SPAIN, FRANCE, POLAND, BRAZIL, HUNGARY AND UNITED KINGDOM ARE THE COUNTRIES WITH THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF SELECTED WORKS IN ONE OF THE SIX FESTIVALS IN SPAIN THAT QUALIFY FOR THE OSCAR AWARDS.
THE FESTIVAL DEMONSTRATES AGAIN ITS POTENTIAL AS A PLATFORM FOR NEW TALENTS, WITH 36 DEBUT FILMS OR SCHOOL FILM WORKS ALMOST FIFTY PERCENT OF THE TOTAL.
“THE NEW GENERATIONS OF FILMMAKERS KNOW THAT GETTING SELECTED FOR THE HUESCA FILM FESTIVAL CAN MEAN A TURNING POINT IN THEIR CAREERS,” DECLARED ESTELA RASAL, DIRECTOR OF THE COMPETITION.”
The 51st Huesca International Film Festival will feature 79 short films in competition, with a total of 29 cinematographies from around the world represented at the Huesca event. The selection combines established talent with new voices in audiovisual language, with 36 debut works and films from film schools, which make up nearly half of the total. “Huesca remains an international benchmark, one of the six festivals in Spain that qualifies for the Oscars. Our history and prestige make us a focus of attention for the industry, and that’s why the new generations of filmmakers know that being selected for the Huesca Film Festival can be a turning point in their careers,” says Estela Rasal, festival director.
The official section is divided into three contests: international with 32 entries, Ibero-American with 31, and documentary with 16. Spain is the most represented country with a total of 21 productions. France completes the podium with 7 entries, and Poland climbs to the third position. Behind them, Hungary, and the United Kingdom have 4 entries each, followed by Germany, Brazil and Argentina (this year’s guest country) with 3. Other countries with strong historical ties to the Huesca festival, such as Mexico (2), are interspersed with less common territories such as Singapore (1) or Bulgaria (1).
In terms of topics, the works continue to be a faithful reflection of today’s society. After several years where the pandemic was a recurring theme in stories, now it is the war in Ukraine that captures the attention and concerns of filmmakers, productions that in any case cover a wide range of topics such as mental health, immigration, feminism, ecology or sexuality in all its forms. A complete and complex amalgam of themes and ways of approaching them through all kinds of genres: drama, comedy, documentary, film noir, fantasy or animation. “After a few years where the sector has suffered the crisis generated by the pandemic, the recovery of audiovisual production is noticeable both in quantity and quality, especially in the Ibero-American area,” points out Rasal.
Among the selected filmmakers are names who have already been part of the Huesca festival in previous editions, such as Iranian director Ali Asgari (who participated in 2015 with Il Silenzio) or the recent Goya Award winner León Siminiani (with El tránsito in 2010); a list that includes short films endorsed by festivals such as Berlin, Locarno, Sundance, Annecy, Clermont-Ferrand, Tallin, Zagreb, or Warsaw.
24,000 EUROS IN PRIZES AND A DOORWAY TO THE OSCARS
The announcement of the Huesca International Film Festival marks the beginning of the fight for the Danzante Awards, the most important recognition in each of the three contests that make up the event. These trophies directly qualify for the pre-selection of the Hollywood Oscars (both in fiction and documentary) and have a prize of 5,000 euros, it is therefore the top award of a prize list that distributes a total of more than 24,000 euros to filmmakers.
Once again, the Olimpia Theater will be the main venue for the free competition screenings, where attending spectators can decide with their votes the Audience Award sponsored by Aragon TV. Movie lovers who cannot travel to Huesca will have the option to enjoy the short films through the Festival’s website in their online format (established since 2015).