The 67th Berlin International Film Festival, ‘Berlinale’, awarded Catalan director Clara Simón’s opera prima ‘Estiu 1993’ the Best First Feature Award. The film tells the story of Frida, a 6-year-old girl who faces the first summer with her new adoptive family, following her mum’s death from AIDS. ‘Estiu 1993’, whose main character played by young actress Laia Artigas captivated the jury, is based on the director’s own childhood. The film also won the Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus International Jury for Best Film, ‘ex aequo’ with film ‘Becoming who I was’, by Chinese director Chang Yong Moon. The international jury, headed by Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven, handed out prizes far and wide, awarding a broad range of international works. The Golden Bear for best film at the 67th Berlinale went to Ildikó Enyedi’s Hungarian drama “On Body and Soul”.
According to the festival’s jury, through ‘Estiu 1993’ the spectator learns how to deal with loss through the eyes of a child. “The lesson that this incredible heroine learns and that moved us to tears is that no matter how much it hurts, it is the unconditional love of the people around you that will ease your pain”, said the jury. Besides the “outstanding performance of the young main actress” the jury was also very impressed by the film’s cinematography and “sensual mise-en-scène”.
The Best First Feature Award is endowed with 50,000 euros, funded by GWFF (Gesellschaft zur Wahrnehmung von Film- und Fernsehrecht), a society dedicated to safeguarding film and television rights. The prize money is to be split between the producer and the director of the winning film. Additionally, the director is awarded with a high-quality viewfinder as both a useful instrument and a memorable trophy that should accompany them on their future road to success.
The Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus International Jury for Best Film is endowed with € 7,500 each by the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk (The Children’s Charity of Germany).
An opera prima which gathered international attention
Besides being awarded at Berlinale 2017, ‘Estiu 1993’ also gathered the attention of the International Malaga Film Festival in Spain and was selected by French Low Budget Film Festival, Polish programme Ekran+ and other developing initiatives.
Born in 1986 in Barcelona, Clara Simón graduated in Audiovisual Communication at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and continued her studies in London.
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