Argentinian films shine at D'A Festival

About 12 and The Fire take top prizes.

by Rebecca Naughten

About 12 won the Talents award at D'A Festival
About 12 won the Talents award at D'A Festival
The fifth edition of D'A - Festival Internacional de Cine d'Autor de Barcelona closed yesterday after seeing more than 10,000 spectators attend screenings across the ten days of the festival.

For the first time, the Talents Award - for the best film by a director with less than three films to their name - carried a prize of €6,000 (£4,428), and was awarded to Argentinian writer-director Martin Shanly for his directorial debut, About 12 (Juana a los 12). The jury - which consisted of Neus Ballús (director of The Plague), Montse Triola (producer at Andergraun Films), Lluís Miñarro (producer and director - his Falling Star screened at Edinburgh last year), José Luis Losa (Cineuropa festival director) and competition winner Diego Gonzalez - commended Shanly's film for "the subtle richness of nuance with which it treats the undefined territory of puberty, inserted into a humanly hostile context".

Argentina was also favoured by the critic's jury - jointly established with the ACCEC (Catalan Association of Film Critics and Writers) - which awarded its prize to The Fire, directed by Juan Schnitman. The jury of Manu Argüelles (Divergent Film), Antoni Peris (Miradas de Cine) and Jorge Oter (university lecturer and researcher) called attention to The Fire's "capacity to maximise the performance of its selected narrative tools, creating an intense atmosphere and seamlessly maintaining it, and for the decisive contribution of the two leads".

Meanwhile the Audience Award - decided by votes cast by those attending all of the festival screenings - went to Agatha's Friends (Les Amigues de l'Àgata), the directorial debut of Alba Cros, Marta Verheyen, Laia Alabart, and Laura Rius. The film originated as their final thesis project for the Audiovisual Communication degree at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Pompeu Fabra University) in Barcelona, and was so popular with the audiences at the D'A Festival that the original screenings sold out.

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