16 Basque productions at the Nantes festival
Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.
The Fenêtre Basque (Basque Window) section, which takes place every year at the Festival du Cinéma Espagnol de Nantes, is one of the most extensive Basque film events outside the Basque Country. Promoted by the Etxepare Basque Institute, Fenêtre Basque offers a selection of some of the year´s most notable Basque productions, as well as films by outstanding Basque filmmakers. This year, a total of 16 Basque productions will be screened from 23 March to 2 April, including ten feature films, one short film, and five shorts from the Kimuak 2022 collection. Five of the productions will also be up for competition, and a Basque film will close the 32nd edition of the Festival du Cinéma Espagnol de Nantes.
The Basque production ´Suro´ (2022), directed by Mikel Gurrea, will compete for Best Fiction Feature Film, in the wake of two nominations at this year´s Goya Awards. This is not Gurrea’s first time at the Nantes Festival. In 2022, his film ´Heltzear´ competed for Best Short Film at the festival’s 31st edition. With ´Suro´ (‘Cork’ in Basque), festival goers will see how a couple struggle to make a new life for themselves amongst cork trees.
Also in the Best Fiction Feature Film category but not in competition, film-goers can see Fermin Muguruza’s animated film ‘Black is Beltza II: Ainhoa’ (2021).
‘A los libros y a las mujeres canto’ (2022) by María Elorza, will compete for Best Documentary Film. Elorza´s first feature film is a reflection of women, linking the present with the past and delving gracefully into deeply felt issues.
‘Cinco lobitos´ (2022) by first-time director Alauda Ruiz de Azúa, will vie for the Premiers Film Award. The feature film tells the story of Amaia, a woman who has just become a mother.
‘Maixabel’ (2021) by Icíar Bollaín is back again in Fenêtre Basque. Based on the experiences of Maixabel Lasa, the film won the award for Best Fiction Film and the Audience Award at last year’s Nantes Festival. This year ‘Maixabel’ will compete in Compétition Scolaires, a section dedicated to school children.
The Fenêtre Basque feature film roster also includes Ana Díez´s ´A quien cierra los ojos´ (2022), which takes the audience to Mexico to reflect on education; Imanol Uribe´s ´Llegaron de noche´ (2022), a fateful story of repression against liberation theology; ´El vasco´ (2022) a comedy film by Jabi Elortegi; Iratxe Fresneda’s intimate documentary ´Tetuán´ (2022); and the animated film ´Black is Beltza´ (2018) by Fermin Muguruza.
Among the candidates for the festival’s Best Short Film is Esti Urresola’s ´Cuerdas´ (2021), also included in the Kimuak 2022 selection (a roundup of the year´s most exceptional Basque short films). Following its success at the Forqué Awards, ´Cuerdas´ has gone on to receive other awards and has been recognized with a nomination at the 2023 Goya Awards.
As in past editions, Fenêtre Basque will also feature other films from the Kimuak 2022 selection: ‘Fe’ (Maider Fernández, 2022), ‘Hemen bizi da maitasuna’ (Ainhoa Olaso and Enara García, 2022), ‘Hirugarren koadernoa´ (Lur Olaizola, 2022), ‘Irrits’ (Maider Oleaga, 2022) and ‘Lanbroa’ (Aitzol Saratxaga, 2022).
´Ventajas de viajar en tren´ (2019) by Basque filmmaker Aritz Moreno will wrap of the Nante Festival’s 32nd edition.
In addition to the Basque productions described above, the book Euskal Emakume Zinemagileak (‘Basque Women Filmmakers’, published in both Basque and Spanish) will be presented as part of the festival programme. Coordinated by María Pilar Rodríguez, lecturer at the University of Deusto, and published by the Basque Film Library, the book consists of thirteen texts grouped into four parts. The first focuses on global perspectives and analyses the production of women filmmakers. The second part is on film genres, formats and adaptations, covering documentaries, short films, transnational productions, and adaptations of literary works. The third part focuses on production, distribution and reception, taking an in-depth look at reviews, film networks and festivals geared to women filmmakers. Finally, the fourth part of the book reflects on the work of filmmakers including Ana Díez, Helena Taberna and Yannick Bellon.