The 59th International Film Festival was officially opened last night at the Kursaal with a new format that allowed internet users to send in their comments live so that they could be displayed on a screen during the ceremony. Hosted by the Basque actresses Barbara Goenaga and Marta Etura against a rather minimalist backdrop without a staircase for the first time, with the concept of the future of cinema as the thread running through the proceedings, the gala featured a series of personalities connected to the world of film who presented the various sections of the Festival.
These included the actor Juan Diego Botto who while introducing the Horizontes Latinos section, paid an emotional tribute to the actor Jordí Dauder, who had died the night before, and Jacques Demy’s widow, daughter and son who presented the retrospective that will be devoted to the French director and who all stressed how grateful they were to the Festival that it was going to screen absolutely all of his films.
The Gala also included the awarding of this year’s Fipresci prize, voted by 200 international film critics, which this year went to Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life for ”its outstanding artistic and human qualities”.
After a run through the remaining sections, the members of the Official Section Jury, headed by the American actress Frances McDormand, came on stage to close the event.