Laurent Cantet, Terence Davies, Lucile Hadzihalilovic and Claire Simon will compete for the Golden Shell at the 69th San Sebastian Film Festival together with the Peruvian Claudia Llosa and the Argentine Inés Barrionuevo. The contest, which will take place from September 17 to 25, has released its first preview of the films in the Official Section on Monday, which will be joined by newcomers Alina Grigore, Zhang Ji and Tea Lindeburg.
It is not the first time that the French Laurent Cantet participates in the Zinemaldia. With his debut, Human Resources, won the New Directors award, in 2012 he presented in the Official Section Foxfire (Silver Shell for best actress for Katie Coseni) and several of her works have been screened at Perlak, including Class, Palme d’Or in Cannes. Now come back with Arthur Rambo, in which Rabah Naït Oufella plays a successful writer who will have to deal with the hateful messages he posted on social media in the past.
Terence Davies, to whom the Festival dedicated a retrospective in 2008, will compete for the Golden Shell for the third time after having done so with The Deep Blue Sea in 2011 and Sunset Song in 2015, he remembers the San Sebastian festival in a statement. In this 2021, the British director will compete with Benediction, a biopic in which Jack Lowden and Peter Capaldi play Siegfried Sassoon, an antiwar soldier and poet who survived World War I. Another acquaintance of the contest, the French Lucile Hadzihalilovic, who in 2004 won the New Directors Award with her debut, Innocence, and in 2015 he obtained with Evolution, his second feature film, the Special Jury Prize, will present Earwig. It is the adaptation of a novel by Brian Catling that tells the story of Albert, a man who in the mid-twentieth century is in charge of taking care of Mia, a girl with ice teeth.
Claudia Llosa, winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 2009 with The scared tit, which was the first Peruvian film nominated for an Oscar in the non-English-speaking category, premieres in the Official Selection with Rescue distance, whose cast includes María Valverde, Dolores Fonzi, Germán Palacios and Guillermo Pfening. His new film is “a vertiginous and hypnotic tale about the fears and power of maternal love” that he has co-written with Samanta Schweblin, author of the homonymous novel, explains the festival. Inés Barrionuevo also participates for the first time in the Official Selection with her fourth feature film, Camila will be out tonight, whose young protagonist faces the changes caused by a move to Buenos Aires and by entering a traditional private school. Another debut in the contest for the Golden Shell will be that of the French Claire Simon, who attends with I Want to Talk about Duras, an approach to the interview that the journalist Michèle Manceaux conducted with Yann Andrea, Marguerite Duras’s lover in her later years.
In this first preview of the Zinemaldia there are three newcomers, including the Romanian actress and screenwriter Alina Grigore, who will compete in con Blue Moon, a drama about a young woman who lives in the oppressive environment of a dysfunctional family that opposes her wishes. Zhang Ji’s debut feature, who has worked as a cinematographer until now, is Fire on the Plain, a thriller set in the Chinese city of Fentun, where a young police officer reopens an investigation into mysterious crimes that occurred eight years ago. The Danish Tea Lindeburg closes the list with As in Heaven, a film inspired by the Danish literary classic published in 1912 by Marie Bregendahl. The action takes place at the end of the 19th century on a farm where members of a large family await their ninth child while the older sister prepares to go to study.
The contest will soon announce the Spanish films that will compete for the Golden Shell. The festival poster, starring the actress Sigourney Weaver, is already known, and a novel decision that has generated applause and criticism: from this year there will only be awards for the best Lead and cast interpretation, without distinction of sex.