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    Director of ZINEBI

    365 days

    Vanesa Fernández Guerra. Director of ZINEBI

    365 days is the time between one ZINEBI festival and another ZINEBI festival. We wound up our 63rd festival in November 2021 in the belief that the pandemic was receding, and this year we began work again on what we hope is a final return to cinemas. And so at this 64th festival we want to encourage people to go back there after two very tough years for the cinemas and distributors we associate with, and this year we are staging a 100% in situ event.

    We hope to meet up again with no restrictions, share spaces and time together again, and enjoy being with the famous directors paying us a visit. This year we have the immense pleasure of awarding one of our Mikeldi of Honour awards to the director and scriptwriter and current president of the European Film Academy (EFA), Agnieszka Holland, for maintaining a committed contemplation of individual freedoms throughout a complete and combative trajectory, which has documented the major changes in the History of Europe.

    And, among our awards this year, we also wish to home in on an unquestionable giant of contemporary cinema, a director unbribable in his radical conception of the beauty of images in movement, the exceptional Albert Serra. In this responsibility of acknowledging the trajectory and the artistic dimension of the leading lights of contemporary films, we will also be paying tribute to the Gipuzkoa director and artist who passed away recently, Iñigo Salaberria. A regular feature at the festival, his distinguishing feature was always a specific gaze to home in on the reality of practically all recipients, and most especially we will remember him for his talent and generosity.

    The new festival, which will be an extremely open and varied event, will give us the chance to enjoy 148 films catering for the tastes of one and all: film buffs, cinematographic professionals, the general public, and also young people and children. A selection of the best international films, without forsaking the most appealing examples of Basque cinema. For years the festival has been supporting and showcasing the new Basque creation, and so it also has close links to all our primary institutions. Proof of this – and a great source of pride for ZINEBI – is that this year we will also be working in association with the Arriaga Theatre, the Guggenheim Museum, the Fine Arts Museum, Azkuna Zentroa, the Golem Alhóndiga Cinemas, Sala BBK, Bilborock and Cineclub FAS.

    Our schedule, which is our most visible letter of presentation and declaration of intent, will also pay tribute to two great directors: Jean-Luc Godard and his comrade-in-arms from his beginnings in films, Éric Rohmer.

    Meanwhile, the section concerning industry has been enhanced this year with more activities, and we will be holding the fifth ZINEBI Networking, the Bilbao Professional Documentary Film Forum, which is showing a very clean bill of health indeed, judging by growing institutional support for the scheme: not only in terms of the support from state and autonomous-community institutions, but also through our international alliances. And so ZINEBI enters its first year as partner festival to the Cannes Docs-Marché du Film platform, designed to connect professionals operating as documentary specialists in the audiovisual industry worldwide. This is extremely good news for the sector, since we must not forget the international role played by ZINEBI. It is the State’s only Category A festival specialising in short films and documentaries, and a qualifier festival for the Oscars, the British BAFTA Awards and the Goya Awards. Last year ZINEBI also joined the small group of festivals from all over the world selecting a short film as a candidate for the EFA awards (European Film Academy).

    And amid all this excitement, there is a space for reflection which I am particularly keen to implement, in my capacity as a woman and director of ZINEBI. This year, in association with Mostra Internacional de Film de Dones, we will be staging an encounter of professionals operating in a number of international film festivals, entitled Women at Film Festivals… Where Are We? We wish to generate a much-needed space for debate, because all of us working in this sector know that the teams working on production, communication, copy management, guest services, protocol and other areas of film festivals are mostly composed of women. The question we wish to pose, however, is: What if we take a look at the management posts at the festivals, and the programming teams?

    Year after year, we continue to work with the firm conviction that our festivals are, more than ever before, crucial links to showcase and exhibit short films, documentaries and all kinds of emerging independent cinema. That is why ZINEBI 64 will be an in situ, collective, diverse and equality-based experience.

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