The International Festival of Documentary and Short Film of Bilbao – ZINEBI, organised by Bilbao Town Hall, moves into its 64th round on Friday 11 November, with an opening ceremony at the Arriaga Theatre at 19:30 h. The Festival is on until 18 November, with a closing ceremony and prize-giving. Both galas will be led for the first time by Maria Goirizelaia and Ane Pikaza.
The schedule for the 64th Festival was presented this morning at a press conference attended by Bilbao Town Hall’s Culture and Governance Councillor, Gonzalo Olabarria, the Basque Government’s Secretary for Culture and Linguistic Policy and Spokesman, Bingen Zupiria, and the director of ZINEBI, Vanesa Fernández Guerra.
The press conference revealed the details of this year’s festival, featuring 148 films (25 more than in 2021) from 47 countries (6 more than the previous year). More than half the films are State premieres, and more than half of the films are directed by women.
Like every year, the projections are grouped into two sections: Official Section and other projections.
The former is composed of the International Short Film Competition and the International Competition ZIFF – ZINEBI First Film, for first feature films by new directors.
The latter includes the section Beautiful Docs – An Overview of Documentaries from Over the World, a non-competition sample showing what is going on in the international documentary panorama; a section entitled Bertoko Begiradak – Views from the Basque Country, composed of short films and feature films produced in the Basque Country, to showcase the work of producers, filmmakers and professionals operating in the Basque audiovisual industry, and other special sessions
This year the special sessions will feature Ukraine in the cycle “Once I Was a Filmmaker. Now I Am a Soldier. ”, with three short films and three feature films produced in Ukraine following the invasion of this country’s territory by the Russian army in February this year. One of them, Mariupolis 2, was premiered at the last Cannes Festival, where it won the Special Jury Prize in the documentary category, and it was directed by Mantas Kvedaravičius (although it was finished by his partner Hanna Bilobrova, after the director was captured and murdered by Russian soldiers in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on 2 April this year).
HONORIFIC MIKELDI AWARDS
The 64th ZINEBI Festival once more acknowledges the trajectory and artistic dimension of some of the leading names in contemporary international filmmaking with its honorific Mikeldi Awards.
On this occasion the Festival is awarding the prizes to three directors: Agnieszka Holland, Albert Serra and Iñigo Salaberria.
ZINEBI is awarding the prize to Polish scriptwriter and director Agnieszka Holland for her committed contemplation of individual freedoms throughout a complete and combative trajectory, which has documented – in extensive works for cinema and television – the major changes in the History of Europe. She is also the current president of the European Film Academy.
In the case of Albert Serra, the Festival is giving its Honorific Mikeldi prize to one of the unquestionable giants of contemporary cinema, an director unbribable in his defence of independent films, who has produced works crammed with unforgettable images, inspired by the different paths which Western cine has trodden and treads.
ZINEBI also wished to pay a tribute to the trajectory of Gipuzkoa film director Iñigo Salaberria, who passed away recently. A staunch defendant of his creative independence, he was always faithful to a way of understanding audiovisual imbricated in the videoart tradition, from his beginnings in the Paris of the eighties, up to the closing years of the last decade, when his short films became a habitual feature in the ZINEBI schedule.
This year more than 3,400 short films were viewed by the ZINEBI selection committee to choose a total of 57 films (all State premieres) from 36 countries, directed by 31 men and 38 women. Seven of these were by Basque directors:
Alas/Tierra (Maddi Barber, 2022); The Bath (O banho, Maria Inês Gonçalves, 2022); Gran Hotel Nazareno (Txuspo Poyo, 2022); Hemen bizi da maitasuna (Ainhoa Olaso and Enara García, 2022); Hitzak (Josu Martinez, 2022); Hondarrak (Marta Gómez and Paula Iglesias); and Wild Flowers (Divlje Cvijeć, Karla Crnčević). They will be showcased at the opening gala on Friday 11 November.
ZINEBI will reveal the prizewinners on 18 November. The prizes in the Official Section-International Short Film Competition will be awarded by the International Jury, which this year is composed of Romanian programmer Anca Caramelea (Ecozine Film Festival); the director of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Hilke Doering; Colombian film editor, director and archivist Juan Soto; writer Sabina Urraca; and director and animated film specialist Begoña Vicario.
The Official Section – International Competition ZIFF – ZINEBI First Film prizes will be awarded by an International Jury, which this year is composed of French university lecturer, writer and programmer Nicole Brenez (who will also be giving a masterclass on 15 November on the importance of the works of Jean-Luc Godard, who passed away recently): film critic and journalist Carlos Marañón; and Serbian director, artist and researcher Marta Popivoda.
6 of the 9 feature films selected for ZIFF are directed by women, and have been premiered and acknowledged at famous festivals such as Berlin, Venice, New York, Karlovy Vary and Visions du Réel.
ZINEBI’s parallel sections will present some of the best documentary feature films screened in 2022. This will be in the section Beautiful Docs – An Overview of Documentaries from Over the World, a selection of nine documentaries with world premieres over the last twelve months. 4 of these have not yet been screened in the State. They include À vendredi, Robinson (See You Friday, Robinson), directed by Mitra Farahani and premiered jointly with the Gijón International Film Festival – FICX (with which ZINEBI has signed a collaboration agreement this year to share premieres such as the premiere of this film); Music for Black Pigeons, by Jørgen Leth and Andreas Koefoed; the Franco-German-Korean co-production Une fleur à la bouche (A Flower In The Mouth), directed by Éric Baudelaire; and Casa Susanna, by French director Sébastien Lifshitz. There will also be a screening of the winner of the ZINEBI Networking 2021 award, A los libros y a las mujeres canto (Maria Elorza, 2022), which received its world premiere in September in San Sebastián.
As in previous years, ZINEBI 64 maintains its connection with recent Basque productions, and pays special attention to this in the section Bertoko Begiradak. Views from the Basque Country. To help publicise and showcase them, this annual section of the Festival reflects the thematic and formal concerns of our directors.
The section has 4 feature films and 16 short films this year, and also the seven Basque Films in the Official Section – International Short Film Competition. The films chosen are Tetuán (Iratxe Fresneda, 2022), also co-premiered with the Gijón Festival; Bigarren ekitaldia (Ainhoa Urgoitia and Enrique Rey, 2022), on the tenth anniversary of one of the major focuses on the theatre scene in Vizcaya, Pabellón Nº 6; the latest short film by Velasco Broca, Alegrías riojanas (2022), presented at Sitges this year; and Izaro limoari eztia, co-directed by composer Izaro Andrés and Ander Merino, where viewers see preparations for the concert by the Vizcaya singer at the Anoeta cycling track.
The Festival schedule is rounded off with the Special Sessions. This year, with Éric Rohmer – a contemporary of Jean-Luc Godard as the focal point of a cycle of some of his last short films, always carried through in the company of female scriptwriters, actresses and directors attached to Compagnie Éric Rohmer, with whom ZINEBI has organised this selection of eleven films not yet screened in the State.
In the run-up to the Qatar World Football Cup, ZINEBI will also be organising a selection – alongside Fundación Athletic Club – of two football documentaries; a special session for deaf people; and also the events for children on the ZINEBITXIKI programme, enabling hundreds of schoolchildren to go to morning sessions to watch animated short films produced recently.
ZINEBI, in collaboration with the fifth Bilbao Professional Documentary Film Forum ZINEBI Networking: Dokumentalen sorgunea, funded by the Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts ( ICAA), European Union-NextGenerationEU, EITB, Zineuskadi and Europa Creativa Desk Media Euskadi, together with the Scottish Documentary Institute and reference point in the Film Industry at the Cannes Festival, where ZINEBI is partner festival this year.
The deadline for presentation of feature film projects was 29 September. Before they are presented, the projects shortlisted will take part in a session of customised tutoring with professionals who will be on the international jury panel specifically designated for the scheme.
The main feature is the acceptance of emerging projects from all over the State. And so, for the first time, ZINEBI Networking: Dokumental sorgunea has two cash prizes of 10,000 euros each: the prize for the best Basque documentary feature film (ZINEBI Networking EITB 2022 Award), and the prize for the best entry from elsewhere in the State (ZINEBI Networking 2022 Award).
This year the event will also include other encounters within the industry, such as the first Cantabria-Euskadi Networking, in collaboration with Zineuskadi and the Cantabria Film Commission; the encounter of autonomous community short film distribution catalogues, which will feature representatives of autonomous communities such as Navarra, Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria.
The ZINEBI public may attend various encounters in the ZINEBI MEETINGS section. The first, a tribute to Iñigo Salaberria, will be held at the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum Auditorium on 27 October, with the title “Homage to Iñigo Salaberria. Walk to See (the Light), wait to See (the Shadow)”.
The festival has also prepared an encounter with the other two Honorific Mikeldi awardwinners this year: Agnieszka Holland (Saturday 12) and with Albert Serra (Thursday 17), at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
In the special programme dedicated to contemporary Ukrainian cinema, institutional representatives and filmmakers will discuss the critical situation of the people of Ukraine and, most particularly, professionals working in the artistic and cultural sectors. The event will be held in Azkuna Zentroa’s Sala Bastida on Saturday 12.
This will also be the venue for an encounter on Sunday 13, entitled “Women at film festivals … Where are we?“”, with female directors, programmers and other areas of directing at festivals such as San Sebastián, Doclisboa, Oberhausen, La Roche-sur-Yon, Huesca and Mostra Internacional de Films de Dones, among others.
IN SITU EVENT
After two years with hybrid sessions (due to the effects of management of the pandemic), the 64th ZINEBI will be held entirely in situ. However, the live screenings in Bilbao will also include the possibility of seeing some of the films covered at the Festival in recent years via the FILMIN platform, in a specific section dedicated to ZINEBI. No films screened this year at Bilbao venues will be accessible on the platform.
VENUES AND TICKETS
Once more this year the Festival has several venues: Arriaga Theatre, Cinemas Golem – Alhóndiga and the Auditorium at Azkuna Zentroa, Fine Arts Musem, Guggenheim Museum, Bilborock and Sala BBK.
For projections at the Azkuna Zentroa Auditorium and the Golem – Alhóndiga Cinemas, individual tickets are available (4.50 euros) and 10-session multi-tickets (35 euros) as of 26 October at the Golem ticket office. ZINEBI will also issue special multi-tickets for the unemployed, retirees (and those over 60 years old), students and young people under 26 years old, for 20 euros.
The Festival press materials may be consulted at this link.