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Blogging from San Sebastian September 16-24, 2022

Coverage Recap of 61st edition. Photo gallery 2013 Recap of 63rd edition, video I Recap of 64th edition, video I Recap of 65th edition, video / Recap of 66th edition /Recap of 68th edition, video



Alberto Rodríguez, Rodrigo Sorogoyen and Jonás Trueba to compete in the Official Selection of the San Sebastian Festival


J.A. Bayona will present “A Monster Calls”, out of competition, and the latest works by Diego Galán and Jo Sol will enjoy special screenings in the framework of the Official Selection


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Nine titles with Spanish production will form part of the New Directors, Horizontes Latinos, Pearls, Zabaltegi-Tabakalera, International Film Students Meeting and Velodrome selections

Today the Academia de las Artes y las Ciencias Cinematográficas hosted the presentation of fifteen Spanish-produced films to be screened at the 64th edition of the San Sebastian Festival from 16-24 September. José Luis Rebordinos, Director of the Festival, and Ruth Pérez de Anucita, Head of Communications, announced the titles to be presented in the Official Selection, New Directors, Horizontes Latinos, Pearls, Zabaltegi-Tabakalera, the International Film Students Meeting and the Velodrome.

The story of best known former Spanish Government mole, the search for a serial killer, the passing of time in love. Some of the most noteworthy Spanish moviemakers will compete for the Golden Shell with their latest works. Alberto Rodríguez (Seville) brings El hombre de las mil caras (Smoke and Mirrors), based on the adventures of Francisco Paesa. The director of Stockholm, Rodrigo Sorogoyen (Madrid), helms a detective thriller in Que Dios nos perdone (May God Save Us), and Jonás Trueba (Madrid) analyses in La reconquista (The Reconquest) the relationship between a couple fifteen years after their first meeting.

Sorogoyen and Trueba debut in the Official Selection, while Rodríguez repeats the experience for the third time. The relationship between the filmmaker from Seville and the Festival began in the New Directors section, where he landed a special mention for his first film, El factor Pilgrim (The Pilgrim Factor, 2000). In 2005 he competed with 7 vírgenes (7 Virgins) and carried off the Silver Shell for Best Actor (Juan José Ballesta), the same acknowledgement as won by Javier Gutiérrez for his part in La isla mínima (Marshland, 2014), which also received the Best Cinematography Award.

J.A. Bayona (Barcelona) will participate out of competition with A Monster Calls, his third feature film after his hugely successful El orfanato (The Orphanage) and The Impossible, which also had its European premiere at San Sebastian in 2012. The star of the movie, Sigourney Weaver, will receive a Donostia Award at the 64th edition.

The Official Selection special screenings will include the latest works by the filmmaker, critic and former Festival director, Diego Galán (Tangiers), and by the screenwriter and moviemaker Jo Sol (Barcelona). Galán will present Manda huevos, a look at how men are viewed in Spanish films, flipside of the documentary Con la pata quebrada (Barefoot and in the Kitchen), screened at Cannes Classics and in the Festival’s Made in Spain section, looking at the perception of women. For his part, the director from Catalonia will premiere Vivir y otras ficciones, sharing the cast headliner with El taxista ful, distinguished with a special mention by the Altadis-New Directors Award Jury in 2005.

In the new talents section, debutant Nely Reguera (Barcelona) signs María (y los demás), in which Bárbara Lennie embodies a young 35 year old who must find another place in the world when her widowed father starts a new life.

Zabaltegi-Tabakalera, in its first competitive edition, brings Sipo Phantasma (Ghost Ship), first feature film by the Basque moviemaker Koldo Almandoz (San Sebastian), a tale of boats, shipwrecks, ghosts, vampires, love and cinema, and the short films Caminan, by Mikel Rueda, and Gure hormek (Our Walls) by María Elorza and Maider Fernández Iriarte (who jointly go by the name of ‘Las chicas de Pasaik’).

Horizontes Latinos features the winner of last year’s Films in Progress in San Sebastian, the Brazilian, French and Spanish co-production Era O Hotel Cambridge (The Cambridge Squatter), helmed by Eliane Caffé (Sao Paulo), about a group of refugees and homeless immigrants who squat an abandoned building in Sao Paulo.  The Spanish participation in Pearls links up to Neruda, the unreal yet precise biography by Pablo Larraín, a co-production with Chile, France and Argentina presented at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight.

For the International Film Students Meeting, two Spanish shorts films have been selected: Take Away, directed by Jorge Cantos (Geórg Cantos), a student at the ECAM (Madrid Film School). Cantos, author of the documentary short Dôtenh chosen among the best short films of 2015 by ‘Caimán Cuadernos de Cine’, turns in this work to fiction to portray “the lost fast-food generation”. For its part, Celebració, made by Pompeu Fabra University Faculty of Communications students Pau Cruanyes and Gerard Vidal, tells the tale of a confused bride, taking its inspiration from the short story by Federico Falco, “El tío vidente”.

Lastly, the Velodrome will host Kalebegiak, the most important audiovisual undertaking of the San Sebastian, European Capital of Culture 2016 Foundation. This collective project consisting of twelve stories filmed in or taking their inspiration from San Sebastian includes the participation of filmmakers Koldo Almandoz, Asier Altuna, Luiso Berdejo, Daniel Calparsoro, Iñaki Camacho, Las chicas de Pasaik, Borja Cobeaga, Telmo Esnal, Isabel Herguera, Ekain Irigoyen, Julio Medem, Izibene Oñederra, Gracias Querejeta and Imanol Uribe, accompanied by technical and artistic teams on which hallowed names and newcomers coincide.


In competition


El hombre de las mil caras (Smoke and mirrors)

Alberto Rodríguez (Spain)

El hombre de las mil caras is the story of a man who fooled an entire country. A tale of cheats and impostors, taking its inspiration from true facts and from one of the most intriguing characters of recent decades: the spy Francisco Paesa.




Que Dios nos perdone (May God save us)

Rodrigo Sorogoyen (Spain)

Madrid, summer 2011. Economic crisis. 15-M movement and 1.5 million pilgrims waiting for the Pope’s arrival live side by side in a Madrid that’s hotter and more chaotic than ever. In this context, detectives Velarde and Alfaro must find what seems to be a serial killer. Their hunt against the clock will make them realise something they’d never imagined: neither of them are so very different from the killer.




La reconquista (The reconquest)

Jonás Trueba (Spain)

Manuela and Olmo meet in a future as they had promised fifteen years earlier as teenagers, when they lived their first love. Based on this romantic situation, La Reconquista is in fact a film on a quest for time; or about the awareness of time: of time lost and time recovered; about what we remember about ourselves and what we don't remember; about the words, gestures and feelings to which we remain faithful, because they define and compel us today, yesterday and tomorrow.



Not in competition


A Monster Calls

J.A. Bayona (Spain)

A Monster Calls is a fantasy drama that tells the story of Connor, a 13-year-old boy who struggles to cope with the consequences of his mother's terminal cancer with the help of a monster who repeatedly visited in the middle of the night.


Special screenings


Manda huevos

Diego Galán (Spain)

Manda huevos would be the logical extension of the documentary Con la pata quebrada (Barefoot in the Kitchen). Using nothing but fragments of films, Con la pata quebrada sought to summarise with narrative rhythm and good humour how Spanish cinema had represented Spanish women from the 30s until today and, with it, their evolution in society. Now, with a similar approach, our attention is drawn to the way Spanish films have portrayed Spanish men, or at least certain prototypes.




Vivir y otras ficciones (Living and other fictions)

Jo Sol (Spain)

The desire to have a full sex life becomes a vital, political option when Antonio, a tetraplegic writer, decides to set up a space offering sexual assistance in his own home. He who wants to live ends up having problems with life.






María (y los demás)

Nely Reguera (Spain)

Ever since her mum died, Maria has taken care of her father and her siblings. She's been a rock for the family. That's why her father's announcement of marriage to his nurse brings Maria's world crashing down around her. At the age of 35, she'll have to change her fate.





Era o Hotel Cambridge

Eliane Caffé (Brazil - France - Spain)

Refugees recently arrived in Brazil who, together with homeless migrants, occupy an old abandoned building in downtown São Paulo. Daily dramas, comical situations and different views on the world commingle with the threat of impending eviction.






Pablo Larraín (Chile - France - Argentina - Spain)

It’s 1948 and the Cold War arrives in Chile. In the Congress, Senator Pablo Neruda accuses the government of betraying the Communist Party and is stripped of his parliamentary immunity by President González Videla. The prefect of Investigative Police Óscar Peluchonneau is instructed to arrest the poet.





Caminan (On The Path)

Short film

Mikel Rueda (Spain)

A road in the middle of nowhere. A car. A bike. Two lonely people looking for the same thing. They meet.




Gure hormek / Our Walls

Short film

Maria Elorza, Maider Fernandez Iriarte (Spain)

The neighbourhood of Housewives. The district of Insomniacs. The newsstand of the Unknown Mother. The underground of The Lonely Women. Our walls pay tribute to the people we love.  




Sipo Phantasma (Ghost Ship)

Koldo Almandoz (Spain)

We set sail on an hour-long cruise taking us through a tale of boats, cinema, shipwrecks, ghosts, loves and vampires.





Celebració / Celebration

Short film

Pau Cruanyes Garrell, Gerard Vidal Barrena (Spain)

Facultad de Comunicación de la Universidad Pompeu Fabra (Spain)

Wandering around at her wedding, a bride is treated by those she passes like just another guest. In this surrealist setting, her only bearing is the figure of her father, and even they have a strange relationship.





Short film

Geórg Cantos (Spain)

ECAM - Escuela de Cinematografia y del Audiovisual de la Comunidad de Madrid (Spain)

A Burger King in the wee small hours of the night. Five friends with a knot in their stomachs. Twenty-seven Whoppers to take away.






Koldo Almandoz, Asier Altuna, Luiso Berdejo, Daniel Calparsoro, Iñaki Camacho, Borja Cobeaga, María Elorza, Telmo Esnal, Maider Fernandez Iriarte, Isabel Herguera, Ekain Irigoien, Julio Medem, Izibene Oñederra, Gracia Querejeta, Imanol Uribe (Spain)

Twelve short films, twelve portraits of the city of San Sebastian. Historic names and young promises in the field of movies made in Gipuzkoa come together in his film promoted by San Sebastian, European Capital of Culture 2016.




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About SanSebastian

Barreda de Biurrun Inés

Blogging from the 70th San Sebastian Film Festival
Reporting by Inés Barreda de Biurrun and Bruno Chatelin.

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