Angeles Cruz’s “Valentina or the Serenity” Named Best Picture at Huelva Ibero-American Film Festival

Angeles Cruz is celebrating a big win…

The 54-year-old Mexican actress, film director and screenwriter’s Valentina or the Serenity claimed the best picture award in a high-caliber main competition at this year’s Huelva Ibero-American Film Festival.

Angeles CruzThe film by the fast-emerging Mexican auteur, delivering knowing and cross.grained takes on life in Mixtec communities, also picked up the best actress awards for Myriam Bravo.

Best actor went to Money Heist star Rodolfo de la Serna for his weighty turn in Paramount Television Intl. StudiosThe Rescue.

Cruz’s win underscored the focus and value of Huelva. Despite funding challenges, Latin America’s big three – Mexico, Brazil and Argentina – alone produced 660 features in 2022. It is simply impossible for the media to pay sufficient attention to all but a highly select clutch of top titles.

“Ibero-American cinema is constantly evolving. Now, it is very easy to find great films, if not in budgetary terms, then in artistic ambitions,” Huelva director Manuel H. Martin told Variety in the run-up to the festival. Valentina played Toronto and Mexico. Despite that, it deserves far more attention.

Valentina or the Serenity, Angeles CruzTitles, moreover, buck cliché and expectations. Valentina turns on a young Mixtec girl’s attempt to process her father’s death, which runs from guilt and denial to final remembrance. Critics’ consensus, to the extent that it has received reviews, is that the final effect is an entertaining film.

Huelva’s Audience Award winner La Suprema, from Colombia’s Felipe Holguín, is set in a dirt poor hamlet off the Caribbean coast. That said, it delivers a heart warming ode to community solidarity as the villagers rally round to fufill a long girl’s dream.

Here’s a look at this year’s winners:

Huelva Ibero-American Film Festival Winners:
The prizes are named after Colombus, “Cólon” in Spanish, who set sail from Huelva in 1492 to discover a new route to the Indies, ending up in the Americas.

Golden Colón, Best Film
“Valentina or the Serenity” (“Valentina o la Serenidad,” Mexico)

Silver Colón, Special Mention
“The Buriti Flower” (Portugal, Brazil)

Silver Colón, Best Director
Sofía Auza (“Adolfo,” Mexico, U.S.)

Silver Colón, Best Acting
Rodrigo de la Serna – “The Recue” (“El Rapto,” Argentina)
Myriam Bravo – “Valentina or the Serenity” (“Valentina o la Serenidad,” Mexico)
Lead cast – “Prison in the Andes” (“Penal Cordillera,” Chile, Brazil)

Audience Award
“La Suprema” (Colombia)

Silver Colón, Youth Jury – Best International Ibero-American Short Film
“Antes de Madrid” (Uruguay)

Silver Colón – Best National Short Film
“Si me queréi, irse” (Spain)

Silver Colón Youth Jury – Best Andalucian Short Film Director
Fer Pérez (“Hipocampo,” Spain)

Juan Ramón Jiménez Award – Andalucian Talent
“Reflejos de una Habitación” (Spain)

Pantalla Huelva Best Short Film
“Donde no habite el olvido” (Spain)

Pantalla Huelva Audience Award
“La Última” (Spain)

Radio Exterior de España Award

“La Suprema” (Spain)

Camilo a la Libertad – Asociación Cultura con Orgullo Best LGTBQI+ Screening Award
“Power Alley(Levante)” (Spain)

AAMMA Women Award
Lillah Halla (“Power Alley” Levante)” Brazil)

Huelva Transfusion, Tissue and Cells Center Award – “Película Más Solidaria” Award
“Valentina or the Serenity” (“Valentina o la Serenidad,” Mexico)

Ibero-American Journalist Association Award
“The Rescue” (“El Rapto,” Argentina)

ANCCO Award – Broken Heart Award
“Valentina or the Serenity” (“Valentina o la Serenidad,” Mexico)

IES Pablo Neruda – Best Feature Film
“Reflejos en una Habitación” (Spain)

IES Pablo Neruda – Best International Short Film
“Antes de que te vayas” (Chile, Mexico)

Ibero-American House – Best Official Selection Film Award
“The Buriti Flower” (Portugal, Brazil)

Huelva León Ortega Art School Award – Feature Film Best Cinematography
“Adolfo” (Mexico)

Huelva León Ortega Art School Award – Short Film Best Cinematography
“Apnea” (Mexico)