The International Cinema Festival in Gijón

Gijón: a "filmfriendly" city

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This is a festival with personality, incorruptible, full of convulsed films, aesthetic experiments and incorrect subject matters.

Just like that, it is defended by the director of this competition, whose rigor and good collaborators help to keep the essence of this different festival which is fresh, young and modern.


The Internacional Cinema Festival in Gijón, with more than a half of a century history, is one of most important meetings of the seventh art. The main concern of this festival is just to highlight that talent far of commercial circuits.

Every year by the end of november, the city of Gijón, modern and cosmopolitan, is influenced by the independent cinema. For those film lovers, it is a great pleasure to walk down its streets, near the wall of San Lorenzo, go to its bars and modern locals and try to manage this relaxing activity with that of watching such extensive film program only in a week. It is easy to come across film directors, actors, technicians etc, who usually give papers on the filming subject and interviews. Here there is no glamour, because Gijón is a modest city, almost anonymous, and only worried about the work well done, without any debt with the show business people.

This festival offers a plural agenda that apart from films also offers live music, parallel exhibitions, discussions, parties, and important courses such as the season of Universo Media, organized by the University of Oviedo and the International Festival respectively. This season reflects the different mutations of our way to see and make cinema after the expansive wave of digital culture and new technologies.

Everything in Gijón is modern, except for the cinematographic retrospectives. The festival passes mainly based on current and contemporary showings.

In addition to its official section, there is another section called “Enfants Terribles” that has become one of the best referents of international cinema aimed at the youngest. In each new edition, Enfants Terribles offers two weeks of feature films, including fiction titles, animations and documentaries that have a look over both the children’s and teenagers’worlds.

There is another own section devoted to musical documentaries: Disorder and Concert, another section devoted to experimental films, and in the limit called “Llendes” between fiction and reality and the traditional “Esbilla” there is some sort of drawer of disorder where we find in it everything that does not fit in the rest of the sections of this competition.

Prizes are given to the different sections according to an International Jury (usually formed by five professionals from different countries), a Young Jury (formed by 50 young people between 17 and 26 years), and from 2005 to now it also offers the presence of a International Jury of critics: FIPRESCI.

Along the last two years, the most important and worldly prestigious professionals of independent cinema have come to this city. Some guests of honour directors have been, Abbas Kiarostami, Aki Kaurismaki, Todd Hayness, Pedro Costa, Paul Schrader, Joao Cesar Monteiro, Seijun Suzuki, Jem Cohen, Kenneth Anger, Ulrich Seidi, Hal Hartley, Lukas Moodysson, Tsai Ming Lang, Claire Denis or Todd Solondz.

It has also counted with the presence of national and international professionals in the International Jury or presenting films in the diverse sections of its program: John Cale, Maria Schreider, Monte Hellman, Paprika Steen, Julio Medem, Fele Martinez, Elvira Minguez, Jorge Perugorría, Maria Esteve, Tristán Ulloa, Daniel Guzmán or Jan Cvitkovic.

Texto: © Ramón Molleda para desdeasturias.com