanese Joana Hadjithomas y Khalil Joreige, Argentinean Lucrecia Martel and Austrian Peter Tscherkassky.

The 46th edition of Gijón International Film Festival (20th to 29th November) will include among its novelties the season A Piece of Heaven: European Female Directors in the New Millenium, which will screen some fifteen critically acclaimed films by European female filmmakers, mostly never released in Spain before. The aim of the cycle is to offer a global vision of this type of films, which have steadily gained importance in the context of world cinema. They do not have much in common, they do not deal only with women's stories, but they share a common characteristic approach. The cycle will also include panel discussions with some of the directors, as well as the publication of a book on the subject with the collaboration of prestigious female film writers.

Worth mentioning among the films to be screened are Verfolgt, which earned Angelina Maccarone a Gold Leopard at Locarno Film Festival in 2006, and tells the obsessive relationship between a confused teenager and a middle-aged woman; Does it Hurt? by Aneta Lesnikovska (the only Dogma film shot in Germany); or Les Bureaux de Dieu (God's Offices) by French director Claire Simon, a mixture of documentary and fiction in which five women support and lead youngsters at a family planning centre. The season "A Piece of Heaven..." also includes Barbara Albert -with Fallen, a reflection on the changes that the thirties bring about in four childhood friends-, and controverted Catherine Breillat, who unabashedly depicts human relationships in her film Sex is Comedy.

Another important retrospective will be Yankee Utopia, which will include an exhaustive selection of feature films by American directors raised around the 60s counterculture working with alternative ways of distribution. Worth mentioning among them are Jim Finn, Jem Cohen and John Gianvito.

Jim Finn's most distinctive characteristics are his original atmospheres, mixing politics and humour, and the way he brings back the 70s aesthetics in a really suggestive way. Jem Cohen's work also deals with political subjects, but from a different perspective, delving into contemporary music as well, like in The Spirit, a magnificent portrait of Patti Smith. Last but not least, John Gianvito is another referent in current independent filmmaking. His most recent documentary Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind, is a thrilling review of the hidden history of United States from the point of view of the losers (Indian slaughters, miners' revolts...) shown by means of commemorative plaques and gravestones. This title competes for the Best Non-Fiction and Documentary Film Prize. (Websites: ;

The retrospectives on renowned filmmakers are another strong pillar of the line-up. Lebanese directors Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige became well-known all over the World with the film A Perfect Day (winner of the Don Quixote and FIPRESCI awards at Locarno Film Festival). Gijón will hold the Spanish premiere of their latest film Je veux voir (I want to see), starring Catherine Deneuve. Je veux voir, screened at this year's Edition of Cannes Film Festival, offers a new vision on the recent Lebanese War. The Film Festival is currently organising an exhibition of Lebanese artists along with the Fundación Municipal de Cultura at the Centro de Cultura Antiguo Instituto. (Websites:

As regards Lucrecia Martel, she is a producer, scriptwriter and director, and one of the most relevant filmmakers in current Argentinean cinema. Her first feature La Ciénaga (The Marsh) (2000), was awarded at Berlin and Sundance film festival. Four years later, La niña santa (The Holy child), a co-production with El Deseo, Almodóvar's production company, earned her worldwide recognition. Her latest film, La mujer rubia (The Blonde Woman), also produced by El Deseo y and screened in the Official selection of this year's Cannes film festival, is a story full of intrigue verging on psychological thriller, where the visual style and the atmosphere weigh even more than the plot.

Peter Tscherkassky, also subject of a homage retrospective this year, is one the most referential names in European cinema: a filmmaker who has been able to go beyond the limits of experimental cinema, and who is considered a master in working with other people's footage, for the way he plays with textures, lights and sound. Worth mentioning among his works are Trilogy in cinemascope and his most recent one, Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine. (Websites: The directors object of a retrospective will attend the festival and take part in various Q&A's.

These will be the longest and most exhaustive cycles of the Festival, but the rest are soon to be announced. This year aims at screening whole filmographies,so the audience can enjoy all the films by the directors being honoured. Likewise, the films taking part in Enfants Terribles (competitive section aimed at young audiences) and the Official Section, as well as the music gigs will be announced over the next few weeks.

Increase in Cash Prizes

The Principado de Asturias Prize for Best Feature will be increased to 25,000 euros (whereas last year was 20,000) and the Young Jury Prize for Best feature will be 15,000 euros, when last year it was 10,000. Moreover, the Sociedad Mixta de Turismo de Gijón will award an additional 15,000 Euros cash prize to the company which acquires the distribution rights for the film which receives the Principado de Asturias Prize for Best Feature; 10,000 Euros in the case of the winner of the Young Jury Prize; and 5,000 for each of the films awarded in the Enfants Terribles section, in each of its categories (under-12 and over-13)