14 first or second films to compete for San Sebastián’s New Directors Award
by David González
- Eight feature debuts stand out in the Basque festival’s parallel section, while directors such as Ignas Jonynas, Svetla Tsotsorkova and Delphine Lehericey are making a welcome return to New Directors
Fourteen first or second films by European, American and Asian filmmakers will be going head to head in the New Directors section of the 67th San Sebastián Film Festival (20-28 September), according to an announcement made in the Basque city earlier today by the director of the event, José Luis Rebordinos, and Kutxabank representative Idoia Elurbe. The festival’s most prominent parallel section, which over the course of its existence has given a huge boost to the debut works by filmmakers of the likes of Olivier Assayas, Isabel Coixet, Jaco Van Dormael, Nicolas Winding Refn, Laurent Cantet and Jonathan Glazer, will continue to invest in strengthening its commitment to discovering new talents who are bound to change the face of cinema in the years to come.
Particularly noteworthy in this year’s selection is the return of three European filmmakers who previously presented their feature debuts in this very same section. Lithuania’s Ignas Jonynas, who paid the gathering a visit in 2013 with The Gambler [+see also:
interview: Ignas Jonynas
film profile], is back with Nematoma, featuring a male protagonist who pretends to be blind during a dancing contest, after the helmer scooped the awards in the festival’s Glocal in Progress industry event last year. Bulgaria’s Svetla Tsotsorkova, who took part in the competition of the 2015 edition with Thirst [+see also:
interview: Svetla Tsotsorkova
film profile], makes her comeback with Sister, about a teenage girl whose web of lies destroys her older sister’s well-ordered, materialistic world and allows them both to find out the truth about their mother. Switzerland’s Delphine Lehericey is back at San Sebastián, after she showcased Puppy Love [+see also:
film profile] in 2015, with Beyond the Horizon, set during the terrible drought of 1976, which laid waste to the Swiss countryside, and starring Laetitia Casta and Clémence Poésy.
The sophomore works are rounded off by Disco [+see also:
interview: Jorunn Myklebust Syversen
film profile] by Norway’s Jorunn Myklebust Syversen, Noura’s Dream [+see also:
film profile] by Tunisia’s Hinde Boujemaa and Some Beasts by Chile’s Jorge Riquelme Serrano, a project that was previously festooned with awards at the 35th Films in Progress, which unspooled in Toulouse in March this year.
Nevertheless, the strand is placing most of its emphasis on feature debuts and is preparing to screen a total of eight first features in September. In addition to the previously announced titles included in the selection of Spanish productions set to screen at this edition – The Innocence [+see also:
film profile] by Lucía Alemany and Jordi’s Letters [+see also:
film profile] by Maider Fernández Iriarte – the first steps in feature-length territory by Brit Fyzal Boulifa (previously nominated for the BAFTA for Best Short Film in 2012), Lynn + Lucy, will also be on show. The rest of the talents will be rocking up from beyond Europe’s borders: Israel’s Oren Gerner (with Africa), Argentina’s Ana García Blaya (with The Good Intentions), South Korea’s Lee Jihyoung and Kim Sol (with Scattered Night), Japan’s Koichi Don (with Bonfire at Dawn) and US filmmaker David Raboy (with The Giant, co-produced by France).
The titles in New Directors, which this year include works by nine female directors and six male filmmakers, will be duking it out for the Kutxabank-New Directors Award, valued at €50,000.
The full selection is as follows:
Africa – Oren Gerner (Israel)
Some Beasts – Jorge Riquelme Serrano (Chile)
Disco [+see also:
interview: Jorunn Myklebust Syversen
film profile] – Jorunn Myklebust Syversen (Norway)
The Innocence [+see also:
film profile] – Lucía Alemany (Spain)
The Good Intentions – Ana García Blaya (Argentina)
Jordi’s Letters [+see also:
film profile] – Maider Fernández Iriarte (Spain)
Beyond the Horizon – Delphine Lehericey (Switzerland/Belgium)
Noura’s Dream [+see also:
film profile] – Hinde Boujemaa (Tunisia/Belgium/France)
Lynn + Lucy – Fyzal Boulifa (UK/France)
Nematoma – Ignas Jonynas (Lithuania/Latvia/Ukraine)
Scattered Night – Lee Jihyoung, Kim Sol (South Korea)
Sister – Svetla Tsotsorkova (Bulgaria/Qatar)
The Giant – David Raboy (USA/France)
Bonfire at Dawn – Koichi Doi (Japan)
(Translated from Spanish)
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