Andres Corredor Coverage
63rd. San Sebastian International Film Festival

News and Events


For Ecological ArtTV 
Andrés Corredor

DONOSTIA SAN SEBASTIÁN - At the 63rd San Sebastian International Film Festival hundreds of people gathered for the world premiere of Regression, a film by Alejandro Amenábar and presented as part of the Official Selection at the Kursaal Auditorium.  As the moment of the opening approached the picturesque Zurriola bridge was full of locals, animated and awaiting. 

This year’s 63rd edition was marked with a higher than usual enthusiasm after the success by Spanish film-makers at the coveted Goya Awards, some of which would be making their expected debut during the festival.  As Julie Salvador, one of the seven selected juries mentioned, this year’s selection offered a varied and demanding lineup by the Festival organizers.   

For the majority of the participants the sections varied from the Special Jury Award, Nuev@s Director@s, Horizontes Latinos, Premio Donostia, Gran Premio Fipresci, Perlas, and non-competitive selections including Zabaltegi, Savage Cinema, Zinemira, Made in Spain, among other interesting films.  

Some of my favorites included Nuev@s Director@s and Horizontes Latinos.  In these two sections, one could find an interesting selection of international films very suitable for the competition.  Scott Graham directed the film Iona, about a young woman seeking refuge from a violent crime. I have good hopes for this film as well as for Peter Grönlund’s Drifters, a film with an intense social drama which received a special mention by the jurors.  

From Horizontes, Paula a film by Santiago Mitre took the Jury Award.  Other films that premiered and received special mention were From Afar by Lorenzo Vigas and I Promise You Anarchy by Mexican film director Julio Hernández Cordón.  From Colombia, I saw Embrace of the Serpent the third feature film by Ciro Guerra about Karamakate, a powerful Amazonian shaman, living in solitude and accompanying an American ethnobotanist in search of a powerful sacred plant.  Other notable films in this section included 600 Miles by Gabriel Ripstein, The Pearl Button by Patricio Guzmán, and The Project of the Century by Cuban director Carlos Quintela.  All these films represented a strong focus of this year’s festival, and were totally or partially produced and directed by Latin American filmmakers and unseen in Spain.For the organization, gastronomy and the activities related played a strong collaboration.  So much so, that a section called Culinary Zinema: Film and gastronomy was created with 16 features films with the Berlin International Film Festival and jointly organized with the Basque Culinary Center.  

Donostia, a small scale city played a large part of the excitement.  In the heart of the city it was full of bars that lured you in with their hard to pronounce pintxos and artesanal beer.  My all around favorite was Bar Atari on calle 31 de agosto.  Of course, with many Michelin stars to brag it might be best to just ask or watch how the locals gather around and try it all. I was very content with my choice.  Another of the highlights was the participation of Ricardo Darin, who was nominated for Best Actor and won a Silver Shell for his role in Truman.  I had a chance to speak with him before the screening of the film at the grand Hotel Maria Cristina.  

Something magical happens in San Sebastián, it is a sum of ambience, dramatic surroundings and a long lived Festival.  It far surpassed my expectations.