FRENCH FILMMAKER NICOLAS PANAY, PORTUGUESE FILMMAKER JOÃO NIZA RIBEIRO, AND UKRAINIAN FILMMAKER DMYTRO SUKHOLYTKYY-SOBCHUK RECEIVE THE INTERNATIONAL, IBERO-AMERICAN, AND DOCUMENTARY DANZANTE AWARDS, RESPECTIVELY, ALONG WITH 5,000 EUROS AND PRESELECTION FOR THE OSCAR AWARDS.
THE AUDIENCE AWARD GOES TO ROPED BY CARMEN CÓRDOBA
THE BEST DEBUT FILMS WINNERS ARE THE SPANISH FILM SMELLS AND THE CO-PRODUCTION FROM ARMENIA, FRANCE, AND BELGIUM IT TAKES A VILLAGE.
The French short film Breakpoint by Nicolas Panay, the Portuguese film Raticide by João Niza Ribeiro, and the co-production of the United States and Ukraine Liturgy of Anti-tank Obstacles by Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk have won the Danzante Awards in the international, Ibero-American, and documentary competitions, respectively. The 51st Huesca International Film Festival awards these three works with a cash prize of 5,000 euros and direct preselection for the Oscars, as the festival in Huesca is one of the six in Spain that qualify directly for these awards.
The jury of the International Competition of the Huesca International Film Festival has granted the Danzante Award to Breakpoint by Nicolas Panay for its brilliant cinematography and rhythm on a current topic, fantastically conveying the struggle of workers for their jobs and highlighting the problems of living in a capitalist system. The short film is a striking piece of cinema where personal issues become political matters and vice versa.
The Animation “Jinete Ibérico” prize (granted by the Instituto de Estudios Altoaragoneses) goes to the short film Fox Tossing directed by Zénó Mira from Hungary, for its impactful storytelling that leaves an unforgettable impression from the first minute. Its unique visual style starkly and directly portrays the grotesque relationship between humans and nature, shedding light on the abuse of power and disdain of men towards the natural world.
The ‘Francisco García de Paso’ Human Values Mention goes to the German film Granica, directed by Joshua Neubert. Through its unfiltered narrative, this short film confronts us with the difficult situations many people face in their daily lives. It fearlessly exposes injustices, inequalities, and human suffering without seeking to sugarcoat or conceal the uncomfortable truths that society often prefers to ignore.
Finnish programmer Annu Suvanto, Spanish actress of Argentine origin María Botto, and Andalusian director Juan Jesús García Galocha, all members of the international jury, have also awarded a Special Mention to the UK-Afghanistan co-production Yellow by Elham Ehsas. They commend this film for its brilliant and poetic depiction, capturing our attention to the current plight of women in Afghanistan, as stated in the official record.
PORTUGAL AND ARGENTINA STAND OUT IN THE IBERO-AMERICAN COMPETITION
Meanwhile, the jury of the Ibero-American Competition awards the Danzante Prize to the Portuguese short film Raticide by Joao Niza Ribeiro for its outstanding cinematographic quality and its. well-coordinated staging that skillfully combines compositions, editing, and compelling performances. The film presents a captivating portrait of a marginalized world, seamlessly integrating the current socio-political context of the migrant issue in Europe in an organic and necessary manner.
The Ibero-American Danzante ‘Cacho Pallero’ honors a story that addresses the crucial theme of workplace abuse and gender-based violence. Victoria by Agustina Gatto from Argentina takes the audience on a journey through “a seemingly straightforward narrative, brought to life by outstanding performances from an actress and an actor who flawlessly convey the nuances of a well-crafted script.”, as stated by Spanish actor Juanjo Artero, Argentine Ariel Direse, and Spanish filmmaker and screenwriter Claudia Costafreda.
Furthermore, the jury has decided to grant Special Mentions to the short films Roped (Spain) by Carmen Córdoba and The Eyes of Doña Lucy by Carlos Hinojosa and Gerardo Romero.
The Huesca International Film Festival list of recognitions also includes an Audience Award and a Best Screenplay Award. The Audience Award, sponsored by Aragón TV, has also been awarded to Roped by Carmen Córdoba, while the Best Screenplay Award goes to the Spanish film Emotional Architecture 1959 by León Siminiani for its originality, its skillful blend of fiction and documentary, and the poetic approach achieved through unconventional storytelling techniques.
A US-UKRAINE CO-PRODUCTION WINS THE BEST DOCUMENTARY AWARD.
The third category in competition, dedicated to Documentary films, has awarded the co-production of the United States and Ukraine, Liturgy of Anti-tank Obstacles by Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk. Spanish programmer Rubén Corral, Swiss Agnese Làposi, and Spanish filmmaker Teresa Lavina claim that the film stands out for its powerful and elegant narrative that delves into the transformation of various materials into symbols of both war and peace. It explores the resilience and endeavors of individuals caught in the throes of conflict.
Meanwhile the Ibero-American Documentary Danzante ‘José Manuel Porquet’ goes to the short film Smells by Alba Esquinas for its poetic use of the senses as a vehicle to evoke cherished childhood memories across different generations.
SMELLS AND IT TAKES A VILLAGE… , BEST DEBUT FILMS
The 51st edition’s lineup is completed by the debut films, an feature that is always carefully considered in the Huesca festival. These films, chosen by the young jury, include the Spanish film Smells by Alba Esquinas, which explores the quest for origins through an unconventional format that captures the essence of cinema. They also awarded It Takes a Village a co-production of Armenia, France, and Belgium, directed by Ophelia Harutyunyan, for its immersive storytelling that unveils hidden truths through absences. The young jury has given a special mention to the UK short film Left Behind by Matteo Crescenzy.