In response to the concerns expressed the previous year regarding the immediate future of the festival, this year the International Documentary and Short Film Competition of Bilbao became directly dependent on the Bilbao City Council. The documentary film by Imanol Uribe El proceso de Burgos was screened and a tribute was paid to the veteran Cuban documentary maker Santiago Álvarez. An extensive Historical review of Spanish documentary film was also in the program, coordinated by Julio Pérez Perucha, Ramón Sala and Rosa Álvarez.
Basque filmmakers Mikel Aldalur, Íñigo Botas, José Antonio Zorrilla, Montxo Armendáriz, Javier Rebollo, Modesto Pena, Paco Avizanda, Iñaki Núñez and Carlos Aizpurúa concurred with their films.
Additionally, a young and unknown Spanish filmmaker named Pedro Almodóvar presented the short film Salomé, one of his first works in 16 mm.
Néstor Basterretxea (J) · Predrag Golubović (J) · Pedro Almodóvar · Santiago Álvarez · Ramón Biadiú · Juan Miñón · Pedro Olea · Imanol Uribe
In the harsh political and social conditions of the Democratic Transition, the festival had to face the serious problem of its institutionalisation in the new stage. As no public administration seemed to show willingness to take control of the Organisation, film industry, journalism, culture and university representatives, together with neighbourhood associations, decided to step forward by creating different support committees.
At the same time, the recently created Association of Basque Filmmakers, dissatisfied with the festival, programmed a counter-festival called Bilboko Zinema Topaketak / Encuentros de Cine de Bilbao.
There were diverse and intense debates about Basque cinema, the future of the contest and the role of documentaries, film festivals and film critics as mainstreaming tools for popular culture.Amongst others, we saw figures such as Wolgang Ruff, director of the Festival of Oberhäusen, and the great Cuban documentary filmmaker Octavio Cortázar. Basque filmmakers Juan Ortuoste (Carmen, tercero G), Iñaki Núñez (Herrialde berdea), Iñaki Aizpuru (Martintxori) and Paco Avizanda (Resumen de noticias and Pincho de rosa) concurred with their films.
Marilu Agriano de Zenker (J) · Luis G. Berlanga (J) · Octavio Cortázar (J) · Xabier Elorriaga (J) · Renata Heckman (J) · Lucienne Lanaz (J) · Francisco Avizanda · Pío Caro Baroja · Nancy Hollander · Fernando Lara · Juan Carlos Eguillor · Wolfgang Ruff
The contest stated via its official magazine (whose name changed, meaningfully from Miqueldi to Mikeldi) that “”the festival should increasingly become a catapult for cinematographic production in Euskadi””. It was also very meaningful that for the first time the word Euskadi appeared in one of its issues. With this vindictive spirit, the festival opened a section devoted to Basque Cinema, where filmmakers Iñaki Núñez (Boltxebikeak irriparrez / Bolsheviks laugh), Imanol Uribe (Ez) and J.B. Heinink (Ikurriñaz filmea) presented their last short films.
Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzmán reap great success from the audiencewith his ambitious documentary, La batalla de Chile, divided into two parts and intended to bear witnessing to Pinochet’s coup d’état and the subsequent repression that struck the Chilean people.
Wenche Blomberg (J) · Robert Dunbar (J) · Boleslak Michalek (J) · Ramiro Pinilla (J) · Patricio Guzmán · Juan B. Heinink · Miša Grčar · Imanol Uribe
Wrapped in serious funding problems arising from the shortage of institutional support, within this year’s program the vibrant documentaries by German Democratic Republic (GDR) filmmakers Heynowski and Scheumann on the situation in Chile after the coup d’etat excelled once again.
The timid political opening in Spain became evident with the documentary on the role of the International Brigades in the Civil War The Last Cause, by Canadians Alex Cramer and Stephen H. Franklin.
Sharing the same will, prolific Spanish producer Luis Mamerto López Tapia showed for the first time the corpse of the poet covered with the Republican flag to the sound of La Internacional played on guitar in his documentary Soria y Antonio Machado.
The Basque representation came by the hand of Iñaki Núñez (Vera, un ensayo de arquitectura popular y Estado de excepción), Antton Merikaetxebarria (Santuario profundo), Imanol Uribe (Off) and José Antonio Zorrilla (El barranco de Viznar).
Adolf Born (J) · Moritz de Hadelhn (J) · José López Clemente (J) · Wolfgang Ruff (J) · Marianela Saleta de Fresco (J) · Luis Mamerto López Tapia · Iñaki Núñez · Imanol Uribe · José Antonio Zorrilla
Starting just nine days after the death of Franco, this edition served to consolidate the contest through the magazine Miqueldi and the strong belief that “culture does not belong to some chosen elites, it belongs on the streets. Spanish directors such as José Luis Garci (Mi Marilyn), Fernando Colomo (En un país imaginario) and Ferrán Llagostera (Sócrates) presented their works in this promising democratic environment.
Additionally, Bilbao-born filmmaker Antton Merikaetxebarria presented his short film about the life and work at sea of Basque fishermen, Arrantzale, entirely in Basque language.
Danuta Bakanacz (J) · Betty Hobdey (J) · Jorge Hönnig (J) · Tomás G. de la Puerta (J) · Fernando Colomo · José Luis Garci · Ferrán Llagostera · Antton Merikaetxebarria
After the return of the international competition, and as a balance of this edition, the festival organization published that 83% of the public was made up of young people and university students. The contest insisted on its desire to institutionalize, a commitment corroborated by FIAPF, which stated that the only two Spanish festivals of the highest international competitive category were in the Basque Country: San Sebastián for feature films and Bilbao, dedicated to the short film and documentary. The former GDR filmmakers Heynowski and Scheumann showed their political documentaries about the coup in Chile the previous year and the figures of Salvador Allende, the ousted president, and the singer Víctor Jara, both assassinated. The Mexican Felipe Cazals and the Peruvian Francisco J. Lombardi submitted works to the competition.
The Bilbao director José Ángel Rebolledo presented his two internships at the Official School of Cinematography (EOC) and the Bilbao-born Juan Ortuoste and Javier Rebollo also premiered their short film Obra de Andrés Nagel, dedicated to the creative world of the Basque sculptor.
Cosme Alves Netto (J) · José Mª Otero (J) · Florentino Soria (J) · Will Wheling (J) · Felipe Cazals · Luis Figuerola Ferreti · José Luis Guarner · Walter Heynowski · Francisco J. Lombardi · Juan Ortuoste · José Ángel Rebolledo · Javier Rebollo · Gerard Scheumann
Following the same principles of the previous edition, this year was not competitive either, which significantly reduced the number of part-taking films.
The short film Aullidos by Spanish Jorge Lladó came accompanied by starring Catalan theatre group El Joglars, who delighted the audience with their evident opposition to the Dictatorship.
A collective film about the Munich bombings against Israeli athletes in the Olympics of the previous year called Visions of Eight, was screened, undersigned by Miloš Forman, Kon Ichikawa, Claude Lelouch – old acquaintance of the contest -, Arthur Penn, John Schlesinger and Mai Zetterling.
Luis Alcoriza · Jorge Lladó Ferrer
Roberto Negro, a theatre actor from the Basque Institute of Hispanic Culture, became the new director with the purpose of turning it into a popular cultural event. Following an impulse of austerity in the spending and certain protests and alternatives very much in vogue at the time, Roberto Negro decided to suppress travelling and accommodation expenses for the international jury members, which resulted in no contest and no list of winners for that edition.
The festival just handed to producers and directors diplomas accrediting their participation.
Alberto Isaac · Augusto M. Torres · Jorge Oteiza
The festival had already changed its founding name to International Documentary Film Contest of Bilbao, and this edition changed it again to Bilbao International Short Film Contest, thus making the short duration of the pieces its main identity trait. This new change was approved in Paris by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF). 62 films from 31 countries competed that year. Two great retrospectives were organised, one showing American short films managed by French critic and director Jean Douchet, and another one dedicated to Spanish pioneer Segundo de Chomón.
In the International Jury were Spanish filmmaker Jaime de Armiñán, the aforementioned Jean Douchet and Spanish actress María Cuadra, amongst others.
Jaime de Armiñán (J) · Mijail Artuchenkov (J) · María Cuadra (J) · Jean Douchet (J) · Bogumil Drozdrowsky (J) · Peter Volk (J) · Jorge Grau · Juan Ruiz Anchía
The International Jury – with British director Richard Lester, Frenchman Juan Luis Buñuel and Spanish actress Emma Cohen amongst others – read an unusual statement denouncing the lack of freedom in Spain, which led to the resignation of José Antonio Uruñuela, director of the contest, immediately replaced by Felipe Alfonso and Adolfo Lafarga.
Henri Langlois, director of the French Cinematheque, presented a new anthological cycle of masters of French cinema. Amongst the Spanish participants – including Basques Antonio Mercero and Chumy Chúmez – the works of Arturo Ruiz Castillo, Miguel Picazo and José Luis García Sánchez stood out. As the festival’s new milestone against censorship, the legendary documentary Woodstock, by American Michael Wadleigh, was screened, in a room crowded with young people willing to make a change.
Juan Luis Buñuel (J) · Emma Cohen (J) · Jorge Grau (J) · Richard Lester (J) · Henri Moceck (J) · Piero Zanotto (J) · José Luis García Sánchez · Henri Langlois · Miguel Picazo · Michael Wadleigh