×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Philippe Lesage’s ‘Genesis’ Sweeps Spain’s Valladolid Festival

MADRID — Making good on the largely overlooked achievement of debut feature “The Demons,” Québécois Philippe Lesage’s “Genesis” swept the 63rd Valladolid Intl. Film Festival, winning its top Golden Spike, director and actor on Saturday.

One of Spain’s top three or four festivals, and a bastion of auteur cinema, Valladolid closed its official section Friday with an out-of-competition sneak peek screening of a preliminary version of Til Schweiger’s “Honey in the Head,” still to totally finalize post-production, starring Nick Nolte as a grandfather suffering Alzheimer who is taken off by his 10-year-old daughter to Venice where he lived the love of his life with his wife. Initial local press reactions speak of a “brilliant” performance from Nolte. Matt Dillon, who plays Nolte’s son was in Valladolid to accept an Honorary Spike for his career.

Valladolid’s main competition Audience Award, the prize many distributors are most interested in, went to “My Masterpiece,” an art world satire come buddy comedy marking the solo directorial debut of Argentina’s Gastón Duprat.

A standout world premiere in international competition at August’s Locarno Festival, the Be for Film-sold “Genesis” hit Valladolid after scooping warm reviews, if ultimately no prize, at the Swiss Festival,  Variety describing it, following up “The Demons,” as “another rewardingly complex reflection on the emotional trials of youth.”

Some of that must be put down to the performance of Canada’s Théodore Pellerin, best actor at Valladolid, who delivers what Variety called “a lovely, twig-delicate performance” as 16-year-old Guillaume, a gay student at an all boys’ boarding school. In one of its three stories, “Genesis” depicts how his natural ebullience is gradually sapped by the reprobation of teachers and ostracism after he declares his love for his best friend and in front of his class.

Valladolid’s Silver Spike was shared by German Thomas Stuber’s Berlin competition player “In the Aisles,” a drolly upbeat tribute to the transformative power of love, even among supermarket employees, and Desiree Akhavan’s “The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” sold by Elle Driver, with star Chloe Moritz dispatched for religious gay conversion therapy after being caught in a same-sex tryst with her Prom Queen.

Halldóra Geirhardsdóttir won best actress for her performance as a modest eco-warrior in “Woman at War,” Icelandic Benedikt Erlingsson’s follow-up to “Of Horses and Men.”

The Pilar Miró Award for best new director was won by Bulgarian Milko Lazarov’s “Aga,” his second feature, the portrait of an aging couple living out their last years and a way of life on the icy tundra.

“Aga” already closed this year’s Berlinale, as indeed “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” was a Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner. But given the huge challenge now of snagging theatrical openings for almost any arthouse film, anything, including extra awards at smaller but prestigious festivals, is useful if it allows sales agents to argue their case for a film’s continuing purchase.

A portrait of one man’s crusade to help illegal immigrants get political asylum, “To the Four Winds,” from France’s Michel Toesca, won Valladolid’s Time in History section: “Dying To Tell,” from Hernán Zin (“Nacido en Gaza”), detailing the psychological toil of war reporters, topped Doc. España.

Dillon’s visit was one highlight this year. Another, a masterclass by J.A. Bayona, director of “The Orphanage,” “The Impossible” and “Jurassic World,” speaking to a packed audience. Fresh of her best screenplay win at San Sebastian for “,” Iciar Bollaín received another Honorary Spike. One of the few still jobbing directors who made his first feature in the 1950s, and still going strong, Spain’s Carlos Saura, visited Valladolid to present “Renzo Piano, un arquitecto para Santander,” a docu-chronicle shot over five years recording the Pompidou Center architect’s construction of the Centro Botín in Northern Spain’s Santander.

Jamie Lang contributed to this report 

WINNERS, 63RD VALLADOLID INTL. FILM FESTIVAL

MAIN COMPETITION

GOLDEN SPIKE FOR BEST PICTURE

“Genesis,” (Philippe Lesage, Canada)

SILVER SPIKE FOR BEST PICTURE

“The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” (Desiree Akhavan, U.S.A.) and “In the Aisles” (Thomas Stuber, Germany)

PILAR MIRÓ AWARD, BEST NEW DIRECTOR

Milko Lazarov, “Aga”

BEST ACTOR

Théodore Pellerin, “Genesis”

BEST ACTRESS

Halldóra Geirhardsdóttir, “Woman at War”

‘MIGUEL DELIBES’ AWARD FOR BEST SCREENPLAY

Gustav Möller , “The Guilty”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

“A Land Imagined,” (Yeo Siew Hua, Singapore, France, Netherlands)

GOLDEN SPIKE FOR BEST SHORT FILM

“Cadavre Exquis,” (Stéphanie Lansaque, François Leroy, France)

SILVER SPIKE FOR A SHORT FILM

“Drzenia,” (Dawid Bodzak, Poland)

BEST EUROPEAN SHORT FILM

“Cadavre Exquis,” (Stéphanie Lansaque, François Leroy, France)

FIPRESCI AWARD

“The Fall of the American Empire,” (Denys Arcand, Canada)

AUDIENCE AWARD

“Mi obra maestro,” (Gastón Duprat, Argentina)

MEETING POINT SECTION

BEST FILM

“The Return,” (Malene Choi, Denmark, South Korea)

BEST SHORT FILM

“Everything in Far Away,” (Emanuel Parvu, Romania)

BEST SPANISH SHORT FILM

“Silk Worms,” (Carlos Villafaina)

AUDIENCE AWARD

“Yommedine,” (A.B. Shawky, Egypt, U.S.A., Austria)

TIME IN HISTORY DOCUMENTARY SECTION

BEST FEATURE

“To the Four Winds,” Michel Toesca

BEST FEATURE RUNNER UP

“Our New President,” (Maxim Pozdorovkin, U.S.A., Russia)

BEST SHORT FILM

“A World Without Beasts,” (Emma Benestan, Adrian Lecouturier, France)

OTHER PRIZES

DOC. ESPAÑA BEST SPANISH DOCUMENTARY

“Morir para contar,” Hernán Zin

CASTILLA Y LEÓN IN SHORT AWARD

“Ángel caído,” Fran Parra

YOUNG SEMINCI

“Love, Simon,” (Greg Berlanti, U.S.A)

GREEN SPIKE – BEST FILM

“Aga,” (Milko Lazarov, Bulgaria, Germany, France)

GREEN SPIKE – SPECIAL MENTION

“Youth Unstoppable,” (Slater Jewell-Kemker, Canada)

ARCOÍRIS SPIKE

“Yo imposible,” (Patricia Ortega, Venezuela)

ARCOÍRIS SPIKE – SPECIAL MENTION FOR A SHORT

“Prisoner of Society,” (Rati Tsiteladze, Georgia)

‘DUNIA AYASO’ PRIZE

“Carmen & Lola,” (Arantxa Echevarría)

YOUNG JURY PRIZE

“The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” (Desiree Akhavan, U.S.A.)

SOCIOGRAPH AWARD

“In the Aisles,” (Thomas Stuber, Germany)

BLOGOS DE ORO AWARD

“The Guilty,” (Gustav Möller, Denmark)

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Film Republic Adds Further Sales for

    Film Republic Inks Further Deals for 'God of the Piano' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sales agent Film Republic has closed further territory sales on “God of the Piano.” Film Movement previously picked up North American rights to the film, as reported exclusively by Variety. Mont Blanc Cinema has taken the rights for Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay. Limelight Distribution is looking after the Australian and New Zealand releases, Hualu [...]

  • ‘Bears Famous Invasion’s Lorenzo Mattotti Brings

    Lorenzo Mattotti on MIA Title ‘Bears Famous Invasion of Sicily’

    Illustrator Lorenzo Mattotti is no stranger to film festivals. The artist – a long-time New Yorker cover artist and onetime Lou Reed and Michelangelo Antonioni collaborator – has designed posters for past editions of Venice and Cannes, and has contributed to films that played in Toronto and Rome. This year, however, he experienced the festival [...]

  • Dreamworks Abominable

    'Abominable' Release in Malaysia Abandoned

    Plans to release the increasingly controversial Chinese-U.S. co-produced animation film “Abominable” in Malaysia have been dropped after the distributor said that it would not be cut to cater to political sensitivities. The film includes a scene which depicts a map showing the South China Sea and the so called “nine-dash line” that China uses to [...]

  • Hui He

    RAI Com Takes World Sales on Italy/China Doc About Star Soprano Hui He (EXCLUSIVE)

    Italy’s RAI Com has taken world sales on high-profile documentary “Hui He, the Soprano From the Silk Road,” which is about the personal and artistic journey of one of the world’s leading sopranos and also marks a milestone Italian-Chinese co-production. Hui He was born and trained as a singer in the Chinese city of Xi’an, [...]

  • Bruce Springsteen arrives for the New

    Bruce Springsteen Returns to NJ Hometown for Surprise 'Western Stars' Introduction

    Bruce Springsteen returned to his hometown of Freehold, New Jersey to offer a surprise introduction to the first public multiplex viewing of his concert/documentary film, “Western Stars.” Dressed simply in a brown jacket, Springsteen took a moment to say a few words at the AMC Freehold 14 movie theater on Saturday night. “We knew we [...]

  • Backstage in Puglia del film SPACCAPIETRE:

    'Gomorrah' Star Salvatore Esposito Set For De Serio Twins' 'The Stonebreaker'

    Salvatore Esposito, the Italian star who plays young mob boss Genny Savastano in Italy’s hit TV series “Gomorrah,” will soon be hitting the big screen toplining upcoming drama “The Stonebreaker” by twin directorial duo Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio, who are known internationally for “Seven Acts of Mercy.” The De Serio twins are now in post on “Stonebreaker” [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    Box Office: 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Tops 'Joker,' 'Zombieland'

    “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” is on track to give Disney another first place finish after scoring $12.5 million in Friday’s domestic ticket sales. If estimates hold, the Angelina Jolie-led film should finish the weekend with about $38 million — well below earlier forecasts but enough to top holdover “Joker” and fellow newcomer “Zombieland: Double Tap.” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content