− Ourense’s mayor, Jesús Vázquez, highlights the festival as an ‘audiovisual referent’ in Galicia and the north of Portugal.
− Ten films will compete within the official section for awards endowed with 17,000 euros of prize money.
Ourense, 9th of November, 2015.
Ourense International Film Festival aims to be a reference for the film sector in northwest Spain, according to the mayor of Ourense, Jesús Vázquez Abad, whose opinion was supported by everyone participating in the public presentation of the contest – which was held this morning in ‘Ángel Valente’ centre.
‘Lobos sucios’, by Galician filmmaker Simón Casal, will be screened as the opening film and ‘Tercer grado’, by Geoffrey Cowper, as the closing film. The award for Best Adapted Screenplay granted by Galician Booksellers Federation will recognise the work of the journalist, screenwriter and actress Elvira Lindo. The majority of the selected works are first or second films by their authors, as an ‘obvious commitment to new values’, as it was stated by Nora Sola, director of the Ourense International Film Festival.
The big novelty among the finalist projects this year is that, for the first time, two documentaries are part of the competition section. Those are ‘Dark Horse’ and ‘Killing Time’, which compete for six awards against the others: Best Film, Carlos Velo Award for Best Director, Best Screenplay, Special Jury Award, Best Acting Award and Audience Award. The total prize money is 17,000 euros. Furthermore, Spain is well represented with three films.
The majority of the selected films are first or second films by their directors, in accordance to the pursuit of new film values promoted by the festival. This year’s submitted films turn to be a record figure with 347 feature films (222 fiction films, 123 documentaries and 2 animated films), coming from five continents, which means a higher number than the previous record set in 218 works. Besides, 57 short films were received, which adds up a total of 404 works sent to the festival.
The jury is made up by Frank Feys, Araceli Gonda, Alexandre Powelz, Marta Figueras and María Vázquez. The competition films are ‘Bridgend’, ‘The Sinking of Sozopol’, ‘La vida después’, ‘Dark Horse’, ‘La novia’, ‘Bambanti’, ‘El comienzo del tiempo’, ‘La decisión de Julia’, ‘Techo y comida’ and ‘Killing Time’.
The parallel sections will be ‘Unreleased in Ourense”, ‘Documentaries’, ‘Galician Panorama’, ‘Galician Cinemas’, ‘Cinema and wine’, ‘Special Sessions’ and ’20 Years’.
Out of competition: parallel activities
The programme includes ‘Ouff Escola’ contest, with the participation of 124 works created by Primary and Secondary School centres in Galicia. Another of the parallel initiatives is ‘Cinema in Neighbourhoods’, which will have screenings in Albor Society in O Couto; A Cuña civic centre and Espazo Lusquiños. It is important to stress the remarkable participation of Galician Broadcasting Company (TVG) that on November 14 and 15 will place a virtual set in Ángel Valente centre, where children and adults will be able to enjoy chroma technique if they decide to participate in their own customised news programme.
In the festival’s presentation, the following people were present: the mayor of Ourense, Jesús Vázquez, the president of the Province Council, Manuel Baltar; Jacobo Sutil, directo of Agadic; Manuel Fernández Pellicer, delegate of Gas Natural Fenosa in Galicia; Belén Iglesias, councillor for Culture; Roberto Castro, government’s deputy delegate; Rubén Saavedra, regional director of Abanca; César Silva, the festival’s programming director and Nora Sola, the festival’s director.
In the round for interventions, Ourense’s mayor thanked the presence of everybody, the implication of public and private institutions and enterprises for the festival to be ‘a referent in Galicia and in the north of Portugal’. He said that throughout these last twenty years ‘productions of first level have left in the collective subconscious an comprehensive array of realities from all around the world’.
Decentralisation of the festival spaces
Jesús Vázquez reminded that the festival reaches to its twentieth year. Many ‘great films have passed by here’, he said and wanted to pay tribute to Eloy Lozano, who was its first director as well as an important boost to the project. The major highlighted the contest’s decentralisation for bringing it closer to the neighbourhoods and he also stressed it to be an open space for co-production and collaboration between Galician and Portuguese cinema.
Manuel Baltar, the Province Council president, stressed the continuous collaboration of his institution with the festival, by providing 35,000 euros for this year’s festival and 50,000 for the next one. He indicated that the Province Council will collaborate in the ‘Galician Cinemas’ section with the aim of bringing cinema to villages without theatres. They will also collaborate with the ICC Week.
Jacobo Sutil, director of the Galician Agency for Cultural Industries (Agadic), underlined the contribution of Ourense International Film Festival ‘towards the seventh art’ throughout its twenty years of trajectory, which ‘turn it into a reference’. He highlighted the work developed by the different Galician contests devoted to cinema that contribute to the consolidation ‘of an audiovisual system that everybody identifies as his or her own’. He was ‘particularly satisfied’ with ‘the synergy of joint work’ between Agadic and Ourense International Film Festival, which will translate into three specific activities. Those are the first meeting of audivisual co-production Portugal-Galicia, which will have the participation of companies and Galician and Portuguese public broadcasting companies pursuing common goals in both sides of the Miño River. He also spoke about the new catalogue Films in Galicia, with which two works will arrive in Ourense before their general release and about the presentation of the aforementioned Galician Cinemas – whose aim is to bring the art of cinema to the places without film theatres.
Manuel Ferández Pellicer, indicated that, even though the main objective for an energetic company is business, ‘it wants to work within the culture and art scene in Galicia’. For that, we highlighted the museum that the company has in A Coruña. He added that he could see ‘pretty clearly’ the growth and consolidation of Ourense International Film Festival to make it a referent in Galicia, that is why ‘we want to be here’ supporting it to be a success. Finally, Manuel Fernández, announced that Gas Natural Fenosa expects to ‘concretise important investments in the province in a few months’ that ‘we will be telling in detail in the near future’.