During the last days of November, the city of Gijón undergoes a radical transformation in its day-to-day existence, receiving visitors from around the world to attend the Gijón International Film Festival (FICXixón), which has been held in Asturias since 1962.
Originally, the festival was dedicated to children’s cinema; Disney premiered its animated feature films here then. Over the years, however, as the cultural panorama in Spain changed, it assumed a more independent identity, focusing more in recent decades on independent cinema. That is why it is known in some circles as Europe’s Sundance Festival, where some of the most notable exponents of the indie current have gathered alongside acclaimed filmmakers and actors, some even before they became “mainstream” celebrities.
This year, the 50th edition of the event will be held between 16th and 24th November. This will include an official section with films from different countries, as always, advocating vanguard cinema far from the commercial scene in order to offer local cinemagoers and those who visit us a movie scene that you rarely get to see in Spain, with films that often have their first showing on the Iberian Peninsula on these screens. This year’s festival is also committed to genre and animation films, opening series specially dedicated to these, as a proposal to diversify its offer. Moreover, this year’s graphic image for the Gijón International Film Festival will carry the stamp of the Valencian designer Javier Mariscal (Valencia, 1950), who was commissioned to design the logo for this 50th edition and who will also be responsible for creating the poster.
Prior to the Festival itself, there will be a series of events throughout the summer of 2012 to commemorate the Festival. All the films which have won the competition over its five decades of existence will be screened and round table sessions will be held between the public and several leading figures of international independent cinema. The idea is to make this year’s edition of the festival something truly memorable, something which visitors to this city should not lose track of. The film festival season fills the city with very special vibes, brimming with life and enthusiasm, which over its half-century history has earned it a place on the international festival circuit.