Alfas del Pi has been closely connected to the Spanish film industry for the last 22 years.
Last Friday, the 2010 edition of the Alfas Film Festival commenced. An important event which honours famous films stars every year. The stars to be honoured this year are the Argentinean actress Soledad Villamil and the Spanish actor Emilio Gutierrez Caba.Both have been awarded the highest award of the festival the “Faro de Plata”or Silver Lighthouse. This award has in previous years been awarded to the directors Pedro Almodovar and Alejandro Amenabar or to the actors Paco Rabal, Carmen Maura, Marisa Paredes, Eduardo Noriega and Geraldine Chaplin. All of these and hundreds more over the last twenty years have walked the red carpet and made this one of the most important film festivals in Spain.
The film that has won this year’s edition of the festival is “Pablo” directed by Nely Reguera.
The Festival starts with the inaugural gala which is traditionally held in the Casa de Cultura. Along the esplanade, admired by approximated 2000 spectators walked many well known faces from film and television, directors, producers as well as the two stars honoured with this years “Silver Lighthouse”. On the red carpet we saw, Neus Asensi, Carmen Conesa, Jordi Rebellon, Ana Rujas, Antonio Valero, Elisa Lledo, Angel Pardo and Bibiana Fernandez among others. Bibiana presented the gala for the second year running and added glamour to the event by arriving in a horse drawn carriage.
Soledad Villamil was the first to receive the award, this was the first Spanish award that the actress has received for her role in “El secreto de sus ojos” ( The secret in their eyes) which converted her into a star outside her native Argentina.
Thanks to her role in this film she was nominated for a Goya for the Most Promising New Comer . Unfortunately she was unable to collect the Goya personally or to attend the Oscar Ceremony where “The Secret in their eyes.” won Best Foreign Language Film, due to other film commitments.
The actress was presented with the Silver Lighthouse by two of the producers of “The Secret in their eyes”, Spaniard Gerardo Herrero, and Paraguayan Mariela Besuievski. The actress was thrilled to receive the award which she believes bridges the gap between one side of the Atlantic and the other.
Emilio Guetierrz Cabo also received his award from friends, in his case from the Theatre Director Mario Gas and from the Valencian actor Jorge de Juan, with whom he has worked on many occasions. The Festival of Alfas has wanted to honour Emilio for many years as he is considered to be one of the greats of Spanish theatre and film.
The final touch to the evening was a musical performance of Milongas, Tangos, Coplas and other Argentinian rhythms all sung by Soledad Villamil herself, who is also a singer with two recorded albums to her credit.
With the Festival officially open approximately 100 films will be screened. The most important films that have premiered during the year , nationally and internationally with a special reference to the Hollywood films. The films are shown in different locations, one of them being the beach in Albir, which allows the festival to reach everyone as the Festival Director Juan Luis Iborra pointed out. Differing from the screenings held in the Casa de Cultura or in the Cinema Roma, the beach screenings are in the open air and attended by hundreds of people every night.
Apart from the screenings and the competition for the Best Short Film , this edition of the Alfas film festival has added a new section. A debate or discussion between some of the stars and directors of the most popular Spanish films of the year. Among them Daniel Monzon, whose camera captured the winner of the previous year Cell 211. He was accompanied by Alberto Ammann, winner of the Goyafor Most Promising New Comerand by Villamil and Herrero who starred together in The secret of their eyes along with Miguel Angel Tobias director of the Documentary “ Sueños de Haiti” (Dreams of Haiti).
Another film discussed was “Me Too” starring Lola Sueias and Pablo Pineda , the young Down Syndrome actor who shone in his role. Accompanying Pineda were the directors Alvaro Pastor and Antonio Naharro.
These are the main feature of the festival. Audio- visual stories less than 20 minutes in duration. This year 128 short films have been entered and the judges will then select those they think have the best visual quality with the best script. The 16 selected films La historia de siempre, Lost, Gracias, El opositor, Adios muñeca, 9 , Burbuja, El orden de las cosas, La autoridad, Killer, La Rubia de Pinos Puente, Mi amigo invisible, Pablo, Ona, Recuedos a Wy-Fly & Ultimo minuto, have been selected by the jury for the Best Short Film in this edition of the festival.
The 16 films can be seen during the festival, they are screened over the period and before the full length films shown during the festival. The majority of these short films are dramas that enter into the depth of human nature but there are also some comedies, from Madrid, Cataluña, the Basque Country or Andalucia.
The Valencian Community has entered two short films into the competition this year, in previous years they have entered various projects from local directors , filmed in the Valencian region which help to promote awareness of the Valencian Film Industry.