• The animated short film Azaletik azalera, directed by Mel Arranz wins the Grand Award of Basque Cinema, while the Grand Award of Spanish Cinema goes to Descartes, the documentary directed by Alejandro Alvarado and Concha Barquero
  • The feature film Rock Bottom Riser, by the American film-maker Fern Silva, wins the Grand Award in the ZIFF – ZINEBI First Film International Competition

ZINEBI – International Festival of Documentary and Short Film of Bilbao. The fiction short North Pole (2021, North Macedonia-Serbia), directed by Marija Apcevska, has won the Grand Award of the 63rd edition of ZINEBI – International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Bilbao (endowed with €7,000). In the words of the international jury, it is "a film as delicate as the face of its protagonist, depicting female desire as something that flows between hope, obligation, pressure and sweet release. In her adolescence, the drama emerges and dissipates in one and the same movement".
Graduate of the New York Film Academy, Apcevska, who also directed the short films Ambi (2017) and Bardo (2012), presented this work at the last edition of the Cannes Film Festival. It was the first Macedonian film to take part in the world’s most important film festival.
North Pole is also the first short film to be proposed by ZINEBI as a candidate for the European Film Awards (EFA), coinciding with the 2022 edition.

The main awards in the Official Section – International Short Film Competition include the Grand Award of Basque Cinema, given to the animation Azaletik azalera (Mel Arranz, 2021), and the Grand Award of Spanish Cinema, given by the International Jury to the documentary Descartes (Concha Barquero and Alejandro Alvarado, 2021).

A total of 55 short films (18 fictions, 18 documentaries and 19 animations) took part in this edition of ZINEBI, in which the Mikeldi Awards were also given by genre: Best Fiction Short Film went to the Danish production Inherent (Nicolai G. H. Jacobsen, 2021); Best Animated Short Film went to the Polish production Crumbs of Life (Katarzyna Miechowicz, 2020); and Best Documentary Short Film went to the British-French co-production Some Kind of Intimacy (Toby Bull, 2021).

The names of the award-winning short films were announced by the members of the Jury for this section, which was formed this year by the Basque director and producer Isabel Herguera, the Guipuzcoan actress Jone Laspiur, the British programmer, critic and filmmaker James Lattimer, the Mexican filmmaker and teacher Itandehui Jansen and the Argentinian producer Florencia de Mugica.


The most important prize in the Official Section (endowed with €12,000 euros) is for the best opera prima in the ZIFF – ZINEBI First Film International Competition and was awarded to Rock Bottom Riser. An American production, the director, Fern Silva, had already earned a special mention by the jury for his début film in the Encounters section of this year’s Berlinale. Fern Silva took part in the ZINEBI International Short Film Competition 2017 with the documentary Ride Like Lightning, Crash Like Thunder.

The Jury, formed by the German artist and filmmaker Helena Wittmann, the Italian writer and programmer Eva Sangiorgi and the critic, journalist and university professor Paula Arantzazu Ruiz, described the winning film as "a navigation through the different states of matter, its temporalities and textures between the intense imprint of man and the beautiful violence of nature".

The three members of the Jury also gave a Special Mention to the documentary Faya Dayi (Ethiopia – USA). The film, by Mexican-Ethiopian director Jessica Beshir, "interweaves the productive activity of a community and its economy with the ghosts of its own effects, between the tangible and the evocative, between reality and their yearnings".

The Youth Jury Prize – ZIFF (UPV/EHU), endowed with €2,000, went to the film Los fundadores(Mexico, 2021, Fiction), by Diego Hernández.


The SGAE Foundation – Basque Conuntry Council gave the Best Basque Script Award (endowed with €3,000) to the short fiction film Kinka(Euskadi, 2021), by Maider Oleaga. The screenplay is by Maider Oleaga and Carlota Pereda. The EiTB Audience Award (also endowed with €3,000) went to Milý tati(Love, Dad), (Czech Republic – Slovakia, 2021. Animation) by Diana Cam Van Nguyen.

The award given by the FAS Cineclub (endowed with €2,000) for the best short film in the Bertoko Begiradak – Views from the Basque Country section went to Rotor (Euskadi, 2021), by Ainara Elgoibar.
Finally, the UNICEF award went to the documentary film Écoutez-moi (Spain, 2021), by Paula Armijo.

The Closing Gala of the Festival, hosted by Colectivo Artístico Señora Polaroiska, is scheduled for this evening at the Arriaga Theatre from 19:30 onwards. After the ceremony, there will be a screening of the short films on the Official List of Winners of ZINEBI 63.


Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th last saw the fourth professional documentary film forum ZINEBI NETWORKING: Dokumentalen Sorgunea, staged by ZINEBI 63 and the Basque Producers Association (EPE-APV), with the collaboration of Euskal Telebista (ETB), Europa Creativa MEDIA Desk Euskadi and Zineuskadi. The initiative is designed to encourage emerging creativity in Basque cinema and the development of its audiovisual production. Twenty-two projects responded to this fourth call for proposals and seven were selected to take part in the forum. The committee of experts who assessed the selected projects decided to award a grant of €10,000 to Libros et mulieres cano(To books and women I sing), directed by Maria Elorza and produced by Txintxua Films.

This year’s edition of ZINEBI also awarded the Aukera Award for the very first time (endowed with €3,000) to promote the development of a short film project. Seven projects took part in the competition, which was won by Prioridades, directed by Tamara Lucarini Cortés and produced by Katz Estudio; Azkena, directed and produced by Ane Inés Landeta and Lorea Lyons. The work titled Hemen bizi da maitasuna, directed and produced by Ainhoa Olaso Sopelana and Enara Garcia Elkoroaristizabal, won the Aukera prize awarded by the Provincial Council of Bizkaia for best project in the Basque language.


Once again, ZINEBI, this year in its 63rd edition, showed itself to be a hybrid event: in addition to showing the films in cinemas, as has always been the case, and in view of the persistent threat of COVID-19, the management of the 2021 edition decided to stage the festival as follows:

in addition to screening the films at cinemas, we added on-line screening via the FILMIN platform. The works screened included 7 feature films from the Beautiful Docs – An Overview of Documentaries from Over the World section, 8 participants from the Official Section ZIFF – ZINEBI FIRST FILM- International Competition and 39 of the 55 short films from the Official Section International Short Film Competition.


Official Section – International Short Film Competition

ZINEBI Grand Award 

СЕВЕРЕН ПОЛ (North Pole) – Marija Apcevska
North Macedonia – Serbia, 2021 | 15 mins | Fiction

Grand Award of Basque Cinema

Azaletik azalera (Skin to Skin) – Mel Arranz
Euskadi, 2021 | 7 mins | Animation

Grand Award of Spanish Cinema

Descartes (Outtakes) – Concha Barquero and Alejandro Alvarado
Spain, 2021 | 21 mins | Documentary

Mikeldi for Best Documentary Short Film

Some Kind of Intimacy – Toby Bull
United Kingdom – France, 2021 | 6 mins | Documentary

Mikeldi for Best Animation Short Film

Okruszki życia (Crumbs of Life) – Katarzyna Miechowicz
Poland, 2020 | 7 mins | Animation

Mikeldi for Best Fiction Short Film

Inherent – Nicolai G. H. Johansen
Denmark, 2021 | 16 mins | Fiction

EITB Audience Award

Milý tati (Love, Dad) – Diana Cam Van Nguyen​

Czech Republic – Slovakia, 2021 | 13 mins | Animation

Best Basque Script Award – SGAE Foundation

Kinka, Maider Oleaga
Euskadi, 2021 | 15 mins | Fiction

FAS Cineclub Award

Rotor, Ainara Elgoibar
Euskadi, 2021 | 16 mins | Documentary


Écoutez-Moi (Listen to Me), Paula Armijo
Spain, 2021 | 17 mins | Documentary

Short Film Nominated for the European Film Awards 2022

СЕВЕРЕН ПОЛ (North Pole) – Marija Apcevska
North Macedonia – Serbia, 2021 | 15 mins | Fiction

ZINEBI First Film International Competition

ZIFF Grand Award

Rock Bottom Riser – Fern Silva
USA, 2021 | 70 mins | Documentary

ZIFF Special Mention

Faya Dayi – Jessica Beshir
Ethiopia – USA – Qatar, 2021 | 120 mins | Documentary

ZIFF Youth Jury Award (UPV/EHU)

The founders – Diego Hernández
Mexico, 2021 | 62 mins | Fiction 


ZINEBI Networking Award

To books and women I sing
Director María Elorza
Producer Txintxua Films

Aukera Award

Director Tamara Lucarini Cortés
Producers Ana Angulo Umaran and Jone Arriola Lobete (Katz Estudio)

Aukera Award

Direction and production Ane Inés Landeta and Lorea Lyons

Aukera Award – Provincial Council of Bizkaia

Hemen bizi da maitasuna (Love Lives Here)
Direction and production Ainhoa Olaso Sopelana and Enara Garcia Elkoroaristizabal