In this year’s Seville Festival programme, there is a notable presence by the Argentinean director Santiago Mitre. Firstly, with the inclusion in the Special Screening section of his latest film, Paulina, with which he won the Grand Prix at the Critics’ Week at Cannes and three other awards at San Sebastian (Horizontes Latinos, the Youth Prize and the Otra Mirada Award). In addition, the Buenos Aires director will be leading the international jury which will decide the awards for the Official Section at this twelfth edition, and he will receive the II Rosario Valpuesta Award given by the Pablo de Olavide University (UPO). On november 9th, Mitre will also have a special talk with students in the Auditorium of that education centre.
This act, which is part of the parallel activities at SEFF 2015, renews the collaboration between the Seville Festival and UPO, the aim of which is to continue recognizing film directors whose works promote social integration and advance the protection of human rights. In doing so, they honor the memory of the first woman to head an Andalusian university, Rosario Valpuesta, and also preserve and promote the solidarity work, the values and the intellectual legacy of this thinker and jurist who died in 2013.
The marked social character and the universality of his local stories have meant that, in its second year (in 2014 the Swiss filmmaker Fernand Melgar was the recipient) the award goes very deservedly to the 34-year old Argentinean writer and director. On 9th November, the award will be presented in the UPO Auditorium, and there will also be an opportunity for the students to hear from Mitre. This will be after the screening of The Student (2011), his first film as director and the one which made him known internationally (winning awards at Locarno, Bafici and Gijón). Made through his independent production company, La Unión de los Ríos, it is a portrait of public university and militancy, in which he tackles the specificities of current politics. A reflection on university commitment, which will lead to an interesting and timely exchange with students at the Pablo de Olavide University.In all his filmography, Mitre has dealt with social themes, from a critical and even uncomfortable point of view. The above mentioned Paulina (2015) deals with the power of human ideals and ethics, through the story of a young woman who gives up everything to work as a teacher in an impoverished region of Argentina. Los posibles (2013) is his other work as a director, a documentary about a project that aimed to introduce young people in a situation of social vulnerability to dance. His other previous works as writer include his collaboration on Pablo Trapero’s social drama Leonera (2008) and Carancho (2010).