The San Sebastián Film Festival has been a special date in the calendar every year since it was founded in 1953. It takes place in the small city of San Sebastián in the Basque Country and this international film festival has been declared as “A category” by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF). It has established itself as one of the most important film festivals of the world and hosted premieres for many important films in history, such as Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo”. This year the festival will take place between the 20th and 28th September and will be the 61st San Sebastián Festival.
The festival this year will involve films from the following sections:
- The official selection – This is a competitive section between international films which have not yet been released. The usual awards will be included, such as Best Film, Best Actor/Actress, Best Screenplay, etc. The Donostia Award is a very noble lifetime achievement award given to one person or group during the festival, and this year it is to be awarded to Spanish actress, Carmen Maura.
- New directors – Competitive section between directors at the beginning of their career who have produced one or two films.
- “Horizontes Latinos” – A section for Latin American films.
- “Pearls” – A selection of films which have received awards or praise at other film festivals and that have not yet been released in Spain.
- “Zabatelgi”–this section has no rules, and is an open and non-competitive section of the film festival.
- Culinary Zinema: Film and gastronomy – added in collaboration with the Berlin film festival and organized by the Basque Culinary Center, this is a non-competitive section and involves films related to gastronomy.
- Savage Cinema – This is a new non-competitive section for the films relating to action and sport.
- DraManagement – A new section created for companies who want to portray their message through short films.
- Made in Spain – a non-competitive section which broadcasts Spanish films of the year.
- Zinemira – A section dedicated to Basque films.
- Velodrome – One of the most popular sections of the festival, screening premieres in a cinema with a capacity of 3000 people. They also hold screenings for children in the mornings.
- International Film Students Meeting – Involves screenings and classes for aspiring film directors who are at film school.
- Movies for kids – a selection of film premieres shown for children.
- Classic retrospective – A section which is this year taking a look at the works of NagisaOshima, a controversial Japanese director.
- Thematic retrospective – This year the focus is on “Animatopia” and the new paths of animation cinema.
- Films in progress – Created in 2002, this section is for support of Latin American films and hopes to help launch films at the post-production stage.
San Sebastián Film Festival is the most glamorous event in the Basque country and each year attracts a number of Spanish and Hollywood stars, as indeed from all over the world. By the look of the films for this year’s event, it is clear 2013 will be no different. The Official section this year includes films such as Devil’s Knot, by American director Atom Egoyan and starring Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth, October November by internationally reputed Austrian director, Götz Spielmann, and The Railway Man, directed by Jonathan Teplintzky and starring Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Jeremy Irvine and Stellan Skarsgård.
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