Carla Simón: "We, the directors, are here to stay"

Carla Simón: "We, the directors, are here to stay"

Carla Simon He came, he saw and he conquered. Or, rather, he came and won, period; it all happened so fast that she had no chance to realize that she was making history in the meantime. She arrived at Berlinale on Sunday after having been working on his second feature film, 'Alcarràs', literally until the last moment; on Tuesday night it was given its world premiere at the German film festival, and before the audience at that screening gave it a standing ovation, the press had already begun to publish enthusiastic reviews of the film. Just 24 hours later, the Barcelona director went up on stage to collect the golden bear.

"During that day they informed us that our attendance at the awards ceremony was required, but they didn't tell us anything else," he reminds us this Thursday. “I spent a good part of the day giving interviews, so I didn't even have time to get nervous. In the afternoon, on the way to the gala, I realized that I had not even thought about what I was going to say when I went on stage. The announcement of the winners took place in the manner of a very tense wait. “Prizes were being distributed and there were less and less to be awarded, and 'Alcarràs' continued without being mentioned”. Not even seconds before the movie title was discovered Golden Bear winner, when there were no more statuettes to be awarded and therefore it was clear that the triumph was for her, Simón had become aware. "It was more sensible to think that there had been a mix-up, that our presence there was a mistake." After the explosion of joy, of the acknowledgments of rigor, of the nervous statements to the media, he had the opportunity to talk with the members of the jury during dinner. “They told me that ours was the last of the competing films they had seen, and that their decision to award it was immediate and unanimous. I'm speechless".

wake up call

'Alcarràs' is the first Spanish feature film to obtain victory at one of the most important festivals in the world since 'La hive', by Mario Camus, won the Golden Bear 39 years ago; To date, no Spanish director has won the highest award at Cannes or the Venice Film Festival. Simón sees his triumph last night as an invitation to optimism but, above all, as a wake-up call. “It wouldn't have happened at all if 'Alcarràs' wasn't a co-production with Italy, which is what allowed me to make it with a much larger budget than usual in Spanish cinema. I hope that this award makes the right people understand that when enough money is invested in them, our films travel wonderfully to the rest of the world”.

And, likewise, without a doubt what happened yesterday at the Berlinale certifies the paradigm shift that the cinematographic landscape is experimenting in terms of gender; after all, both the last edition of the Cannes festival and the two most recent ones of both the Mostra and the San Sebastián festival resulted in victories for works directed by women. "I don't think we are in a position to fire rockets, because the number of female directors is still much lower than the number of male directors," warns Simón. "But let no one doubt that we are here to stay”.

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