Ten European productions vie for Golden Conch

Article published on Sept. 23, 2008
Article published on Sept. 23, 2008
There is a strong European presence in the Official Competition of the 56th San Sebastian Film Festival (September 18-27), where three Spanish films will compete for the Golden Conch. These include Jaime Rosales’ third feature, Bullet in the Head, produced by Wanda Visión and Fresdeval Films.
Rosales attracted a great deal of attention at the latest edition of the Spanish Goya Awards, where his auteur film Solitary Fragments [trailer] picked up Best Film, Best Director and Best Male Newcomer. Spanish comedian and director Javier Fesser is presenting his third feature, Camino (“Path”), produced by Películas Pendelton and Mediapro; and first-time director Belén Macías will unveil her debut work El patio de mi cárcel (“The Patio of My Prison”), starring well-known actresses Blanca Portillo, Candela Peña and Verónica Echegi. The film about a group of female convicts was produced by El Deseo and Warner Bros Pictures Spain for a budget of €3m.

Besides these Spanish productions, the festival will also screen Argentinean/Spanish/French co-production Empty Nest, by Argentina’s Daniel Burman. This is the only film to represent Latin America in the main competition.

Christophe Honoré’s La belle personne (“The Beautiful Person”) and Louise-Michel by Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern will represent France.

Denmark’s Kristian Levring will vie for honours with Fear Me Not, while UK director and festival regular Michael Winterbottom returns to the Basque coastal city with his latest production, Genova.

The 19 titles in official competition also include Turkish/French/German/Belgian co-production Pandora’s Box, by Yesim Ustaoglu; Samira Makhmalbaf’s Iranian/French film Two-Legged Horse; and Rashid Masharawi’s Tunisian/Palestinian/Dutch co-production Laila’s Birthday.

The festival’s sidebars will also feature numerous European films. These include Woody Allen’s latest, Spanish-set Vicky Cristina Barcelona, which will open the Zabalegi-Pearls section.

Meryl Streep and Antonio Banderas will receive the Donostia Award for Lifetime Achievement. The actor will be doubly honoured at this year’s festival, as UK film The Other Man, starring Banderas, Liam Neeson and Laura Linney is set to open the event.

María Gómez Silva