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Basque movie 'Kutsidazu bidea, Ixabel' wins film award
Husum, Monday, 17 November 2008, Eurolang / Onno Falkena

The Basque language feature film Kutsidazu bidea, Ixabel, (Show me the way, Ixabel) has won the second European Minority Film Award in the Northfrisian capital of Husum. The Film Festival presented five recent movies in Basque, Frisian, Ladin, Scottish Gaelic and Welsh. The jury decided to give the award to the Basque movie because of the quality of the script, the humour and excellent acting.

Kutsidazu Bidea, Ixabel, tells the story of Basque student Juan Martin from Donostia (San Sebastian), who decides to spend the summer holiday on a Basque farm in the mountains in order to learn Basque and experience the Basque way of life. But the summer does not quite work out as he planned. The locals use of Basque is quite unintelligible to him and he has serious difficulties to adjust to the rural lifestyle. He is attracted to the family's youngest daughter Ixabel, despite some heavy competition from her boyfriend, pelota champion Anjel Mari.

Kutsidazu bidea, Ixabel, attracted 250,000 Basques to the cinema, almost 10 % of the Basque population, and was shown by Euskal Telebista in five episodes. The movie was based upon the novel Kutsidazu bidea, Ixabel by the Basque author Joxean Sagastizabal.

Directors Fernando Bernues and Mireia Gabilondo were delighted with the award. "Making a movie in Basque is quite hard'', Mireia Gabilondo said. "In the Basque Country most people have seen the movie by now, but outside of Euskadi few people have seen it. That our movie gets such a warm reception in Northfriesland in the north of Germany means a lot to us. It inspires us to try to make another Basque movie in the future.''



According to Fernando Bernues, a former Basque learner himself, the movie had to be made in the Basque language, because the process of language learning is one of the important subthemes of the movie. Bernues and Gabilondo added that it was quite hard to edit the movie, because of all the extra scenes and storylines which were made on behalf of the television series. Other directors present in Husum shared this experience. Three out of the five movies in competition were co-produced as a film and a TV-series.

According to the jury the quality of the films in the competition was better than in the first edition of the Minority Film Festival in 2006.

The award of the festival weighs five kilos made in iron by the Northfrisian sculptor Arne Prohn. The award was presented to the Basque directors at a gala evening with live music from the Frisian rockband Lembek and singer Jensina Olsen from the Faroe Islands.

The Minority Film Festival is organised by Northfrisian association Friisk Foriining in the Kino Centre of Husum. The next edition of the Film Festival will be organised in the year 2010. (Eurolang 2008)

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