Rocío Mesa wins the Dunia Ayaso Award for “Tobbacco Barns”

“El silencio de las hormigas” by the local filmmaker Francisco Montoro receives two Industry awards in San Sebastian.

The local filmmaker Rocío Mesa with his first film TOBBACCO BARNS, has obtained the VI Dunia Ayaso Award, provided by the SGAE Foundation to recognise the most committed film works to the female figure, and which was released at the 70th San Sebastián International Film Festival (SSIFF).

The previous winner of the award and also director, Ainhoa Rodríguez, president of the jury, made the decision public in the Club Room of the Kursaal Palace, together with José Luis Rebordinos, director of SSIFF; Antonio Onetti, president of the SGAE and Silvia Pérez de Pablos, director of audiovisuals of the SGAE Foundation.

Jury was made up of Rodríguez, who won this award in 2021 for her film Destello Bravío, Lara Izagirre (Un otoño sin Berlín, Nora) and Maider Oleaga (Kuartk Valley and Verabredung), who highlighted TOBBACCO BARNS for “being a cinema of identity, a film free in the searching and construction of its own universe” and insisted on how essential is “to take risks for a cinema with a feminist vocation in a profound minority”. The film focuses on “women with their own accents and idiosyncrasies, whose lives and desires are generally forgotten in the audiovisual world”.

«This award is a beautiful way to keep creating safe spaces in which women can continue to explore the stories that interest us from a different point of view to the one that has been shown to us in a history of art dominated by male voices. I receive this award on behalf of all the women who have participated in TOBBACCO BARNS, and especially the female cast who have put themselves in the shoes of characters in this story, not far removed from themselves, in an exercise of a generous vulnerability with cinema, tied to a deep desire to have their speeches heard, their personal concerns, their bodies and their land shown», declared the screenwriter and director, Rocío Mesa, after hearing about that new.

The Dunia Ayaso Award, provided with 5,000 euros, is conceived as a tribute to the screenwriter and director from the Canary Islands who died eight years ago and recognises the most committed film works with a gender perspective. In previous editions, the award went to Carla Simón (2017) for Verano 1993, Arantxa Echevarria for Carmen y Lola (2018), Belén Funes for La hija de un ladrón (2019), Pilar Palomero for Las niñas (2020) and Ainhoa Rodríguez for Destello Bravío (2021).

Tobbacco Barns celebrated its world premiere last Sunday, 18th September, as part of the 70th edition of San Sebastian International Film Festival, where it participates in the New Directors Section, is Rocío Mesa’s fiction debut, a magical story written by herself that tells the intimate relationship between humanity and nature during two different stages of life, childhood and adolescence.

“El silencio de las hormigas” by Francisco Montoro

On the other hand, the documentary project «El silencio de las hormigas» by the local researcher and filmmaker Francisco Montoro, produced by Apnea Films, has won two awards from the Industry Forum of the San Sebastian International Film Festival, specifically the Treeline Award for distribution and festival consultancy and the IBAI- Elkargi Award, granted by the Association of Independent Audiovisual Production Companies of the Basque Country.

Francisco Montoro was a speaker at the Creativity Workshop at the first #FilmingLab meeting, organised in May by Gender Media Lab of UGR and the film office, Film in Granada, part of the Provincial Council.

Both awards are part of the XVIII Lau Haizetara Documentary Co-Production Forum Awards, where the documentary «Y punto», directed by the journalist Javier Tolentino and produced by Javier Morales, from the local company Ínsula Sur, has also participated. The project narrates the history and different expressions of popular poetry between Spain and Latin America, including the “trovo alpujarreño”, and began to take its first steps in June with the shooting of several scenes in the Alpujarra, which will be one of the main locations, along with the Basque Country, Navarre, the Canary Islands and Cuba.