Basque films clinch awards at the Nantes Festival

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.


The 32nd Festival du Cinéma Espagnol de Nantes culminated yesterday at Théâtre Graslin. Basque cinema once again took a front seat at the awards ceremony.

La consagracion de la primavera’ (2022) landed the top award at this year’s festival, with the Jules Verne Award for Best Film. Kowalski Films and Euskal Telebista (ETB) took part in the film’s production. Starring Basque actor Telmo Iureta, the film tells the story of a young man with cerebral palsy. Last February Irureta won Best New Actor at the 2023 Goya Awards.

´La consagración de la primavera´ (Fernando Franco, 2022).

Alauda Ruiz de Azua won the Premiers Film award for her debut film ‘Cinco lobitos´ (2022). Her story about caring, which has won several awards in recent years, was also on the podium at Nantes.

´Cinco lobitos´ (Alauda Ruiz de Azúa, 2021)

Cuerdas´ (2021), directed by Estibalitz Urresola, won the award for Best Short Film. Also selected for the 2022 (Kimuak) collection, Urresola’s was also nominated Best Short Film at the 2023 Goya Awards and won the Forqué Award for Cinema and Education in Values in 2022.

´Cuerdas´ (Estibaliz Urresola, 2021)

In the Best Documentary Film category, María Elorza’s ‘A los libros y a las mujeres canto´(2022) received a special mention.

´A los libros y a las mujeres canto´ (María Elorza, 2022)

At this edition of the festival, a broad and wide ranging showcase of Basque cinema was backed by filmmakers and industry professionals from the Basque Country, including Ana Díez, Imanol Uribe, Jabi Elortegi, Iratxe Fresneda, Aritz Moreno, Fermín Muguruza, María Elorza, Mikel Gurrea and Ramón Barea. It should also be noted that the filmmaker Ana Díez was part of the Jury for the Best Documentary Award and that the writer and film historian Felipe Cabrerizo sat on the Jury for Best Fiction Film. Joxean Fernández (director of the Basque Film Library and member of the board of directors and selection committee of the Nantes festival) represented Basque cinema in the different activities and screenings that took place during the festival programme.

The Basque productions competing in the different categories included ‘Suro’ (Mikel Gurrea, 2022), ‘A los libros y a las mujeres canto’ (María Elorza, 2022), ‘Cinco Lobitos’ (Alauda Ruiz de Azúa, 2022), ‘Cuerdas’ (Estibalitz Urresola, 2021) and ‘Maixabel’ (Iciar Bollaín, 2021). Out of competition, the festival roster also included the animated film ‘Beltza II: Ainhoa’ (Fermin Muguruza, 2022).

One of the most extensive showcases of Basque cinema

A total of 16 films were featured in the Fenêtre Basque section of the Nantes Spanish Film Festival this year. With support from the Etxepare Basque Institute and the Basque Film Archive, Fenêtre Basque offers one of the most complete collections of Basque films to be screened outside the Basque Country. The list of feature films includes: ‘A quien cierra los ojos ´(2022) by Ana Díez; ‘Llegaron de noche´ (2022) by de Imanol Uribe; ‘El vasco’ (2022) by de Jabi Elortegi; ‘Tetúan’ (2022) by Iratxe Fresneda; and ‘Black is Beltza’ (2018) by Fermín Muguruza. Some of the films included in the Kimuak 2022 selection were also on show: ‘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).

In addition to the various Basque films mentioned, the festival also presented a book titled ´Euskal emakume zinemagileak´ (Basque Women Filmmakers) coordinated by Deusto University professor María Pilar Rodríguez and edited by the Basque Film Archive. The Basque film ´Ventajas de viajar en tren´ (2019) by Aritz Moreno brought the 32nd edition of the festival to a close.

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