The first International Athletics Film Festival (FICA) was launched at the Spanish Olympic Committee offices in Madrid on Wednesday (26). The Festival itself will be held in San Sebastian – home to the famous and prestigious annual San Sebastian International Film Festival since 1953 – between 6-10 November 2018.
The Festival will have two components, an official section which will show films already produced and in the public domain which relate to athletics and a competition section that will present recently produced feature films, short films and documentaries.
No less than 48 films from 21 countries, and in seven different languages, have been entered in the competition section which will see screenings take place during the first four days of the festival.
“This is a cultural, sporting and cinematographic event that aims to promote the culture of athletics,” said the International Athletics Film Festival director Juantxo Sabadie. “The city of Donostia/San Sebastian itself has a strong culture of athletics.”
Barcelona 1992 Olympic Gold Medallists Cacho and Plaza attending
The official inauguration on Tuesday 6 November will feature a screening of Carlos Saura’s famous film of the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games and a number of Spanish medallists from those Games, including 1500m champion Fermin Cacho and 20km race walk gold medallist Daniel Plaza will be attending.
Wednesday 7 November has the local theme of Basque athletics with films documenting the 75th anniversary of the famous Elgoibar cross country race – an IAAF Cross Country Permit meeting – and the 25th anniversary of the Azkoitia-Azpeitia half marathon.
Beamon and Montalvo to receive honorary Achilles Prizes
Thursday 8 November will see a showing of a cinematic edit of film shot by the IAAF during the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 and conclude with the former long jump world record holder Bob Beamon being presented one of the two Honorary Achilles Prizes, an award designed and created specifically for the Festival to honour athletes who have made a unique achievement to our sport.
Friday 9 November the focus will be on Athletics and Women and it will also see Spain’s 1999 world long jump champion Niurka Montalvo being presented with the second of this year’s Honorary Achilles Prizes.
The final day, Saturday 10 November, sees the closing ceremony and the award of the prizes in the competition section. The two main prizes are for the films judged to be the best by an expert jury – chaired by Spain’s 2016 Olympic high jump champion Ruth Beitia – and, separately, the best in a vote by members of the public.
In addition, on the last two days, there will also be screenings of other athletics films in nearby Irun.
Further details of the Festival, including venues for the screenings, can be found at ficafestival.com.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF