Es a festival with character, incorruptible, with an often brazen programming, full of convulsive films, aesthetic experiments and incorrect themes.
This is what the contest director defends, Nacho Carballo, who with rigor, and surrounded by a large group of collaborators, tries to protect the jar of the essence of a different festival that approaches like no other the freshest, young and modern cinema.
The International Film Festival of Gijón, with close to half a century of history, is one of the must-see events of the seventh art. Its sections are concerned with bringing to light the talent farthest from the commercial circuits.
Every year at the end of November, the city of Gijón, a city that is already modern and cosmopolitan, is infected by the independent cinematographic effluvia. For lovers of good movies it is a real delight to walk through its streets, through the wall of San Lorenzo, go to its fashionable bars and clubs and try to combine this relaxing activity with the "rush" it deserves an extensive program, with hardly a truce for more than a week. It is easy to stumble in this coming and going with directors, actors and technicians of the films that the festival calls, or attend their talks and interviews, although yes, there is not just glamor, because in Gijón the cinema is modest, almost anonymous , and praises above all the virtues of work well done, without any debt incurred with entertainment.
The festival is always loaded with a very plural agenda in which besides cinema you can enjoy live music, parallel exhibitions, colloquia, parties, and merit courses like the cycle Media Universe, jointly organized by the University of Oviedo and the International Festival, and which reflects on the mutations experienced in our way of seeing and making films after the expansive wave of digital culture and new technologies.
Everything in Gijón is imperiously present and, with the exception of cinematographic retrospectives, the festival always takes place on the basis of current events.
In addition to the official section, one of the highlights of the Festival is the section Enfants Terribles, which has become one of the benchmarks of the best international cinema aimed at the youngest. In each new edition, Enfants Terribles hosts a fortnight of feature films, including fiction, animation and documentary titles, in which new perspectives on the world of children and adolescents are offered.
There is also a section for musical documentaries: Disorder and Concert, another section more dedicated to experimental films and on the border between fiction and reality Llendes and the traditional Buckle, a kind of box of tailor in which to give vent to other proposals that do not fit at all in the rest of the sections of the contest.
The Festival awards several prizes in the different competitive sections counting on a International Jury (formed by at least five professionals from different countries), a Young Jury (constituted by young 50 between 17 and 26 years) and, from 2005, has the presence of a Jury of international critics: FIPRESCI.
Over the last few years, some of the most prestigious independent film professionals in the world have passed through Gijón. They have visited this festival as honored directors, among others, Abbas Kiarostami, Aki Kaurismäki, Todd Haynes, Pedro Costa, Paul Schrader, Joao Cesar Monteiro, Seijun Suzuki, Jem Cohen, Kenneth Anger, Ulrich Seidl, Hal Hartley, Lukas Moodysson, Tsai Ming -liang, Claire Denis or Todd Solondz.
It has also had the presence of national and international professionals in the international jury or presenting films in the various sections of the program: John Cale, Maria Schneider, Monte Hellman, Paprika Steen, Julio Medem, Fele Martinez, Elvira Mínguez, Jorge Perugorría, María Esteve, Tristán Ulloa, Daniel Guzmán or Jan Cvitkovic.
See programming of films and events on the web Gijón Film Festival.Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com