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SanSebastian


 

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 https://youtu.be/QaoU9ZXi4Rg /Recap of 68th edition, video https://youtu.be/fktYpcd5wMc


 


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The opening gala of the San Sebastian Festival endorses the “ancient ritual of going to a cinema to watch films”

The 67th edition starts with acknowledgement of the public: “The Festival wouldn’t be the same without it”

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Tonight, the Kursaal Auditorium hosted the opening gala of the 67th edition of the San Sebastian Festival which wanted to “unashamedly endorse an almost forgotten ancient ritual: going to the cinema to watch films”. Directed by Borja Crespo in collaboration with Susana Fernández and Borja Echevarría, the gala was presented by the actresses Cayetana Guillén Cuervo and Loreto Mauleón.

The gala opened with a video in memory of four people recently deceased who had enjoyed close links with the history of the Festival: Diego Galán, who was its director; Luis Calparsoro, a former general delegate; Mariano Ferrer, head of press, and Juanmi Gutiérrez, a filmmaker who presented all of his films at the event.

The hosts highlighted the “exceptional pleasure” of enclosing oneself in a cinema to watch a film without the distractions that taint our viewing of content on a television, mobile phone or tablet. “The ritual of taking a seat in a film theatre and allowing ourselves to be hypnotised by the light of the projector has become an act of rebellion. In the face of information overload, of immediacy and visual fragmentation, enjoying a film attentively, cut off from reality, is a real luxury”, they stressed.

Like every year, the gala hosted the presentation of the FIPRESCI Grand Prix, given by the International Federation of Film Critics to the film ROMA (Perlak, 2018), by Alfonso Cuarón. Its producer Gabriela Rodríguez received the accolade from Marta Armengou, President of the Catalan Association of Film Critics and Writers (ACCEC).

Precisely, Guillén Cuervo and Mauleón thanked the film critics for their work, whose capacity of analysis “helps to enable the enjoyment of a film with greater intensity”, while applauding the support of an ever-faithful public: “The Festival wouldn’t be the same without it. In fact, it would be nothing without its presence every day, packed into the Kursaal, the Principal Theatre, the Victoria Eugenia, Tabakalera, the Príncipe cinemas and other spaces equipped for the occasion”.

The gala also paid homage to film genres. It saw the screening of images from comedies, thrillers, fantasy and horror movies, dramas and sequences from social and political films. Some images were taken from the films to be seen over the coming days at the Festival and others from famous works in our cinema, both Spanish in general, and Basque in particular. Among the guests at the gala were the producers Javier Calvo and Javier Ambrossi (The ‘Javis’), the director and actress Leticia Dolera and the filmmaker Paul Urkijo.

Finally, the director Neil Jordan said a few words in his capacity as president of the official jury, which has the task of deciding the Golden Shell and the other awards given at the Festival. “I suppose we'll have to ask ourselves the perennial question, through the next ten days, as to what cinema is.  To me, it's very simple. Cinema is what you experience when you sit with strangers in a darkened room and watch someone else's dreams on the screen. Something you can't experience between the pages of a book, on a stage,  on an iPhone, or even on a television screen. So, over the course of the festival, we will do just that. What people have done since George Méliès took his trip to the moon. And maybe we won't be strangers by the end of it”, said Jordan. In the traditional family photo of the jury, the Irish filmmaker was accompanied by the actresses Bárbara Lennie and Mercedes Morán, the producers Pablo Cruz and Katriel Schori and the director of photography, Lisabi Fridell.

The film opening the Official Selection, Blackbird, was then screened, with the presence of its director, Roger Michell, the producer David Bernardi and the actor Sam Neill.

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About SanSebastian

Barreda de Biurrun Inés

Blogging from the 69th San Sebastian Film Festival
Reporting by Inés Barreda de Biurrun and Bruno Chatelin.

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