VALENCIA, Spain — “The Salesman,” from Canada’s Sebastien Pilote, took the Golden Moon at Valencia’s 27th Cinema Jove Film Festival, which wrapped Friday.
A grim portrait of a widowed car salesman struck by tragedy, “Salesman” is Pilote’s feature debut. The Golden Moon includes a €30,000 ($37,500) cash prize for “Salesman’s” Spanish distribution.
Cinema Jove unspooled in Spain’s cash-strapped third city, whose other big film event, the Valencia Action and Adventure Film Festival, was axed last September by mayor Rita Barbera.
Majority-financed by Valencia Generalitat regional government, the eight-day fest suffered a 37% budget cut to just $598,750.
Nevertheless, fest saw large turnouts for star-turns by predominantly new-generation filmmakers, led by Santiago Segura, who presented TV showman-turned-actor Jose Mota, star of Alex de la Iglesia’s “As Luck Would Have It,” with a Future of Cinema prize.
Segura said at Jove’s opening gala he would direct and star in a fifth installment of the black-comedy “Torrente” saga. First four parts have grossed $88.7 million in Spain, and are enjoying burgeoning sales abroad.
Up-and-coming Spanish actress Michelle Jenner (“Extraterrestrial”) picked up a second Future of Cinema kudo.
Jove also gave honorary Moons to Estonian toon helmer Priit Parn (“Karl and Marilyn”) and Denmark’s Lone Scherfig (“An Education”).
Cinema Jove world premiered Diemo Kemmesies’ soph pic, “Silent Youth,” a contemplative depiction of two gay adolescents’ discovery of love. Fest standouts included Jean-Marc Moutout’s “Early One Morning” and Kirsten Sheridan’s “Dollhouse.”
Focusing on first and second films, Cinema Jove showed “a strong concern for Western world social issues — unemployment, housing, financial conflicts,” said fest director Rafael Maluenda.
Jove closed Friday with family laffer “Torpedo,” a Belgian-France production by first-timer Matthieu Donck.