There's a strong Flemish presence at this year's Valladolid International Film Festival in Spain (19-26 October), where Stijn Coninx’ feature film Marina and Caroline Strubbe’s I’m the same I’m an other screen in the Official Competition and Bart Van den Bempt’s debut feature 82 Days in April is in the fest’s Meeting Point programme. Bülent Öztürk’s short film Houses With Small Windows and Pieter Coudyzer’sThe Wake complete the Flemish line-up.
As part of the Official Competition, both Marina and I’m the same I’m an other are vying for the Golden and Silver Spike with cash awards worth €60,000 and €20,000, respectively, to support a Spanish release of the film.
I’m the same I’m an other is Caroline Strubbe’s second feature after her 2009 Cannes entry Lost Persons Area, both produced by Tomas Leyers for Minds Meet. Her latest film premiered at Toronto over the summer and also screened at the Film Fest Ghent last week, where Strubbe received a Jo Röpcke Award. I’m the same I’m an other stars Kimke Desart and Zoltan Miklos Hajdu. Both scarred by loss and sorrow, they flee to a small apartment on the English coast where they live day-to-day, exploring each other’s emotional territories.
Stijn Coninx’ Marina, first presented at the Montréal World Film Fest last August, is also set for an appearance in Valladolid. Scripted by Rik D’Hiet and Coninx, the film is based on the childhood memories of Italian-Belgian singer Rocco Granata. Flemish rising talent Matteo Simoni (Crazy About Ya) portrays the musician, while Evelien Bosmans (Germaine) enters the story as his love interest Helena.
Screening in the Meeting Point programme, a competitive parallel showcase, is Bart Van den Bempt’s debut feature 82 Days in April, a production by Ellen De Waele for Serendipity Films. It tells the story of a couple in their fifties who travel to Istanbul to pick up the backpack of their deceased son. The Meeting Point spectrum compiles 15 fiction films worthy of special attention for their subject matter or style. A jury of three professionals will award a prize for the Best Feature, worth €15,000.
Bülent Öztürk’s short Houses With Small Windows is part of the Valladolid short film competition, as is Pieter Coudyzer’s animation short The Wake, about a man whose wife is in a coma after a car accident. Houses With Small Windows recently won Best European Short in Venice and is one of the short film contenders for the European Film Awards. The Wake has already screened at a number of international festivals, including Annecy.
One of the oldest film events in Europe, the Valladolid International Film Festival (Semana Internacional de Cine de Valladolid) is one of Spain’s main cinematographic occasions along with the San Sebastián film fest. The Seminci history includes various winners from Flanders, including features such as Come As You Are, The Fifth Season and Time of My Life as well as shorts like The Extraordinary Life of Rocky and Death of a Shadow.
All films mentioned in this article received support through the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Joke Schauvliege.