San Sebastian Kicks Into Gear As Spain Enjoys Business Growth – Deadline

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With the Berlin Movie Pageant’s Golden Bear awarded to Spanish director Carla Simón and 4 of the nation’s titles that includes in competitors at Cannes, there’s a quiet air of confidence amongst Spanish business professionals, together with José Luis Rebordinos, director of the San Sebastian Movie Pageant.

“This has been the perfect yr for Spanish cinema,” Rebordinos tells Deadline shortly after revealing the line-up for San Sebastian’s newest version, operating from September 16-24.

This yr the outstanding Spanish pageant, celebrating its seventieth version, kicks into gear with some 200 movies throughout its six aggressive and 7 non-competitive sections. The choice shall be bookended by Friday night time’s opening movie Jail 77 (Modelo 77), from Spanish filmmaker Alberto Rodríguez, and Neil Jordan’s newest movie Marlowe, starring Diane Kruger and Liam Neeson, which is able to shut the pageant. The complete lineup consists of the European Premiere of Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Lelio’s The Surprise, starring Florence Pugh, and South Korean filmmaker Hong Sang-soo’s newest providing, High/Stroll Up. The pageant can be understood to be continuing with its inclusion of Sparta, Ulrich Seidl’s controversial drama which was pulled final week by the Toronto Worldwide Movie Pageant following allegations of impropriety.

Photograph courtesy of Montse Castillo

This yr, San Sebastian returns to 100% capability in cinemas this yr, with a stacked program of events, occasions, and seminars with the participation of worldwide friends and delegates. Whereas the pageant nonetheless held bodily screenings in the course of the pandemic, seating and screening numbers have been restricted, and there have been only a few friends from abroad.

“The primary problem has been attempting to place collectively all of the financing,” Rebordinos tells Deadline of this yr’s preparations. “Within the final two years, a few of our sponsors didn’t signal with us as a result of they have been connected to particular bodily occasions. So if there’s no occasion, there’s no sponsor. However this yr we have now managed to get again most of our sponsors, and we even raised slightly bit more cash than we had in earlier years.”

As a public-facing pageant, Rebordinos and his workforce have the added problem of luring audiences again to theaters, with a big portion of the pageant’s earnings comprised of field workplace stubs. The pageant has lengthy been the leaping off level for a lot of movies that go on to play in theatres in Spain, with the November – December window sometimes being a superb time for admissions into Spanish theatres. This yr, says Rebordinos, “the scenario could be very weird,” pointing to uncertainty for the long run well being of the cinema enterprise.

Elsewhere, San Sebastian is about handy out 4 honorary Donostia Awards as a part of the anniversary celebrations. Two recipients are nonetheless to be introduced, however Juliette Binoche will move via the pageant’s Kursaal Auditorium on September 18, the place she’ll choose up the profession achievement prize earlier than introducing her Berlinale winner, Each Sides of The Blade. David Cronenberg will comply with on September 21, and he’ll current his controversial 2022 Palme d’Or contender, Crimes of the Future. Different buzzy fall titles like Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Fear Darling and Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or winner Triangle of Disappointment will display screen as a part of Perlak, San Sebastian’s sidebar part devoted to titles which have screened at different festivals.


“It’s okay for us to have some movies from different festivals in our lineup — it’s not an issue,” Rebordinos says of the favored sidebar. “There are lots of festivals and we compete between ourselves. However we’re fortunate as a result of we’re not one of many huge three. We will do issues in a different way. For us, it’s essential to be a really sturdy pageant with European and Latin American movies. We at all times look to the Latin American business. And with Latin American movies we will compete with different festivals. With North American movies it’s unattainable.”

San Sebastian has lengthy established itself as the important thing assembly level between Europe and Latin America, with sections in each its business and pageant packages devoted to the area. This yr the pageant has three Latin American movies within the Official Choice. There may be additionally a robust native presence with 4 Spanish productions in competitors, two of that are Basque co-productions, the primary time this has occurred within the pageant’s historical past.

“Now we have 4 movies in the primary competitors, however we might have had six with no drawback,” Rebordinos says. “One of many surprises of the pageant will for certain be Suro, the movie by Mikel Gurrea. It’s a first-time movie and a Basque movie in the primary choice. I’m certain individuals will communicate rather a lot about this director after the pageant.”

On the business facet, San Sebastian will launch its new Inventive Traders’ Convention, co-organized with CAA Media Finance. The convention will see producers from 10 Spanish productions or co-productions pitch their initiatives to a roundtable of prime business executives, together with MUBI’s Bobby Allen, Piers Wenger of A24, Netflix’s Teresa Moneo, and Focus Options’s Kiska Higgs. Roeg Sutherland, Benjamin Kramer, and Sarah Schweitzman of CAA Media Finance will average. The convention will run from September 19 – 20.

Nonetheless, the pageant’s anniversary celebrations will proceed into the brand new yr, with Zinemaldia 70, a large-scale restoration mission, scheduled to be unveiled within the coming months. The pageant launched the mission in 2018 alongside researchers from the native movie college Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola, who’ve set about cataloging and digitalizing 1000’s of images, posters, press supplies, magazines, and books from all through the pageant’s historical past.

“Nobody has correctly dealt with these items for 66 years,” Rebordinos says. “It’s very costly to work with archive materials, however we will do it as a result of we have now very huge sponsorship from the Spanish lottery.”

The historic supplies can even obtain a brand new bodily dwelling on the Tabakalera, the imposing up to date arts heart and official base of the pageant since its refurbishment in 2015. Researchers will be capable to sift via the paperwork and discover the little-known elements of the pageant’s historical past, together with the darkish interval of censorship beneath Franco and the gradual transfer to democratization following his loss of life.

“We expect will probably be the largest archive of movie in Spain,” Rebordinos says.

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