THE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF DOCUMENTARY AND SHORT FILM OF BILBAO—ZINEBI—IS CELEBRATING ITS 60TH YEAR WITH A NEW IMAGE, THE SPANISH PREMIERE OF “LA FLOR” AND THE AWARD OF THE MIKELDI OF HONOUR TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE SAME FILM: THE ARGENTINIAN MARIANO LLINÁS

Organised by the Bilbao City Council, the 60th ZINEBI will take place from 9th to 16th November and will host the Spanish premiere of “La Flor”, the commended 14-hour-long reel produced between 2009 and 2018, which will be shown to audiences over three days.

Mariano Llinás, director of the acclaimed “Historias Extraordinarias”, will receive one of the Mikeldis of Honour at the 60th ZINEBI in acknowledgement of the huge creative talent and aesthetic radicality of all the work by this Argentinian film-maker, who is amongst the most innovative on the international panorama of contemporary film.


The poster for this year’s event was designed by the artist Koldo Atxaga and was presented in Bilbao this morning along with the new design for the festival trophy—the Mikeldi—created by the artist Maite Leyún.

The 60th International Festival of Documentary and Short Film of Bilbao – ZINEBI, organised by Bilbao City Council, will take place  from 9th to 16th November and will include the Spanish premiere of the film “La Flor” and the award of the Mikeldi of Honour to the film’s director, the Argentinian Mariano Llinás, who will be in Bilbao to collect the award and present the film, which took a decade to make and has a final length of almost 14 hours.

The new director of ZINEBI, Vanesa Fernández Guerra, and the Bilbao Councillor for Culture, Nekane Alonso, presented the festival programme and its new image in Bilbao this morning. Two Basque artists were responsible for creating the poster for this year’s event (Koldo Atxaga) and redesigning the trophy that is the symbol of ZINEBI: the Mikeldi (Maite Leyún).

The International Festival of Documentary and Short Film of Bilbao—ZINEBI—will award the first Mikeldi of Honour of this 60th year of the event to the Argentinian director and screenwriter Mariano Llinás in acknowledgement of the creative talent and aesthetic radicality of all the work by this Argentinian film-maker, who is amongst the most innovative on the international panorama of contemporary film. The film-maker will receive the award at the festival opening gala, which will take place at the Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao at 8 p.m. on 9th November. The four actresses that comprise the group Piel de Lava—the stars of “La Flor”—will also take part in the opening ceremony.

Mariano Llinás (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1975) is a director and screenwriter and—along with Laura Citarella, Alejo Moguillansky and Agustín Mendilaharzu—a member of the El Pampero Cine group of film-makers. In 2002, he made his first feature-length film, entitled “Balnearios”. In 2008, he directed “Historias Extraordinarias”, his second film, acclaimed by the critics and a big hit with Argentinian audiences. His latest feature film—“La Flor” (2018)—premiered at BACIFI in April this year, where it walked away with the top award. It later competed at such prestigious international festivals as Locarno and Toronto and will soon be screened at the New York Festival and it has been a great success with both audiences and critics so far.

“La Flor” is a complex narrative comprising six separate, successive stories. The link between them is the same four actresses: Pilar Gamboa, Elisa Carricajo, Laura Paredes and Valeria Correa. The fictional universes are radically different from one episode to another: this extreme difference is precisely the aim. Likewise, the characters that the four actresses represent in each of the different tales are just as varied. Pilar Gamboa may be a sorceress in the first, a pop singer in the second, a mute spy in the third, barely a secondary character in the fourth, almost invisible in the fifth and then reappear as a captive escaped from the settlements on the wild Pampas of the 19th century in the sixth. And the same thing happens with all of the others.

Mariano Llinás has a double objective: on the one hand, to turn the actresses into narrative machines, depositing in their bodies the obligation and the responsibility of recounting these tales and provoking in us—as Samuel T. Coleridge said—the willing suspension of disbelief, which is the ultimate end of any artistic practice; and, on the other hand, to have the change from one story to another reveal to us—over the long narrative course—the true face of these women.  “La Flor” will be screened on 11th, 12th and 13th at the Golem–Alhóndiga cinemas over a 3-day marathon to let us see the entire film – which lasts 840 minutes.

NEW MIKELDI

Coinciding with its 60th anniversary, the International Festival of Documentary and Short Film of Bilbao – ZINEBI has asked two Basque artists to redesign two of its distinguishing marks: its poster and the trophy with the image of the Miqueldi idol. The latter was conceived in 1959 as an award designed to closely link its focus on local culture with its determination to put the name of Bilbao centre stage in international cinematography.

The Navarra-born artist Maite Leyún was commissioned to redesign the ZINEBI trophy and has performed a rereading in aesthetic code and provided a new design for the Mikeldi trophy (now written with a “k”). Starting out from a figure made thousands of years ago, the aim was to create a new shape unlike anything we have yet seen but still reminiscent of the Mikeldi. Revisiting former characteristics, the artist recovered the idea of inscriptions to place inside the disc: the central element linking the original piece and this new one. Inscriptions that can be used to acknowledge the work of authors at this film festival. This gave rise to a ceramic object as a new form of an ancient sculpture that can be used for recognising the work of people who care about how things are done while also making sure that they are saying something.

Maite Leyún has a degree and PhD in Fine Arts from UPV/EHU, specialising in contemporary ceramics. Her work is initially focussed on ceramics but is of a multidisciplinary nature. Both the materials she uses and the forms she pursues are always linked to contemporary reality. With no regard for the borders set up between sculpture, installations, design, performance or manual art, she tries to generate works that are capable of being a question and an answer at the same time. She has taken part in different national and international exhibitions and has received various awards and grants.

The author of the poster for this 60th ZINEBI, Koldo Atxaga, holds a degree in Fine Arts and a PhD in Audio-visual Communication and combines university teaching with his work as a professional designer. He is especially interested in the cultural sector, for which he designs logos, posters, covers and credits.  His creative premises with regard to the poster were clear from the outset: red, abstract and conceptual. His creation is inspired by the films of José Antonio Sistiaga, who painted directly on celluloid. The textures and imperfections in tiny scale were later amplified on the big screen, revealing organic forms that appeared cosmic.

ZINEBI, the only international Class A festival in Spain in the documentary and short film category, acknowledged by the FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations) since 1974, has been accredited by the Hollywood Academy as a qualifier for the official short films section of the Oscars and it is also a qualifying festival for the BAFTA and Goya Awards.

“LA FLOR” (2009–2018)

Languages: Spanish/French/Russian/English/Italian
Minutes: Part 1: 225 min. (with 1 interval), part 2: 336 min. (with 2 intervals), part 3: 320 min. (with 1 interval)
Director of photography: Agustín Mendilaharzu
Screenplay: Mariano Llinás
Sound: Rodrigo Sánchez Mariño
Editing: Alejo Moguillansky, Agustín Rolandelli
Country: Argentina
Art director: Laura Caligiuri
Music: Gabriel Chwojnik

Cast: Elisa Carricajo, Valeria Correa, Pilar Gamboa, Laura Paredes
Production: Laura Citarella
Executive production: Laura Citarella
Produced by: El Pampero Cine – Piel de Lava