´Zumiriki´ by filmmaker Oskar Alegría at the Mostra di Venezia

Euskara. Kultura. Mundura.

2019-08-01

The latest documentary by Basque filmmaker Oskar Alegría, Zumiriki, has been chosen to compete at the Venice International Film Festival. The film will be screened in the Horizons (Orizzonti) section, which honours feature films and documentaries representing the latest trends in cinema.

The latest documentary by Basque filmmaker Oskar Alegría, Zumiriki, has been chosen to compete at the Venice International Film Festival. The film will be screened in the Horizons (Orizzonti) section, which honours feature films and documentaries representing the latest trends in cinema.

Alegría received the news with great surprise and satisfaction, although this is not his first time at a film festival. In fact, with his first documentary, Emak Bakia baita, the filmmaker visited several festivals worldwide, and won up to 15 awards. Nevertheless, Zumiriki being selected to for a festival like the Venice Mostra was a surprise. “It is an indefinable fictional story,” said Alegría, adding that it does not fit into any particular genre and “is confined to a very small geographic area.”

The film tells the story of a man who voluntarily isolates himself in the forests of the Pyrenees in Navarre to reconnect with nature and with his childhood. The film revolves around the core idea of waiting. Alegría himself is the main character in the documentary, after he decided to isolate himself in a hut in the forest for four months, his only company a vegetable garden, two hens and 70 books. The word Zumiriki means “river island”, and refers to a particular island in that Alegría knew in his childhood which was flooded when a dam was built.

Zumiriki is the most undefinable film in the whole festiva,” claimed Alberto Barbera, director of the Mostra’s Orizzonti section. “Each scene brings a new surprising idea.”

The Venice International Film Festival celebrates its 76th edition this year, from August 28 to September 7. Pedro Almodóvar and Julie Andrews will each receive a Golden Lion for lifetime achievement at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival. The Orizzonti section, where Oskar Alegría will compete with his latest documentary, is second in importance only to the most Official Selection.

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