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''The Tree Of Life'' to open Zabaltegi-Pearls Section of San Sebastian International Film Festival

''The Tree Of Life'', Golden Palm at Cannes Festival, and ''Nader and Simin: A Separation'', Golden Bear at Berlin, in the Zabaltegi-Pearls Section of San Sebastian International Film Festival

A selection of some of the finest films screened this year at important international film festivals will be presented in the Zabaltegi-Pearls section at the 59th edition of San Sebastian International Film Festival starting Sep.16th with The Tree of life. Here we list the first films selected to compete for the Audience Award

The film opening the section won the Golden Palm at the last Cannes Festival, THE TREE OF LIFE, a poetic, personal reflection on the meaning of human existence directed by the North American Terrence Malick, starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn.

JODAEIYE NADER AZ SIMIN (Nader and Simin, A Separation), directed by Iranian Asghar Farhadi (Khomeynishahr, 1972) was the big winner at the last Berlin Festival. This film about the consequences of a divorce and family separation carried off the Golden Bear for Best Film plus the Silver Bear for Best Actor and Actress.

THE ARTIST was one of the most delightful surprises at the last Cannes Festival, where it bagged the Best Actor award for its lead character, Juan Dujardin. Helmer Michel Hazanavicius renders a surprising homage to movies in the twenties, a tender love story brought to us silent film style in black and white.

DRIVE was yet another of the more suggestive proposals at this year's Cannes Festival, a work earning Nicolas Winding Refn the Best Director award. Ryan Gosling stars in this stylised thriller in the best of film noir traditions.

ET MAINTENANT ON VA OÙ? is the new film from the Lebanese moviemaker Nadine Labaki, a bright and amusing call to reconciliation set around the conflict between Christians and Muslims. The actress and director Nadine Labaki (Baabda, 1974) made an international name for herself thanks to her first film, Sukkar banat (Caramel, 2007), presented in the Zabaltegi-Pearls section of San Sebastian Festival's 55th edition (2007), where it carried off the Audience Award. Labaki went on to become a member of the Official Selection Jury at the Festival's 56th edition (2008).

LE HAVRE is the latest gem from the Finnish master, Aki Kaurismäki. Winner of the FIPRESCI international critics' award at Cannes Festival, here the moviemaker narrates another of his tragicomic proletarian fables.

Another North American production featuring in the Zabaltegi-Pearls section is MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE, a galling drama about a young girl abducted by a sect directed by Sean Durkin and starring Elizabeth Olsen. Durkin makes his feature directorial debut with this film, winner of the Best Directing award in the national competition at Sundance Festival. The film also competed in the "Un certain regard" section at the last Cannes Festival, where it landed the "Prix Regard Jeune".

PINA is the new work from the reputed German filmmaker Wim Wenders, who makes his first inroads to 3-D movies with this spectacular documentary on the great ballerina Pina Bausch and her dazzling choreographies. Pina was presented at the last edition of Berlin Festival and picked up the Best Documentary award at the annual German film awards.

TYRANNOSAUR is a British production marking the directorial debut of actor Paddy Considine. Starring Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman, Tyrannosaur is a drama in the best tradition of British realism about the friendship between an alcoholic and a battered woman. Tyrannosaur won the award for Best Directing in the international competition and Special Jury Prize for its two leading characters at the last Sundance Festival.

Other winning films at important international festivals will complete the programme


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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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