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Blogging from San Sebastian September 17-25, 2021

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



Johnny Depp, Matt Dillon, Viggo Mortensen and Gina Gershon grace San Sebastian Festival’s 68th edition



British actor Joe Alwyn completes the official jury chaired by Luca Guadagnino

Elena Anaya, Candela Peña, Blanca Suárez, Paz Vega, Raúl Arévalo, Alejandro Sanz, Javier Cámara, Irene Escolar, Bárbara Lennie and Roberto Álamo are some of the Spanish cinema stars attendees currently confirmed


San Sebastian Festival will have at its 68th edition a long list of guests who will visit the city to accompany the films and projects in which they participate. Among the personalities currently to have confirmed their presence are Hollywood stars, major figures from the field of European and Latin American cinema, and an extensive representation of the Spanish and Basque film industries.

Among other outstanding visits are those of Johnny Depp, producer of Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan (competitive Official Selection), the documentary by Julien Temple on Shane MacGowan, leader of The Pogues. Its director will participate this year alongside another musical film showing in the Official Selection, El gran Fellove (Special Screening out of competition), directed by Matt Dillon, who returns to San Sebastian 14 years after receiving the Donostia Award. This accolade, the most important honorary award presented by the Festival, will be received on Thursday 24 by another actor turned director, Viggo Mortensen, who will show Falling, his debut behind the camera.

Woody Allen, the director of Rifkin’s Festival (opening film of the Official Selection out of competition), will appear telematically from New York at the morning press conference, which will be attended in person by its female protagonists: the North American Gina Gershon and the Spanish actor Elena Anaya.

Among the reputed European moviemakers who will show their work in the competitive Official Selection are Danielle Arbid (Passion simple), accompanied by the actors Laetitia Dosch and Sergei Polunin; Šarūnas Bartas (Sutemose / In The Dusk); and Harry Macqueen (Supernova). Also worthy of note are first-timers such as the Georgian director Dea Kulumbegashvili (Dasatskisi / Beginning), who will also compete for the Golden Shell. Furthermore, Luca Guadagnino will show the series We Are Who We Are as a Special Screening out of competition, as well as holding the position of president of an official jury rounded off with the fifth and last incorporation of British actor Joe Alwyn.

Other sections will see the participation of the director and actor Suzanne Lindon and the actor Arnaud Valois (16 printemps / Spring Blossom, New Directors); the filmmaker Philippe Garrel and the actor Louise Chevillotte (Le sel des larmes / The Salt of Tears, Zabaltegi-Tabakalera); the director Adilkhan Yerzhanov (Zheltaya koshka / Yellow Cat, Zabaltegi-Tabakalera); the moviemaker and actor Maïwenn  (ADN / DNA, Perlak); and the helmer Florian Zeller (The Father, Perlak).  

Latin American cinema will be represented by filmmakers including Pablo Agüero (Akelarre, Official Selection), Eduardo Crespo (Nosotros nunca moriremos / We Will Never Die, Official Selection), João Paulo Miranda Maria (Casa de antiguidades / Memory House, New Directors), Santiago Loza (Edición ilimitada / Unlimited Edition, Horizontes Latinos), Clarisa Navas (Las mil y una / One in a Thousand, Horizontes Latinos), Maite Alberdi (El agente topo / The Mole Agent, Perlak) and Michel Franco (Nuevo orden / New Order, Perlak). Other outstanding attendees are the director Jayro Bustamante, president of the Horizontes Award Jury, and the actor Mariana di Girolamo who, having shown Ema last year, returns together with the director Leonardo Medel (La Verónica, Horizontes Latinos).



Regarding attendees from the world of Spanish and Basque cinema, the actors Alex Brendemühl and Amaia Aberasturi will accompany the director Pablo Agüero (Akelarre, Official Selection), while Rodrigo Sorogoyen, helmer of the series Antidisturbios (Official Selection out of competition), will return to the Festival at the head of an impressive cast including Álex García, Hovick Keuchkerian, Patrick Criado, Raúl Arévalo, Raúl Prieto, Roberto Álamo and Vicky Luengo. Patria (Special Screening) series will be represented by Aitor Gabilondo, its showrunner, and its cast –Jose Ramon Soroiz, Mikel Laskurain, Jon Olivares, Susana Abaitua, Loreto Mauleón, Iñigo Aranbarry lead by Elena Irureta and Ane Gabarain. The closing film, El olvido que seremos (Forgotten We’ll Be, Official Selection out of competition), will be accompanied by its director, Fernando Trueba and the lead actor, Javier Cámara.

Patricia López Arnaiz will participate twofold with the director David Pérez Sañudo (Ane / Ane Is Missing, New Directors) and Imanol Rayo (Hil Kanpaiak / Death Knell, New Directors), alongside others who have also worked with the latter, such as Yon González and Eneko Sagardoy. Pepón Nieto will accompany the film shot under the orders of Juan Cavestany (Un efecto óptico / An Optical Illusion / Interval, Zabaltegi-Tabakalera) and Carla Simón will go it alone to show her short film directed jointly with Dominga Sotomayor (Correspondencia / Correspondence, Zabaltegi-Tabakalera). Other visitors to the city are the director Icíar Bollaín and the actor Candela Peña (La boda de Rosa / Rosa’s Wedding, Made in Spain), the actor Nerea Barros with the director Paula Cons (La isla de las mentiras, Made in Spain), and the co-director of Hermanas (Made in Spain), Diego Postigo, escorted by the actors Bárbara Lennie and Irene Escolar. The latter of the two will also appear with the director Eduard Cortés (Dime quién soy, Gala Movistar) in the company of the writer and screenwriter Julia Navarro and of the actor Oriol Pla.

Within the RTVE Screenings, the director Cesc Gay will head the extensive cast featuring Alberto San Juan, Javier Cámara (Sentimental), while Nacho Álvarez will do the same with Ingrid García-Jonsson, Fernando Tejero and Natalia Millán (Explota explota). In addition, the helmer Carlos Sedes will take up his place at the head of an artistic cast including Blanca Suárez, Javier Rey, Carlos Cuevas, Guiomar Puerta, María Pedraza, Pablo Molinero and the musician Alejandro Sanz (El verano que vivimos, Charity Gala). For her part, Paz Vega will participate in the showing of El lodo (Other activities).

Gathering in the Zinemira section are figures including the musician Enrique Villarreal, lead figure of the documentary El Drogas, and Tanya Diane Ibar and Michael Ibar, wife and brother of Pablo Ibar, subject of the documentary series El Estado contra Pablo Ibar / The Miramar Murders: The State vs. Pablo Ibar. In addition, Juan Mari and Elena Arzak head the list of chefs participating in the Culinary Zinema films and dinners, also attended, among others, by Ricard Camarena, Raül Balam and Carme Ruscalleda.   

Thierry Frémaux, director of the Festival de Cannes, will participate tomorrow in the opening gala together with the San Sebastian Festival director, José Luis Rebordinos, who will give a speech in support of the French event and of other international festivals cancelled due to Covid-19.

For her part, the filmmaker Isabel Coixet will also return to the city to receive the Spanish National Cinematography Prize, while the retinue accompanying the Tous Gala will include Tamara Falcó, Eugenia Martínez de Irujo and Paula Echevarría, among other guests.



British actor Joe Alwyn (1991) debuted in 2016 in the part lending its name to Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (Ang Lee). The following year he starred alongside Jim Broadbent, Charlotte Rampling and Emily Mortimer in The Sense of an Ending, by Ritesh Batra, based on the book by Julian Barnes. He also participated in Operation Finale (Chris Weitz, 2018), Boy Erased (Joel Edgerton, 2018) and Mary Queen of Scots (Josie Rourke, 2028), in the same year as he received the Chopard Trophy for best new actor of the year at Cannes. After playing in Harriet (Kasi Lemmons, 2019), he appeared in the acclaimed The Favourite (2019), by Yorgos Lanthimos, alongside Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman. Next year Alwyn will play in Last Letter from Your Lover (Augustine Frizzell), together with Felicity Jones and Shailene Woodley, and in the BBC Films production, The Souvenir: Part II, with Tilda Swinton and Richard Ayoade.




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About SanSebastian

Barreda de Biurrun Inés

Blogging from the 67th San Sebastian Film Festival
Reporting by Inés Barreda de Biurrun and Bruno Chatelin.

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