10th Muestra de Cine de Lanzarote (2020)

Honorary Award: Claudio Utrera

Photography: Rafael Arrocha

Every step we take in any given field of knowledge is always determined by the traces and efforts of those who went before us. There is a well-known sentence from the twelfth century attributed to Bernard of Chartres that says that “we are dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants. We see more and farther than our predecessors, not because we have keener vision or greater height, but because we are lifted up and borne aloft on their gigantic stature.” That idea, expressed centuries later in similar terms by Isaac Newton, is the reason why the Honorary Award at this tenth Muestra de Cine de Lanzarote goes to Claudio Utrera.

The Muestra de Cine de Lanzarote would probably not exist, or only in a very limited way, without the projects and articles promoted and written over the course of almost five decades by this passionate advocate of cinema and culture. Since our first steps in the field of culture we have been reading his articles, watching the TV programmes he has participated in and attended the festival he set up and directed. All of this opened our eyes and expanded our points of view. Our perspectives were further enriched and we were able to discover significant aspects of reality thanks to the ideas he wrote and developed, but also to the groups of people he worked with and backed.

Claudio Utrera conceived, and directed for fifteen years, the Las Palmas International Film Festival, a highly significant project focused on a different type of cinema, that shook up the stagnant parameters of moving images and forced them to reveal other levels of reality and of its nature. Many filmmakers from the Canary Islands grew under the umbrella of that great project and many others had the opportunity to discover that cinema, the one that really matters, is more about thought than entertainment, more about risk than security, more about tension than rest.

An Honorary Award is, to a large extent, a recognition, but first and foremost it is a message that can be summarised in just one word: Thanks.