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Chloe, by Atom Egoyan, will open the San Sebastian competition

The Canadian director Atom Egoyan will open the competition at the San Sebastian Film Festival with his film Chloe, starring Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore and Amanda Seyfried. Egoyan, one of the great renovators of modern film language with movies like Exotica (1994), The Sweet Hereafter (1987) or Ararat (2002), will compete for the first time at San Sebastian.
Another outstanding name in contemporary cinema, Rodrigo García, will close the Festival with the North American film Mother and Child, starring Naomi Watts, Annette Bening and Samuel L. Jackson. The director of Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her (2000), Nine Lives (2005) and Passengers (2008) has Alejandro González Iñárritu as its executive producer.
Bruno Dumont, Atom Egoyan, François Ozon and Juan José Campanella, among other directors, will compete for the Golden Shell corresponding to San Sebastian Festival’s Official Selection. Other prestigious directors like Jeon Soo-il, Ana Kokkinos and Matthias Glasner will also present their new movies for the Official competition, and Christophe Honoré will return to San Sebastian after having participated last year with La belle personne. Furthermore, the winner of an Academy Award for Best Short Film, Aaron Schneider, will compete with his directorial feature debut, Get Low.

Three of France’s most prestigious directors will compete for this year’s Golden Shell. Bruno Dumont, having bagged the Cannes Grand Jury Prize twice with L’Humanité (1999) and Flanders (2006), confirms the singular personality of his cinema with Hadewijch. François Ozon, who previously competed at San Sebastian with Sous le sable (2000) and is the author of several works including 8 Femmes (8 Women, 2002), Le temps qui reste (2005) and Ricky (2009), will present Le refuge. And Christophe Honoré returns to the Official Selection for the second consecutive year with Making Plans for Lena, starring Chiara Mastroianni, Marie-Christine Barrault and Jean-Marc Barr.
Following her enormous success in Zabaltegi-New Directors in 2005 with her directorial feature debut, Oyun (The Play), the Turkish director Pelin Esmer will compete for the first time in the Official Selection with 11’e 10 kala / 10 to 11, a co-production between Turkey, France and Germany.
German cinema will be represented by Matthias Glasner, the director of Die mediocren (1999) and Der Freie Wille (The Free Will, 2006), with This Is Love.
The USA will participate with Get Low, the first fiction-length feature from the cinematographer Aaron Schneider, who already holds an Academy Award for Best Short Film for Two Soldiers (2003). Get Low stars the Donostia Award recipient Robert Duvall, alongside Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek.
From Argentina, Juan José Campanella adds El secreto de sus ojos to a career including some of the biggest hits in recent Argentinean cinema, such as El mismo amor, la misma lluvia (1999), Oscar nominee for Best Film in a Foreign Language with El hijo de la novia (Son of the Bride, 2001) and Luna de Avellaneda (2004), starring Ricardo Darín.
Asian cinema will be backed by three titles: the Korean film Yeong-do Da-ri / I Came From Busan, by Jeon Soo-il, a moviemaker who garnered awards at Venice and Pusan with films like The Bird Who Stops in the Air (1999), Time Between Dog and Wolf (2006) and With the Girl of Black Soil (2007); the Chinese City of Life and Death, from the director Lu Chuan, author of Xun quiang (The Missing Gun, 2002) and Kekexili (Mountain Patrol, 2004), winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and of the Special Jury Prize at Tokyo Festival; and the Iranian Keshtzarhaye sepid /The White Meadows, by Mohammad Rasoulof, director of The Twilight (2002) and Iron Island (2005), Special Jury Prize at the Gijón Festival.
Australia will be present with the director Ana Kokkinos and Blessed, her third feature following Head On (1998) and The Book of Revelation (2006), telling a tale from two points of view, that of a group of youngsters and that of their mothers.
As we already announced a few weeks ago, three Spanish films will participate in the competitive Official Selection: Los condenados (The Damned), La mujer sin piano and Yo, también (Me Too). Fernando Trueba will moreover present El baile de la Victoria (The Dancer and the Thief) out of competition.
Get Low will also compete for the Kutxa-New Directors Award, adding its name to the 17 competing titles already announced. The number of films competing for the Kutxa-New Directors Award will therefore amount to 18.


CHLOE
France-Canada
Director: Atom Egoyan
Cast: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Amanda Seyfried
Catherine, a successful doctor, suspects her husband David, a handsome music professor, is cheating on her. To lay her suspicions and fears to rest, she hires an irresistible young woman, Chloe, to test David’s fidelity. Chloe’s torrid tales of her encounters with David lead Catherine on a journey of sexual and sensual re-discovery. From the director of Exotica (1994), The Sweet Hereafter (1987) or Ararat (2002).


MOTHER AND CHILD
USA
Director: Rodrigo García
Cast: Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington
The writer and director Rodrigo García (Nine Lives) and the executive producer Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel) bring us the moving tale of three women (Annette Bening, Naomi Watts and Kerry Washington) and the strength of the unbreakable bond between mother and son.


11’e 10 KALA / 10 to 11
Turkey-France-Germany
Director: Pelin Esmer
Cast: Nejat Isler, Mithat Esmer, Tayanc Ayaydin, Lacin Ceylan, Savas Akova, Sinan Dugmeci
10 to 11 is the story of a passionate collector Mithat and the concierge of the building, Ali. For Mithat Istanbul is as vast as his collections and for Ali is nothing more than a few blocks around the building. When the neighbors decide to have the building rebuilt with the fear of earthquake and the wish for a more valuable house, Mithat’s most challenging struggle to save his collections begins. Second feature from the director of Oyun (The Play), screened as part of Zabaltegi-New Directors 2005.
Competitor for the Kutxa-New Directors Award


EL BAILE DE LA VICTORIA (THE DANCER AND THE THIEF)
(Out of competition)
Spain
Director: Fernando Trueba
Cast: Ricardo Darín, Abel Ayala, Miranda Bodenhöfer, Ariadna Gil
The arrival of democracy to Chile brings a general amnesty for prisoners not jailed for blood crimes. Ángel Santiago, a youngster determined to get his revenge for the abuse he suffered in prison, sets out to find the famous bank heister Vergara Grey, whose robberies have earned him a reputation he’d rather forget. His plan for a risky theft is complicated by the magical presence of Victoria, a mysterious adolescent ballerina. From the winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for Belle epoque (1992) and Silver Shell at Berlin Festival for El año de las luces (The Year of Awakening, 1986).


BLESSED
Australia
Director: Ana Kokkinos
Cast: Frances O’Connor, Miranda Otto, Deborra-Lee Furness, Victoria Haralabidou
During the course of one day and night, seven children wander the streets in an urban odyssey. But not all of them will find their way home. Dawn breaks and it’s the same day but now we experience the journey from their mothers’ viewpoint. Third feature from the director of Head On (1998) and The Book of Revelation (2006).


CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH
China
Director: Lu Chuan
Cast: Liu Ye, Gao Yuanyuan, Fan Wei, Hideo Nakaizumi
China, December 1937. The country is at war with Japan. Beijing and Shanghai have already fallen. Japanese troops arrive at the doors of the capital, Nanjing. Following weeks of bombardment, local and foreign officials have fled the city in ruins. Lu, a charismatic Chinese General intensely determined to repel the enemy, leads his men in defence of their capital, street by street. Third feature from the director of Xun quiang (The Missing Gun, 2002) and Kekexili (Mountain Patrol, 2004), Special Jury Prize at the Tokyo Festival 2004.


LOS CONDENADOS (THE DAMNED)
Spain
Director: Isaki Lacuesta
Cast: Daniel Fanego, Arturo Goetz, Leonor Manso, María Fiorentino
Two ex-guerrilla fighters meet again 30 years down the line at an illegal excavation sight while trying to find the body of a third comrade who disappeared all those years ago. The tension and secrets concealed over the years increasingly ripple the surface as the unpredictable outcome unfolds to reveal that not all is what it seems. Third feature from the director of Cravan vs. Cravan (2002) and La leyenda del tiempo (2006).


GET LOW
USA
Director: Aaron Schneider
Cast: Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek, Lucas Black
For decades a legend has haunted the foothills of the East Tennessee Appalachians. The stories about the shotgun-wielding recluse are legion. Some say Felix Bush (Duvall) has killed men with his fists and at 70 years old he still looks as if could and would. A few people remember when he was a bright and restless young man with dreams of seeing the world. What could have possibly happened to him? Everyone thought he would take his secret to the grave. But now the fierce hermit is putting on a funeral… for himself! Directorial feature debut from the cinematographer, Aaron Schneider, winner of an Academy Award for the short film Two Soldiers (2004).
Competitor for the Kutxa-New Directors Award


HADEWIJCH
France
Director: Bruno Dumont
Cast: Julie Sokolowski, David Dewaele, Yassine Salim, Karl Sarafidis
Shocked by the blind, ecstatic faith of Hadewijch, a young novice, the mother superior sends her packing from the convent. Hadewijch once again becomes Céline, 20, the daughter of a diplomat. Her passionate love of God, her rage and her encounter with Yassine and Nassir lead her off along dangerous paths. Fifth feature film from the director of L’Humanité (1999) and Flanders (2006), both recipients of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Festival.


KESHTZARHAYE SEPID / THE WHITE MEADOWS
Iran
Director: Mohammad Rasoulof
Cast: Hasan Pourshirazi, Younes Ghazali, Mohammad Rabbani, Mohammad Shirvani
Again Rahmat has been assigned to travel to several islands for a job which he has been engaged for many years. Rahmat has been asked to meet the inhabitants of these islands to collect their tears. Although for years people have been giving their tears to Rahmat, no one knows exactly what he has been doing with them. Third feature film from the director of The Twilight (2002) and Iron Island (2005), Special Jury Prize at the Gijón Festival.


LA MUJER SIN PIANO (WOMAN WITHOUT PIANO)
Spain
Director: Javier Rebollo
Cast: Carmen Machi, Jan Budar, Pep Ricart, Nadia de Santiago
La mujer sin piano is the portrayal of 24 hours in the domestic, working and sexual life of an early 21st century housewife in Madrid. La mujer sin piano headlines a suitcase, a pair of shoes, Carmen Machi in her first starring movie part, and the Czech actor, writer and musician, Jan Budar. Second feature from the director of Lo que sé de Lola.
Competitor for the Kutxa-New Directors Award


MAKING PLANS FOR LENA
France
Director: Christophe Honoré
Cast: Chiara Mastroianni, Marina Foïs, Marie-Christine Barrault, Jean-Marc Barr
Ever since she broke up with Nigel, Léna soldiers on through life the best she can with her two kids. She valiantly overcomes all that life can throw at her. But she has yet to confront the worst: her unstoppable family of do-gooders who have decided, by any means necessary, to make her happy... From the director of Ma mère (2004), Les chansons d’amour (2007) and La belle personne (2008).


LE REFUGE
France
Director: François Ozon
Cast: Isabelle Carré, Louis-Ronan Choisy, Pierre Louis-Calixte, Melvil Poupaud
Mousse and Louis are young, beautiful, rich and in love. But drugs have invaded their lives. One day they overdose, and Louis dies. Mousse survives, but soon learns she’s pregnant. Feeling lost, Mousse runs away to a house far from Paris. Several months later, Louis’ brother joins her in her refuge. From the director of Sous le sable (2000), 8 Femmes (8 Women, 2002), Le temps qui reste (2005) and Ricky (2009).
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EL SECRETO DE SUS OJOS (THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES)
Argentina-Spain
Director: Juan José Campanella
Cast: Ricardo Darín, Soledad Villamil, Pablo Rago, Javier Godino, Guillermo Francella
For 25 years a crime has remained indelibly impressed upon Benjamín Espósito’s mind. Now, in his maturity, he decides to take a look back at the occurrence; to relive that past of love, death and friendship. But these memories, set free, gone over around a thousand times, will change his view of that past. And they’ll re-write his future in the doing. From the Academy Award nominee for Best Film in a Foreign Language for El hijo de la novia (Son of the Bride, 2001).


THIS IS LOVE
Germany
Director: Matthias Glasner
Cast: Corinna Harfouch, Jens Albinus, Lisa Nguyen, Jürgen Vogel, Devid Striesow
Chris and little Jenjira are running away from the mafia. Together with Holger, Chris got the 9 year old Vietnamese from human traffickers without being able to pay for her. Maggie is a withdrawn police inspector prone to alcohol who finds out why her husband left her without a word after 16 years. The two meet when Chris is accused of murder. In countless interrogations, the two get to know each other better and confess their hidden fears and dangerous desires to each other… From the director of Die mediocren (1999) and Der Freie Wille (The Free Will, 2006).


YEONG-DO DA-RI / I CAME FROM BUSAN
South Korea
Director: Jeon Soo-il.
Cast: Park Ha-seon, Kim Jung-tae
An 18 year-old girl In-hwa lives on her own in Pusan. Nobody except her closest friend Sang-mi knows about her pregnancy and she persuades In-hwa to send the baby for adoption. In-hwa reluctantly signs and leaves her baby behind. As time goes by her yearning for the baby gets bigger and she visits the adoption center to ask if she can have the baby back. From the director of The Bird Who Stops in the Air (1999) and With the Girl of Black Soil (2007).


YO, TAMBIÉN (ME, TOO)
Spain
Director: Álvaro Pastor, Antonio Naharro
Cast: Lola Dueñas, Pablo Pineda, Isabel García Lorca, Pedro Álvarez Osorio
Daniel, a young 34-year-old from Seville, is the first European man with Down syndrome to have earned a university diploma. He starts his working life with the public administration where he meets Laura, a workmate with no apparent disability. And he falls in love with her.
Competitor for the Kutxa-New Directors Award

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