Cienfuegos dismissed as director of Gijón fest
by Sergio Ríos Pérez
11/01/2012 - This morning, the Asturian regional government announced the dismissal of José Luis Cienfuegos as director of the Gijón International Film Festival, a position he had occupied since 1995. Under his direction, the Asturian event has become one of the most prestigious independent film festivals in Spain and Europe. Although Cienfuegos has preferred not to make any statements for the time being, the film world has weighed in to support him and has strongly condemned the decision.
Just a few weeks ago, Cineuropa published an editorial by Cienfuegos, who expressed his concern about the crisis threatening the cultural world in Spain, where cuts to this sector have become the norm. He said prophetic words about the consideration given to film festivals: “What nobody could predict was the extent to which [...] the economic crisis would wipe out a large number of festivals and cultural events to the point where the necessity of their existence has been questioned – even with some aggressiveness – in circles little inclined to understand the important work of film festivals in boosting local and regional economies”.
Cienfuegos will be replaced by the filmmaker Nacho Carballo. According to statements from the city councillor for Education and Culture, Carlos Rubiera, the event will become a “showcase for the exposure of the Asturian audiovisual market”. This is a sad fate (with all respect to the Asturian audiovisual market) for the event that was dubbed the Spanish Sundance.
(Translated from Spanish)