26 November 2021
By David Roth
The Almeria International Film Festival is coming to an end. Many films, series and shorts, have found the recognition they deserve during the festival screening to the viewing enjoyment of the people of Almeria. Yesterday the Almeria short film competition had its closing night at the Maestro Padilla Auditorium. The Filming Almeria award went to the series Heridad at the sumptuous gala. Elena Sánchez of Dias de Cine hosted the event which featured a musical performance by the Malaga group Danza Invisible. The awards ceremony opened with the Cecilio Paniagua Award for best cinematography.
The Gil Parrondo award for the Best Artistic Direction went to Chinese native Weijia Ma, Director of the short film He An (Step into the River), who sent a message of thanks to actor Paco Tous. One of the stars of the night was BlueStar, which received the Best screenplay award from Manon Klelnjans, associate producer, but the best was yet to come. The Andalusian Film Writers Association (Asecan) Award went to Farrucas, by director Ian de la Rosa from Nijar. Rosa asked that we not turn away from el Puche, a struggling neighborhood in Almeria, and that they at least be given “lighting, public transportation and decent public education”.
The Almeria Press Association awarded the prize of 2,000 euros for best short film from Almeria to Marcianos by David Pérez del Águila, who wanted to send a message to support public health in these difficult pandemic times. Immediately afterwards Danza Invisible made an appearance on stage with two performances. At the end of their performances the 40 year old documentary on the band from Malaga This side of the road premiered. They also had a say in awarding the Audience Award for best Short Film to The Handyman by Australian director Nicholas Clifford.
Later Bluestar was recognised again when Nissim Renard accepted his award for Best Male Performance. Farrucas also won its second award for the night when young actress Hadoum Benghindira won for Best Female Performance. The accolades kept coming as Adrian Moyse Dullin won Best Short Film Direction for Haut Les Couers. The RTVE award for Best National Short Film went to Mama by Pablo de la Chica.The La Caxia Foundation Award for Best National Short Film rounded off the night, Pilar Sonano, the director of CaixaBank in Almeria, Malagam Tarifa, and Algeciras, Gerardo Cuartero, presented the award to actress and director Verónica Echégui for her film Tótem Loba.
The Best International Short Film Award went to the acclaimed BlueStar as the most successful short film of the 20th Almeria International Film Festival. The last award of the night was the Filming Almería Award, an award dedicated to films shot in the province that have contributed to showcasing Almería. The award went to Wounds, which remade the Turkish series Mother, as a local production. Lucía Alonso, from Atresmedia, and José María Caro from Buendía Estudios received the award from the Deputy for Culture and Cinema, Manuel Guzmán.
The gala culminated with Sabor de Amor by Danza Invisible, the music reviving Madrid's party fever, and getting the audience on their feet. The winners gathered for the traditional group photo at the Maestro Padilla Auditorium, and so ended the gala that celebrates and rewards the talent of short film directors and their stories.