SPAIN. Barcelona: Last week, Barcelona, Spain hosted the premier of the LHIFF- Barcelona International Film Festival.
The festival took place September 13-18, 2021, witnessing great fanfare with dozens of films officially screened, at Sala Aquarella; numerous glamorous receptions, a series of master classes, and a wealth of networking opportunities for filmmakers from around the world.
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Festival director and filmmaker, Darwin Reina envisioned bringing a fresh film festival to Europe that would land opportunities for independent artists to shine. Although the festival was delayed twice due to COVID-19, the pandemic couldn’t anymore hold back the enthusiasm of Darwin Reina and his team from materializing this gigantic dream.
Starting last Monday, filmmakers began to descend on the Catalonian coast, eager to showcase and discuss the art of film, after two years of anticipation. Guest speakers helped launch the weeklong event with an opening ceremony that consisted of traditional Spanish dancing.
Each day featured a series of films that were showcased for their unique attributes. In between screenings, directors, producers, actors, and writers provided in-depth interviews about their crafts and their processes.
Wednesday saw a series of master classes that featured talented guest speakers that honed in on specific aspects of the industry. Classes included “Making it in Hollywood” by successful actor Terence Bernie Hines; “Directing for the TV and Cinema” by Spanish director Esteve Rovira; “Film Scoring and Post-Production” by musician Flora Cheng; and “The Importance of LGBTQIA+ Characters in Film” by renowned dragqueen and writer, Jeza Belle.
A standout was Jeza Belle’s class, which highlighted why it is so crucial to tell the stories of LGBTQIA+ people through film and the power of cinema to touch lives. The class culminated in a writing activity where class participants demonstrated why they are masters of their crafts in storytelling.
The festival came to a stunning close at a Golden Globes-eque gala at the Restaurant El N9U, where accepted films were celebrated and winners in multiple categories took home well-deserved awards.
All in all, this was a festival that roared onto the scene, accomplishing in its first year what it took many other household-name festivals years to build up to. One thing is for certain, LHIFF is going to be a hot film festival to watch for years to come.
Transcontinental Times listed the winners:
Best Spanish Feature Film – La Cinta De Álex
Best Spanish Short Film – Barquitos De Papel
Best Director in a Spanish Short Film – Santi Planet, “La Mujer Invertida”
Best Actress In A Spanish Short Film – Clara Manyós, “El Día Que Te Maté”
Best Actor In A Spanish Short Film – Gael Cárdenas, “No Apto Para Menores”
Best Cinematography In A Spanish Short Film – La Mujer Invertida
Best Score In A Spanish Short Film – La Herencia De Martí
Best International Feature Film – Effigy: Poison And The City
Best Director In A Feature Film – Udo Flohr, “Effigy: Poison And The City”
Best Actor In A Feature Film – Fernando Gil, “La Cinta De Álex”
Best Actress In A Feature Film – Rocío Yanguas, “La Cinta De Álex”
Best Supporting Actress In A Feature Film
Elisa Thiemann, “Effigy – Poison And The City”
Best Supporting Actor In A Feature Film – Eleazar Masdeu, “The Scorpion’s Dream”
Best Cinematography In A Feature Film – La Cinta De Álex
Best Screenplay In A Feature Film – The Eccentric World Of Baron Styles
Best Editing In A Feature Film – Effigy: Poison And The City
Best Score In A Feature Film – Effigy: Poison And The City
Best LGBTIQ Feature Film – War — Angel: The Awakening
Best Documentary Feature Film – The State Of Texas vs. Melissa
Best VFX – Metamorphosis
Best International Short Film – The Fixer
Best Director In A International Short Film – Michael Schilf, “The Fixer”
Best Actress In A International Short Film – Véronique Picciotto, “The Role Of A Lifetime”
Best Actor In A International Short Film – Jessie C. Boy, “The Fixer”
Best Supporting Actor In A International Short Film – Sean Kane, “Missed”
Best Cinematography In A International Short Film – Hatshepsut
Best Score On International Short Film – The Role Of A Lifetime
Best Editing In A Short Film – The Day I Had To Grow Up
Best Screenplay On International Short Film – A Way For Tomás
Best Horror Short Film – Berserka
Best LGBTIQ Short Film – Only Human
Best Action Short Film – UV: A Resistance Story
Best Documentary Short Film – The Day I Had To Grow Up
Best Short Film Script – Waiting
Best Animation Short Film – Eco Escort
Best Musical Video Film – Moonlight
Best Feature Screenplay Script – Mari Sandoz: The Running Water
Spotlight on Women´s Empowerment – Petra Terzi