Valencia fest seeks place in the sun

Event switches season, plans anni extras

The 25th edition of the Valencia Intl. Film Festival — also known as the Valencia Mostra — has moved to a summer berth to take advantage of the city’s magnificent Mediterranean-coast weather and dodge Spain’s huge fall pileup of festivals, said director Jose Antonio Escriva.

Fest traditionally took place in October.

The date change attempts to resolve a permanent challenge for the festival. Valencia is Spain’s third-largest city, and is gaining in international recognition: It will host the America’s Cup in 2007, for example.

The festival, however, isn’t much known outside its native city.

After last year’s event, when the Mostra had to deal with austerity measures dut to a reduced budget and a load of debt, Valencia faces a better financial future this year, boasting a full E2 million ($2.4 million) budget, Escriva said.

Anniversary events will include a retro of past winners of Valencia’s top prize, the Golden Palm Tree; a beachside walk of fame; Cinema & Sand open-air, by-the-sea screenings; and a book featuring all the past figures honored at the fest, from director Luis Berlanga to actor Alfredo Landa. The jury will be made up of past prize winners.

Fest’s competition features pics from Mediterranean-rim countries. The Mostra again will feature tributes to thesps and a showcase of local production.

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