The Gijón International Film Festival was founded in 1963 as the International Children’s Cinema and TV Contest. It was initiated by the City Council of Gijón and supported by Cajastur (Caja de Ahorros de Asturias, local savings and loan association). The City Council is the festival’s main organizer, while Cajastur is its sponsor.
The name of the festival slightly changed several times throughout the 1960s and 1970s, but for more than two decades it remained focused on films and television programs for children and teenagers. Although in 1986 the festival began to put the phrase Gijón International Film Festival in front of its name, it was not until 1988 that it officially adopted the new name.
The program of the festival is divided into several sections. The festival’s official competition includes feature films, documentary films, short films and non-fiction films. Of course, each type of film is judged separately. Another competitive section is called Rellumes, it includes films that were not chosen for the official selection but still have interesting features that make them worth showcasing at the Gijón International Film Festival.
The Animafics section features some of the most daring, suggestive and avant-garde animated films that cover a wide range of topics. Enfants Terribles is a section dedicated to the best of children’s and teen’s cinema. Gran Angular is one of the most popular sections among festival attendees. Similarly to Rellumes, it showcases interesting films that don’t fit in the standards of the competition but must be screened at the festival. Alongside these sections, the program includes screenings of unorthodox films, retrospectives, the Night of Spanish Short Films, and special screenings of Asturian movies.
The festival’s program is not limited to screenings. It features a range of industry events including roundtables, seminars, and workshops. Cinema lovers can attend live concerts, meet and greets with renowned filmmakers, and other events. Every festival welcomes independent filmmakers, producers and other professionals from different countries.
The international jury of the Gijón International Film Festival gives out several awards to the best films in each competition section. There’s also the Young Jury Award (this jury is made up of young adults aged 17 to 25 years old) and the FIPRESCI Award.
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