Pan Nalin’s ‘Last Film Show’ Tops Valladolid

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Indian helmer Pan Nalin’s “Last Film Show” walked off on Saturday with the top prize, the Golden Spike, at the 66th Valladolid Intl. Film Festival, one of Spain’s biggest and oldest film events and a bastion of festival-prized art film titles.

The French-Indian co-production marks Nalin’s homage to celluloid and is told through the eyes of a nine-year-old boy whose life is turned on its head after he watches his first film at the cinema. World premiering at Tribeca, it became the first foreign-language feature to score as the first runner up for Tribeca’s Audience Award.

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Writer and director Pan Nalin said: “What we started in our solitude in a remote countryside of Gujarat has now started to echoing in multitudes the world over. Winning the best picture Golden Spike at the Seminci is like belonging to the rich history of cinema that Valladolid has stood for nearly seven decades. When I look at the list of past winners, it is simply breathtaking.”

Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired North American rights to the feature. Nalin’s film “Angry Indian Goddesses” won the Audience Award at the Rome Film Festival in 2015.

In prizes which gave further recognition to titles which had already caught attention on the festival circuit this year, Valladolid’s Silver Spike went to Catalan production “The Odd-Job Men” by Neus Ballús a movie that straddles fiction and documentary in its depiction of resilient xenophobia in her native Barcelona as a new handyman from Morocco is put on a week’s trial to see if he can join an odd-job company.

Structured around fictional set-ups but acted by non pros, the Beta Film title took the Audience Award and best actor for its ensemble cast at August Locarno Festival.

Swiss director Fred Baillif (“Tapis Rouge”) scooped Valladolid’s Ribera del Duero Award for best director for “The Fam,” a bruising, raw portrait of the residents and staff of a Geneva teen girl care home,

The cast received a special mention for their performances. Sold by Latido Films, the film won the Berlinale’s Generation 14 Plus Grand Prix in March, sparking a bidding war amongst buyers.

The festival’s Pilar Miró Award for best new director went to the Iranian helmer of “Ballad of a White Cow” Behtash Sanaeeha and Maryam Moghaddam, its co-director and lead actress. A Berlin competition player which struck healthy early sales for Totem Films off upbeat reviews, it tells the story of a woman who learns her husband was innocent of the crime for which he was executed. Then a stranger turns up at her door, posing as a friend of her husband’s and offering to help her.

Moscow film-theatre actor Yuriy Borisov nabbed best actor award for his performance as Vladim in Juho Kuosmanen’s Cannes competition feature “Compartment No. 6,” a romantic drama which shared Cannes’ Grand Prix with Asghar Farhadi’s “A Hero.”

Best actress award went to Yllka Gashi for Blerta Basholli’s Kosovan drama “Hive,” about struggling widows that find healing when they launch a joint food business.

American director Paul Schrader took screenplay for revenge thriller “The Card Counter.”

Yohan Manca’s French film “My Brothers and I” won parallel competition section Meeting Point, focused on first and second time directors, for his . Cannes Un Certain Regard title about a little boy from a working class neighborhood who dream about becoming an opera singer.

In the Time of History documentary competition, the main award was shared by Phil Grabsky and Shoaib Sharifi’s “My Childhood, My Country – 20 Years in Afghanistan” and India’s “Writing with Fire.” The first follows a boy growing up in Afghanistan over a period of 20 years. “Writing with Fire” looks at an Indian newspaper run by lower caste women, in a media landscape dominated by men.

John Hopewell contributed to this article.

2021 SEMINCI AWARD WINNERS

Golden Spike Best Film

“Last Film Show,” (Pan Nalin, India, France)

Silver Spike Best Film

“Odd-Job Men,” (Neus Ballús, Spain)

Ribera del Duero Best Director

Fred Baillif, (“The Fam,” Switzerland)

Pilar Miró Best New Director

Behtash Sanaeeha, Maryam Moghaddam, (“Ballad of a White Cow,” Iran, France)

José Salcedo Award for Best Editing

Fred Baillif, (“The Fam,” Switzerland)

Best Actor

Yuriy Borisov, (“Compartment No. 6”)

Best Actress

Yllka Gashi, (“Hive”)

Miguel Delibes Best Screenplay

Paul Schrader, (“The Card Counter,” U.S., United Kingdom, China)

Best Cinematography

Akiko Ashizawa, (“Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash,” Indonesia, Singapur, Germany)

Fipresci Award

“The Worst Person in the World,” (Joachim Trier, Norway, France, Sweden, Denmark)

Golden Blog Prize

“The Worst Person in the World,” (Joachim Trier, Norway, France, Sweden, Denmark)

SHORT FILMS

Golden Spike Best Short

“Affairs of the Art,” (Joanna Quinn, United Kingdom, Canada)

Best European Short Film Award

“Affairs of the Art,” (Joanna Quinn, United Kingdom, Canada)

Silver Spike Best Short

“My Last Adventure,” (Ramiro Sonzini, Ezequiel Salinas, Argentina)

MEETING POINT

Meeting Point Prize

“My brothers and I,” (Yohan Manca, France)

Audience Award

“My brothers and I,” (Yohan Manca, France)

Youth Award

“Persona Non Grata,” (Lisa Jespersen, Denmark)

TIME OF HISTORY

Time of History Award (ex aequo)

“My Chilhood, my country – 20 Years in Afghanistan,” (Phil Grabsky, Shoaib Sharifi, United Kingdom)

“Writing with Fire,” (Sushmit Ghosh, Rintu Thomas, India)

Time of History Award (second award)

“Corsini Sings Blomberg & Maciel, ”(Mariano Llinás, Argentina)

Audience Award

“Fighters,” (Paola Calvo, Patrick Jasim, Germany, Mexico)

Best Short

“When We Were Bullies,” (Jay Rosenblatt, Germany, U.S.)

Special Mention

“The Cage,” (Adán Aliaga, Spain)

OTHER AWARDS

Green Spike Award

“Animal,” (Cyril Dion, France)

Special Mention

“I’m So Sorry,” (Zhao Liang, Hong Kong, France, Netherlands)

Rainbow Spike Award

“Sediments,” (Adrián Silvestre, Spain)

Fundos Awards (ex aequo)

“Hive,” (Blerta Basholli, Kosovo, Switzerland, Albania, North Macedonia)

“Writing with Fire,” (Sushmit Ghosh, Rintu Thomas, India)

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