The short animation film Todas mis cicatrices se desvanecen en el viento (2022, Colombia), directed by Angélica Restrepo and Carlos Velandia, took the Grand Prix at the 64th ZINEBI – International Festival of Documentary and Short Film of Bilbao, a prize of 7,000 euros. The film staged its world premiere at the last International Animation Film Festival in Annecy (France), and the jury praised this short film for the way in which “it allows viewers to travel through the time, space and sound of the memory’s landscapes, guided by painful memories”, which gradually fade over time.
The main awards in the Official Section – International Short Film Competition were rounded off by the Grand Award of Basque Cinema, which went to the documentary produced at San Sebastián’s Elias Querejeta Zine Eskola, Wild Flowers (Karla Crnčević, 2022), for its “courageous and honest” questions on memory; and to the Best Spanish Short Film, awarded by the jury to the documentary Olores (Alba Esquinas, 2022), “a well-rounded piece, in which brutality and tenderness go hand in hand” in a film which “stands out for precise use of resources”.
A total of 57 short films competed in this year’s ZINEBI, during which the Mikeldi Prizes were awarded by genres: to the best short fiction film for the Franco-German co-production Backflip (Nikita Diakur, 2022), the best short animation film to the Hispano-Brazilian co-production Searching Heleny (Esther Vital García, 2022) and to the best short documentary film to the Serbian-Slovenian co-production Balls (Gorana Jovanović, 2022).
Additionally, this is the second year that ZINEBI has chosen a short film as a candidate for the Best Short Film of the year for the European Film Academy Awards, and the work chosen by the jury was the German short animation film Zoon (Jonatan Schwenk, 2022).
The names of the short film prizewinners were announced by the jury panel for this section, which this year featured Romanian film programmer Anca Caramelea, the director of the International Short Film Festival of Oberhausen (Germany) Hilke Doering, Colombian editor, director and archivist Juan Soto Taborda, writer Sabina Urraca, and the doctor of Fine Arts and animation director Begoña Vicario.
OFFICIAL SECTION – ZIFF – ZINEBI INTERNATIONAL FIRST FILM COMPETITION
Turning to the largest prize in the Official Section – 12,000 euros – for the best opera prima in the ZIFF – ZINEBI International First Film Competition, the winner was Anhell69. This is a Colombian production with Romanian, French and German assistance, and within the last three months director Theo Montoya had already won special mention at the Venice International Critics’ Week and the Golden Dove at German festival DOK Leipzig.
Montoya had already been a contender in the 2020 ZINEBI International Short Film Competition with the documentary Son of Sodom, the forerunner of the feature film which won this year’s award.
The verdict of the jury, composed of Serbian artist and film director Marta Popivoda, the editor of Cinemanía magazine Carlos Marañón, and French programmer, university professor and writer Nicole Brenez, celebrated the splendid health of modern filmmaking in Colombia, and in Anhell69 they specifically remarked on its “brilliant poetic structure” and its “spectacular formal and inventive hybridisation”.
The three members of the jury panel also gave a Special Mention to the documentary Nuestra Película (Colombia-France), by director Diana Bustamante (the European premiere was hosted by ZINEBI), “for its brave approach to Colombia’s historical reality with brilliant editing in which the use of images brings us to a new dimension in which the victims of violence are remembered and respected”.
The ZIFF Youth Jury Award (UPV/EHU) of 2,000 euros went to How to Save a Dead Friend by Marusya Syroechkovskaya.
The EITB Audience Award of 3,000 euros went to Searching Heleny (Cadê Heleny?) by Esther Vital García (Spain-Brazil).
The 2,000 euro FAS Cineclub Award for the best short film contenders in the Bertoko Begiradak – Views from the Basque Country section went to Espera y sedimento (Hold On & Sediment – Basque Country, 2022), by Tana Garrido Ruiz.
Finally, the UNICEF Award went to the fiction film Son of the Sun (Kyrgyzstan, 2022), by Dastan Madalbekov.
The Festival Closing Gala, headed up by María Goiricelaya and Ane Pikaza (La Dramática Errante), will be held this afternoon at 19:30 h in the Arriaga Theatre, with a screening afterwards of the short films which won prizes in the Official ZINEBI 64 Awards. And tomorrow, Saturday 19 November, the Arriaga Theatre will provide the chance to see the prizewinning films again at 18:00 h.
ZINEBI INDUSTRY AWARDS
From 14 to 18 November, ZINEBI 64 and the Association of Basque Producers (EPE-APV), funded by the Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA), the European Union-NextGenerationEU, EITB, with the support of Europa Creativa Desk MEDIA Euskadi and the Zineuskadi Association (Basque Government), staged the fifth round of ZINEBI NETWORKING: Dokumentalen Sorgunea, the V Documentary Film Professional Forum of Bilbao, an initiative seeking to boost up-and-coming creativity in documentary cinema in the Basque Country and in the State.
For the first time, thanks to the collaboration of the ICAA and the European Union, the Forum staged two competitions, each with a 10,000 euro aid package for the winning production: one for Basque documentary feature films, where the jury chose Zikuñagako Ama (Pello Gutiérrez Peñalba), by producer Zazpi T’erdi; and another for State productions, which was won by Elena dio a luz a un hermoso niño (Chiara Marañón & Juan Soto), by producer LaCima Producciones, S. L.
This year ZINEBI Networking has two strategic international allies – Cannes Docs – the major documentary meeting point in the world’s most important film festival’s Marché du Film – and the Scottish Documentary Institute.
This year ZINEBI also included the “Aukera” Awards, each carrying a 3,000 prize for a short film project. The “(H)emen Saria” Award went to Ultramarino, directed by Maren Zubeldia; the “Creación – Sortzaileen Saria” Award went to 87 hadas, by Beatriz de Silva; and the Bizkaia Provincial Council’s “Aukera” Award for best project in Euskera will go to Komando Marmitako, by Uxue Botas and Ane Nafarrate.