The Film Festival bids farewell while recovering the award-winning titles during its final day


• After the different juries have announced this 23rd Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival’s awards on Saturday, April 27, the programming team will schedule one last screening for each of those titles

• The juries will gather on Friday evening to decide their respective awards, which they will announce the next day at 11 a.m. at the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium while the audience still enjoys the last screenings of numerous films at Cine Yelmo Las Arenas

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Friday, April 26, 2024. The Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival faces its final stretch. For almost ten days now this event has given its audience the opportunity to experience life around cinema: discovering films premiering locally, nationally or worldwide as part of the Festival; appreciating different artistic styles that are often reserved for art theaters; approaching those findings that confirm the Gran-Canarian Festival’s DNA; or sharing reflections and meetings with bold authors and professionals akin to this other way of understanding films as art.

On Friday evening, the different juries that still have pending tasks —Official Feature Films Section Jury, Official Short Films Section Jury, the Bande à Part Jury, the Popular Jury and the CIMA Jury— will be engaged in their deliberations. On Saturday, April 27, at 11 a.m., they will announce their decisions to the media, guests and onlookers in the Atlantic Room of the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium. It is, however, a symbolic closing, because the Festival audience will still have two full days to squeeze the remaining program, a document that always includes a “last screening” specification alongside this weekend’s showings. That is, the last chance to recover what was left behind, what escaped or what was saved for the weekend.

And among these options there will be some of the award-winning films: On the Go by María Gisèle Royo and Julia de Castro, winner of the Panorama Spain Award, which had already been scheduled for Saturday afternoon. The winning short films will also return to the theaters, including Canarias Cinema’s Aitana by Marina Alberti or Trenc d’Alba (Crack of Dawn) by Anna Llargués, which received a Special Mention in Panorama Spain, as well as the winners of the Official and Bande à Part sections, which are still pending a decision. Likewise, the program stipulates that the winners of the Golden and Silver Lady Harimaguadas will return on Sunday evening.

Such reprogramming adds, if possible, something more attractive to these two days full of options. Magic Lantern brings back the three family films Nina and the Hedgehog’s Secret and Deep Sea, both dubbed into Spanish; and The Masters of Time, screening in its original French version with Spanish subtitles.

Other festivals’ discoveries gathered in Panorama will also continue to tell stories at Cine Yelmo Las Arenas. This weekend will see the last screenings of Lisandro Alonso’s Eureka, winner of the Distribution Award at Gijón; Michel Franco’s Memory, winner of the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at Venice; The Sweet East, a film that premiered at Cannes and was appreciated by BAFICI and Valladolid’s programmers; and the South Korean In Water by an author who’s always been welcome at the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival: Hong Sang-soo.

Panorama Spain, which looks for our national cinema’s singularities that are often made in the margins, will also offer new opportunities for titles such as the Critics’ Prize at Malaga: Nina, by Andrea Jaurrieta; or the work by Jaime Puertas shown at Rotterdam and Malaga, Historia de Pastores (Tales of Shepherds), as well as Ion de Sosa’s personal visual piece, Mamántula. In addition, the screening of this section’s aforementioned winner: On the Go by María Gisèle Royo and Julia de Castro.

The Chilean Malqueridas, the Argentine The Human Surge 3 and the Brazilian Amizade (Friendship), by Tana Gilbert, Eduardo Williams and Cao Guimarães, respectively, will be the last screenings featured in the Bande à Part section, which programs pieces outside the mainstream that may belong to video art exhibitions or experimental film showings.

There will also be restored prints of historical works that deserve a new look decades after their respective releases, such as The Woman of Rumour, programmed within the Special Screenings: Mizoguchi 1954 section. On Saturday and Sunday, the Festival will also show Akira Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress, starring Toshiro Mifune, as part of the cycle on the actor. Mifune’s performance ability will also be showcased in John Boorman’s American film Hell in the Pacific and in the Mexican incursion of the producer and actor: Ánimas Trujano, by Ismael Rodríguez. And within Déjà Vu, the audience will once again encounter masterpieces that, once restored, could be considered re-releases. Thus, this last weekend will see the last screenings of the Japanese Undercurrent by Kōzaburō Yoshimura; the indie comedy by American Nancy Savoca, Household Saints; or the classic of Mexican popular cinema, Llévame en tus brazos (Carry Me In Your Arms) by Julio Bracho.

“Mondo Lily” will bid farewell in the same priceless way its author left her mark in the Festival. Her presence, like her cinema, has left amazing memories in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where Ana Lily Amirpour has generated a whole fandom community around her. The last films to be shown on the big screen are: Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon and The Cabinet of Curiosities: The Outside.

The Freakiest Night will also close on Saturday. As advanced by its programmer Jesús Palacios, this edition’s “main course” has been left for the end: Vampire humaniste cherche suicidaire consentant (Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person) by Ariane Louis-Seize, which will come after the French short film La Vedova Nera by Julian McKinnon.

Finally, once the list of winners has been announced, the audience will have the opportunity to take a stand for or against the jury’s decision by discovering the titles that are still screening from the Official Feature Films Section. Right now, without knowing this edition’s awards, the program will continue to show on Saturday the works by Tanaka Toshihiko, Kazik Radwanski, Gabor Reisz and Pham Ngoc Lân: the Japanese Rei, Tiger Award at Rotterdam; the Canadian Matt and Mara; the Hungarian Explanation for Everything, Orizzonti Award for Best Film at Venice; and the Vietnamese Cu Li Never Cries, GWFF Best First Feature Award at the Berlinale, respectively.

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