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Blogging from San Sebastian September 20-28, 2019

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



Political Donostia Award for Costa-Gavras

“This award is so precious for us, the filmmakers”, said the director

The French filmmaker of Greek origin, Costa-Gavras (Loutra-Iraias, 1933) has received the first Donostia Award at the 67th edition of the San Sebastian Festival which, with its highest honorary distinction, has paid tribute to one of the leading exponents of films on political and social issues in all history.

Tonight the Victoria Eugenia Theatre hosted the gala at which the award was presented, following the latest film by the director, Adults in the Room. The film takes to the big screen the book of memoires written by the former Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis. The Donostia Award was presented to the filmmaker by the Festival Director, José Luis Rebordinos.

As recalled by Rebordinos, Costa-Gavras has always defended the fact that all cinema is political, highlighting his “cinematic precision” and his “determination to talk about things that happen in the society of his time”. “He analyses power and talks about people that power oppresses and makes invisible. This is a political award for Costa-Gavras”, he said.

“It is an enormous honour to receive this award, which is so precious for us, the filmmakers”, declared Costa-Gavras. Christos Loulis, Alexandros Bourdoumis and Valeria Golino, the stars of his last film, agreed that working with him is a dream come true. “We have needed him, we do need him, and we will continue to need him. Thank you, Costa-Gavras”, said Loulis, who embodies Varoufakis on the big screen.

The journalist Vanessa Rodrígues hosted the gala and took a look at the career of a director who, “with particular harshness and absolute freedom” has focussed his camera on totalitarian dictatorships, political purges, racism and the abuses of capitalism. A video was also screened with images of “a bold and highly personal filmography which makes an acerbic and critical examination of power and today’s society”.

Following his debut with Compartiment tueurs (The Sleeping Car Murders, 1965), Costa-Gavras directed titles such as (1969), winner of the Special Jury Prize and Best Actor Award for Jean-Louis Trintignant at the Cannes Festival, as well as the Best Film in a Foreign Language and Best Editing Academy Awards. Missing (1981), his first big hit shot in English, earned him the Best Screenplay Academy Award and Golden Palm at Cannes, where Jack Lemmon also garnered an award for his performance. Outstanding among his more recent films are Amen. (2001), Le couperet (The Axe, 2004) and Le capital (Capital, 2012), which competed in the Official Selection at the San Sebastian Festival.

Premiered at the recent Venice Mostra, his latest feature film is based on the book Adults in the Room: My Battle With Europe's Deep Establishment, written by Yanis Varoufakis following his fleeting mandate as a minister during the first six months of 2015, at the height of the Greek financial crisis. The film is a “tragedy” in the classic sense of the term and portrays a group of people “trapped in an inhuman network of power” and in a “brutal circle of Eurogroup meetings, which imposed on Greece a dictatorship of austerity”.  




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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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