The San Sebastian International Film Festival has announced the films to be presented at its 59th annual event in Spain this September.
Founded in 1953, the festival was originally intended to honor Spanish language films, though in 1955 films in other languages became eligible for consideration.
Tuesday, the 15 Spanish films being presented were announced and include films by award-winning directors who have shared their work at other international festivals.
The following portion of lineup and the synopsis come directly from the festival and are only from those competing for Official Selection. To see the full list of participating films, click here.
“No Rest For the Wicked”
The new movie from Enrique Urbizu, is a chair-gripping thriller starring José Coronado, Rodolfo Sancho, Helena Miquel and Juanjo Artero. Enrique Urbizu (Bilbao, 1962) sent strong ripples through the Spanish movie world when his film Todo por la pasta (Anything for Bread, 1991) left no doubt about his passion for genre cinema, a trait he was to highlight yet again with Cachito (1996) and La caja 507 (Box 507, 2002), proud winner of four awards at the Cognac Detective and Thriller Film Festival. He also took his drama La vida mancha (Life Marks 2003) to the Malaga Spanish Film Festival competition and landed the Best Film award at Nantes Spanish Film Festival.
“The Double Steps”
“The Double Steps"marks the return to the Festival’s Official Selection of Isaki Lacuesta, previous entrant in the 57th edition with Los condenados (The Damned, 2009) where he whisked off the FIPRESCI critics’ award. In this new work, the filmmaker brings us a fictional documentary taking its inspiration from the novelettish biography of French artist and author François Augiéras. The artist painted every inch of the walls of a military bunker in the desert and let it sink into the sand so that no-one would find it till the 21st Century. Searches for the bunker continue to nurture the myth… Who is Augiéras? A legionnaire, painter, writer, gangster, saint, thief, devil, or a bit of them all? The film boasts participation of the artist Miquel Barceló in one of the leading parts. Isaki Lacuesta (Girona 1975) has become one of the most interesting and unusual voices on today’s Spanish film scene thanks to works like Cravan vs. Cravan (2002), La leyenda del tiempo (The Legend of Time, 2006) and La noche que no acaba (All Night Long), presented at San Sebastian Festival’s 58th edition.
“The Sleeping Voice”
“The Sleeping Voice” is an adaptation of Dulce Chacon’s book of the same name, directed by Benito Zambrano and starring Inma Cuesta, María León, Marc Clotet and Daniel Holguín. Set in the terrible years immediately following the end of the Spanish civil war, the film narrates the moving relations between two sisters separated by the dictatorship when one of them was thrown into jail under Franco’s regime. Benito Zambrano (Lebrija, 1962) blasted onto the scene as one of Spanish film’s great surprises with his debut oeuvre, Solas (Alone, 1990), winner of awards at several international festivals: Berlin Festival’s “Panorama” section, the FIPRESCI prize at Brussels Festival and others at Cartagena, Havana and Tokyo; the film also carried off 5 Goyas, 7 Cinema Writers Circle Awards and a Silver Fotogramas. Zambrano has since then directed the TV series Padre Coraje (2002) and the film Habana Blues (2005).
Asier Altuna’s film “Bertsolari” will be screened out-of-competition in the Official Selection. This documentary takes a close-up look at popular bertsolaris (improvisers of Basque verse) in the Basque Country, delving into the secrets of this complex art of oral poetry. Asier Altuna (Bergara, 1969) had already made his mark in short films, some of which landed awards at different events: Txotx (1997), Topeka (2004) and Sarean (2006). His feature debut was the comedy, Aupa Etxebeste! (2005), an entrant in the Zabaltegi-New Directors section of San Sebastian Festival’s 53rd edition, at which it won the Youth Award.
As already announced, the opening gala will feature the European premiere of “Intruders,” a horror/thriller helmed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo with an international cast starring Clive Owen, Carice van Houten, Daniel Brühl, Pilar López de Ayala and Kerry Fox. The film will be screened out-of-competition as part of the Official Selection.
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