The first film by German director Jakob Gerhmann was the winner of the night at the closing ceremony of the Calella Film Festival, the Maresme Film Festival. His work, Qazi, won the awards for best film and also the audience award, which has appreciated the values of a film that shows the harshness of life of Pakistani immigrants in Europe.
After receiving the festival’s award twice, the Wolf, Jakob Gerhmann, recalled that “This film has its origins in a short film that I shot while I was studying film. When we had a budget, we thought of expanding the story and traveled to Pakistan to shoot several scenes.”
The tour of “Qazi” has been successful so far in more than 20 festivals around the world. Its director traveled directly to Calella after receiving another award for best film at the Ethnokino Film Festival in Switzerland. It has also won awards at several Spanish festivals, as well as in Italy, the United States and his native Germany.
Jakob Gerhmann recognizes that “It has been very interesting to contrast the stories with the Pakistani community of Calella and to see that they identified with it. It has been very rewarding as a filmmaker to know that we have reproduced their experiences well.”
“Hazlo por mí”
In the Festival’s “Low Budget” section, the other winner was “Hazlo por mí”, the work of director Álvaro de la Hoz. Hazlo por mí won two awards. Zoe Pérez, a promising young filmmaker, won the award for Best Actress, and Pedro Pablo Picazo was awarded Best Screenwriter.
The Cantabrian Zoe Pérez was in charge of collecting both awards in person and was radiant with joy. “I am very excited about the awards. For me it is an incredible personal satisfaction. But also because the award for best screenplay is special for Pedro Pablo Picazo. He has been working on the film for many years. It is a project in which we have invested a lot of time and energy. We were cold and hungry during the shooting, but now we look back on everything with great affection”.
Zoe Perez recognizes that she had not planned to throw herself into her acting career, but awards like the one she has received in Calella are encouraging her, “I’ve always been a little afraid of the mediatization that exists around the cinema. I’ve always been a bit insecure about myself and I think this world is complicated. In addition to talent, there are other factors that play a role. As a result of this award and others we have received, the film has been seen a lot. I want to get rid of the thorn and know what will happen if I try it. I think I’ve changed my mind.
The jury of the Calella Film Festival has been led by actor Juli Fàbregas, who has formed a luxury team with actors, screenwriters, directors, editors and producers such as Ramon Salas, Clàudia Font, Eloi Tomàs, Manuela Velasco, Maria Molins and Norbert Llaràs.
One of the members of the jury was the actress from Madrid Manuela Velasco, a regular in television and cinema.
Manuela Velasco has just participated in Santi Alvarado’s film “Cuando los dueños duermen”. The actress describes her latest performance as “a wonderful bizarre film. I’m looking forward to seeing it. In November I will shoot with Santi Requejo a very social film, which has to do with work-life balance and motherhood. That is, nothing to do with Santi Alvarado’s film”.
Manuela Velasco acknowledged that “it has been difficult for me to be in a jury, because I have a hard time evaluating. In this Calella Film Festival there has been a high level and we have awarded particular things of each film”.
After being in Calella these days, Velasco believes that “it is wonderful that some festivals bet on films with a smaller budget. It is fundamental and necessary. I wish there were more festivals or platforms like this one. Having a budget doesn’t mean you have creativity and talent. I applaud that.
In the “Creative Rosebud Awards” section, two award-winning films stood out. On the one hand, Nicholas Cage was chosen as best actor for “Pig”. The biographical film “Mr. Wain”, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and directed by Will Sharpe, received the award for best film.
The award for best actress went to Anabela Moreira, star of the film “The Last Bath”. In her thank you speech she spoke of her Catalan roots “I couldn’t be happier to win an award in Catalonia, a land I love very much. My great-grandfather was from there, so part of me belongs to you”.
The Argentine film “Las intemperies” was very well received by the jury, who decided to create a special mention for its directors: Guido de Paula and Andrés Riva. Actress Claudia Castillo, who plays the leading female role, collected the award in person at the Sala Mozart.
The Maresme Film Festival has two sections. The “Low Budget” section screens films shot all over the world with a budget of less than 500,000 euros. In this way, support is given to directors who are committed to creativity and making the most of their resources. On the other hand, the “Creative Rosebud Awards” section is aimed at bigger budget productions, with no budget limit.
Awards of the “Calella Film Festival” 2022
Low Budget Films” Section
Best film: “Qazi”, by Jakob Gerhmann
Audience Award: “Qazi”, by Jakob Gerhmann
Best Actor: Alexander Peiler for “Somehow”.
Best Actress: Zoe Perez for “Hazlo por mí”.
Best Screenplay: Pedro Pablo Picazo for “Hazlo por mí”.
Best Direction: Shailesh Bhimrao Dupare for “Palyad”.
Creative Rosebud Films Section
Best Film: “Mr Wain”, directed by Will Sharpe
Best Actor: Nicholas Cage for “Pig”.
Best Actress: Anabela Moreira for “The Last Bath”.
Best Screenplay: Marc Dugain for “Eugénie Grandet”.
Best Director: Beatrice Baldacci for “La Tana”.
Special mention as directors: Guido de Paula and Andrés Riva for “Las intemperies”.
Award in the Screenplay Competition
Eloi Tomás for “En Utila”.
Tribute to “The Godfather”.
Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the premiere of The Godfather in Spain, in October 1972, the Calella Film Festival has been doing different tributes to the work of Coppola and Puzo. In the poster has appeared the Lopa de Calella, the symbol of the city, characterized as “The Godfather”. To promote the event, actors Jordi Díaz and Juli Fàbregas filmed a spot in the style of Marlon Brando in the first film of Coppola’s saga.
The closing ceremony was hosted by actors Jordi Díez and Mireia Aixalà and was also full of references to Coppola’s film. During the gala, they performed different scenes inspired by “The Godfather” and put the audience in their pocket with their good humor and “savoir faire” on stage.
This seventh edition paid tribute to Montserrat Candini former mayoress of Calella with an honorary Loba for her support to the festival. Albert Guinart, director of the festival highlighted the reason for this tribute “for her firm commitment to culture, cinema and theater, for her always positive, constructive and inspiring attitude”.
The Maresme Film Festival
This seventh edition, the Festival consolidates its commitment to expansion throughout the Maresme. Other venues of the event have been the Main Theater of Arenys de Mar and the Cultural Center of Sant Pol de Mar, with the collaboration of Cine Club Akira.
Article written by journalist Alex M Franquet