Wednesday, September 16, 2009

San Sebastián IFF Opens Friday

The 57th San Sebastián International Film Festival (the Zinemaldia) opens this Friday, 18 September, in San Sebastián, Spain. Renault, once again, will provide the official cars for the Festival.

Tickets went on sale Sunday and a total of 46,455 tickets were sold as compared to 37, 579 last year. Quentin Tarantino's INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, WATEVER WORKS and PRECIOUS were the first to sell out, the Tarantino movie within seven minutes.

This year's Festival will include a total of 202 films. The competitive sections are as follows: 17 films in the Official Selection, 14 in Zabaltegi-New Directors, 15 in Zabaltegi-Pearls and 13 in Horizontes Latinos. Made in Spain will offer 15 titles and Zinemira-Basque Film Showcase another 9, plus a short retrospective. The Zabaltegi-Specials has a recent addition of Hana Makhmalbaf’s GREEN DAYS.

The 57th Edition will offer 27 world premieres, 5 international premieres and 12 European premieres. The Selection Committee viewed a total of 1,819 films, compared to the 1,696 in 2008, in order to choose the titles presented in the different sections.

Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore and Amanda Seyfried star in the opening movie, CHLOE, which is almost sold out for the largest venue, the Kursaal Auditorium. As of now, there are still tickets available in the smaller venues for opening night.

Only a few tickets remain for the Cannes Festival winner, THE WHITE RIBBON (Das Weisse Band), also winner of this Festival's FIPRESCI Grand Prix. Same for THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS and SIN NOMBRE, all three expected to be among the most popular movies screening at the Festival.

Sir Ian McKellen will receive the Donastia Award on the 23rd. Cultivated in the Shakespeare classics, the British actor achieved worldwide fame in THE LORD OF THE RINGS and X-MEN. He won the Festival's Silver Shell for Best Actor in 1998 for GODS AND MONSTERS.

The Antonio Elorza Velodrome has been converted into an enormous 3-D cinema for screening the Spanish premiere of BATTLE FOR TERRA, OCEANWORLD, THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS and the 3-D version of TOY STORY. Almost 3,000 viewers at each screening will be able to enjoy the experience of watching films in three dimension as part of an enormous audience and before a giant screen.

Canadian director Atom Egoyan and producer Ivan Reitman will present their film CHLOE at the Festival opening gala. Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt and Christoph Waltz will also present INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, the opening movie of the Zabaltegi-Pearls section, on the first day of the Festival at the Victoria Eugenia Theatre.

At the closing gala in the Kursaal, on Saturday, 26th, the director Rodrigo García, together with actresses Naomi Watts and Kerry Washington, are expected to present MOTHER AND CHILD, bringing the 57th edition to a close.

French director Laurent Cantet will chair the Official Jury. He will be accompanied by Mexican actor Daniel Giménez Cacho, Korean director Bong Joon-ho, Spanish actress Pilar López de Ayala, British director John Madden, Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf and the Portuguese actress Leonor Silveira.

Some of the glitterati expected to attend the festival, other than those mentioned above are: Ang Lee, Jim Jarmusch, Terry Gilliam, Michael Winterbottom, François Ozon, Tom DiCillo, Jacques Audiard, Johnnie To, Bahman Gobhadi, Lee Daniels, Olivier Hirschbiegel, Christophe Honoré, Juan José Campanella, Matthias Glasner, Fernando Trueba, Isaki Lacuesta, Javier Rebollo, Nicolas Klotz, Jalil Lespert. Robert Duvall, Chiara Mastroianni, Miranda Otto, Brenda Blethyn, Ricardo Darín, Carmen Machi, Lola Dueñas and Ariadna Gil.

The International Film School Meeting 24 and 25 September will offer youngsters the chance to present their works. They and their teachers will also comment on them. The showings at the Kutxa Function Hall are open to the public.

Producer and director Lluís Miñarro will chair the jury consisting of students from the participating film schools that will choose the winning film, the director of which will win €10,000 in Panavision filming material for his or her next work, also earning the chance to participate in the Short Film Corner at Cannes. Twelve countries will participate in the Meeting, which includes a Masterclass.

For more see previous posts. For detailed ticket information, click the title of this post to link to the Festival's official Web site.

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