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FESTIVALS Spain

Europe claims half of San Sebastian awards

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Europe claims half of San Sebastian awards

At the 57th San Sebastian Film Festival, the top prize, the Golden Shell, went to Chinese film City of Life and Death. However, European films, in particular Spanish, were the major winners in competition, with four awards from the jury headed by French director Laurent Cantet.

Javier Rebollo (video) struck lucky with his second feature, Woman Without Piano [+see also:
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interview: Javier Rebollo, director of…
film profile
]
, which was completed in record time in order to be ready for San Sebastian (it began shooting on May 25 - see news), where it picked up the Silver Shell for Best Director.

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Rebollo previously presented his debut work, What I Know About Lola [+see also:
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film profile
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, at the festival. This has been a highly successful year for the film’s production company, Avalon Producciones, which adds this prestigious prize to the crop garnered by David Planell’s The Shame [+see also:
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film profile
]
at the Malaga Film Festival.

The jury also honoured the starring couple in one of the event’s most extraordinary films, Me Too [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, with the awards for Best Actress (Lola Dueñas) and Best Actor (Pablo Pineda, the first European with Down’s syndrome to obtain a university degree). Co-directed by Álvaro Pastor and Antonio Naharro and produced by Koldo Zuazua (Producer on the Move 2009 - see interview) for Alicia Produce, the film will be released on October 16 by Golem.

French director François Ozon (video) didn’t go home empty-handed, winning the Special Jury Prize for The Refuge [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
. The film was described by the jury as “a sensitive and personal cinematic experiment” about the experience of its protagonist (Isabelle Carré), who is presented “without making judgements or comments, leaving each of us free to empathise”.

Meanwhile, the FIPRESCI Prize went to Spanish film The Damned, the third feature by Isaki Lacuesta (video). The film’s producer, David Matamoros, was recently appointed head of Zentropa International Spain and has announced his intention to continue working with Lacuesta.

Finally, City of Life and Death also scooped Best Cinematography, while Australian title Blessed picked up Best Screenplay.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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