‘El violin’ strings up 2 Huelva prizes

Mexican pic takes film, cinematography awards

HUELVA, Spain — In a rare consensus between local critics and a festival jury in Spain, Mexican Francisco Vargas Quevedo’s “El violin” took the film award at the 32nd Huelva Ibero-American Film Festival, which wrapped Saturday.

This plaudit plus cinematography for Martin Boege Pare add to an impressive trophy trawl for “Violin,” which includes prizes at Cannes, San Sebastian, London and Gramado.

Produced by Camara Carnal Films, the b&w pic is set against the background of Mexico’s peasant revolts in the 1970s. It toplines non-professional actor Angel Tavira as a one-armed violinist.

Other fest favorites also grabbed top awards. Special jury prize went to Cuban Manuel Perez’s “Pages From Mauricio’s Diary,” chronicling Cubans who remained in 1990s Cuba.

Argentinean Alejandro Doria took director for “The Hands.”

First-time director and original screenplay went to Chilean Jorge Duran for “Forbidden to Forbid.”

Actress and actor honors were won by Kate del Castillo for Juan Carlos Valdivia’s “American Visa” and Jesus Aranda for Gianfranco Quattrini’s “Chicha tu madre.”

In a parallel kudosfest, captive auds at the Huelva Provincial Penitentiary gave the Freedom Key Award to Uruguayan Manuel Nieto’s “La Perrera” (The Dog Pound). This prize initiative is now 19 years old.

Spanish thesp Ernesto Alterio and vet producer Jose Maria Morales were both honored at Huelva with lifetime achievement awards for their contribution to Ibero-American film-making.

Fest was the first under director Eduardo Trias, who called the 32nd edition “a transitional year.”

With other Spanish festivals, most notably San Sebastian, offering a host of recent Latin American titles, Trias said that Huelva’s challenge is to “consolidate its own identity in an overcrowded festival calendar.”

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