Filmmaker Estibaliz Urresola took to the stage twice this Sunday to collect two Gaudí awards from the Catalan Cinema Academy for his film. 20,000 species of bees: best non-Catalan language film and best new director. In the case of the award for Millor dirección novella, Urresola stated that he wanted to “take advantage” of the “platform” that these awards represent to “request an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.” At that moment, the auditorium burst into applause.
‘20,000 species of bees’, a dangerous look at trans childhood, aims to be the ‘Five Little Wolves’ of the year
In the same sense, Urresola asked to “demand” that governments “immediately stop the sale of weapons to Israel and to any other country.” “Long live the free Palestinian people!” he exclaimed.
“Cinema can strengthen empathy,” said Urresola, “while others try to harm people and destroy. We all need each other to get through what comes our way, friends. I directed this film, but I didn’t do it alone. Thanks to a big team that I appreciate from here: producers, technicians, technicians, actors… I love you so much. Working as a team is not always easy and involves a lot of compromise, dialogue, and resignation, but there is a saying that says that alone you go faster, but together we can go further.
Interrupted by the applause, the filmmaker took a breather to continue his plea in favor of more inclusive cinema. “I prove that cinema is not only a tool of social change when we make it available to the audience, but it can also be one from the very dissemination of projects and all the processes that it is included in. So, let’s change the way films are made so that they are more sustainable, more multilingual, more equitable, more egalitarian, and more diverse.
In the last part of the speech, Urresola strongly defended an industry that stands up against abuses. “And above all, that it will be freer of all violence and abuse against women and against all marginalized groups that do not have the opportunity and privilege to tell their own stories. Thank you to the women who are reporting because you are references for your courage. Thank you to all the directors who shot our vulvas because you continue to be referenced for all of us,” he added.
“Let’s break the silence to say we’re fed up and it’s over,” he said in conclusion, before thanking him for the Basque award. In recent weeks, the film industry has been shaken by the publication in the media of testimonies of sexual violence targeting filmmakers Carlos Vermut and Armando Ravelo.
Estibaliz Urresola also won the award for Best Film in a Non-Catalan Language for his debut, 20,000 species of bees. In accepting it, the director showed that he was grateful to the Basque because it was an award in a category of films in the non-Catalan language.
Evidence of sexual desire awards
But the speech of the Basque filmmaker is not only political. Directors, producers, and actresses launched messages against abuse, asking for female sexual desire or the ceasefire in Gaza. This is the case of Elena Martín, director of Being, who criticized that we spent years where “sexual violence was fought in silence”: “We were taught that our desire is dangerous, that if there is danger, it is better to eliminate sexuality.”
Martín emphasizes the importance of protecting childhood, although that does not mean “denying desire,” as the director indicates, but “accompanying and validating it.” At this point, the filmmaker also remembers the massacre in Gaza: “While we are here, in Gaza there are people experiencing terror,” so he asked for a ceasefire.
For her part, actress Carolina Yuste said in You Know That He told his male colleagues to ask them to report situations of abuse of women: “We need you to also report and face yourself so that the movies are healthy places,” he added in the collection of her award for best female lead.