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SAN SEBASTIÁN 2019 Awards

Brazil’s Pacified takes home the Golden Shell from San Sebastián

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- The surprise hit of this year’s edition has scooped three awards, while Proxima, The Endless Trench, Greta Fernández and Nina Hoss also shone bright on the winners’ list

Brazil’s Pacified takes home the Golden Shell from San Sebastián
Director Paxton Winters collects the Golden Shell for Pacified alongside his producers Marcos Tellechea and Lisa Muskat (© SSIFF)

The different films featuring in the winners’ list of the Official Section of the 67th San Sebastián Film Festival can be counted on a single hand. The surprise victor of this year’s edition, Brazil’s Pacified by US director Paxton Winters, a movie that was admittedly not one of the most eagerly awaited in this section, has ended up taking home the Golden Shell and two additional prizes to boot: the Silver Shell for Best Actor for Bukassa Kabengele and the Jury Prize for Best Cinematography for Laura Merians. “These awards are very important for us and for Brazilian cinema,” declared the director as he accepted his trophy on stage, although, just as surprisingly, he neglected to mention how difficult the situation is for culture in Brazil at the moment, under Jair Bolsonaro’s government. Something similar happened last year, with the handing out of another three gongs to Rojo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Benjamín Naishtat
film profile
]
by Benjamín Naishtat (incidentally, that team was extremely critical of the political situation in South America in the acceptance speeches).

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Besides the triumph of the Brazilian flick (which, curiously, boasted an executive-producer credit for Darren Aronofsky and his outfit Protozoa), the other big title in the winners’ list was the lauded The Infinite Trench [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño an…
film profile
]
by Basque trio Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño and Jose Mari Goenaga, who, two years after their Special Jury Prize for Giant [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Aitor Arregi and Jon Garaño
film profile
]
, went home with the Silver Shell for Best Director and, while they were at it, the Best Screenplay Award, for the script penned by Goenaga and Luiso Berdejo. “We dedicate this prize to all those who feel afraid – they should know that they are not alone, because there are few feelings as human as fear,” stated Goenaga. The film, about men who hid themselves away during the Franco era and the accompanying repression for fear of reprisals, also scooped the Irizar Basque Film Award, a fact that was much-applauded by those in the audience.

The Special Jury Prize, the second-most-important award, went to a female-directed movie, and one of the most highly appreciated in the competition, Proxima [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alice Winocour
film profile
]
, a story about space and motherhood by France’s Alice Winocour. The Best Actress category shone the limelight not on one, but on two actresses: relative newcomer Greta Fernández for A Thief’s Daughter [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Belén Funes
film profile
]
and seasoned thesp Nina Hoss for The Audition [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ina Weisse
interview: Ina Weisse
film profile
]
. After the former’s emotional speech, the latter made something crystal clear in hers: “Women can never win enough prizes.”

In the parallel sections, Europe’s presence was not particularly strong, with Chile’s Some Beasts by Jorge Riquelme Serrano taking home the Kutxabank-New Directors Award in the New Directors section (in which Sister [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Svetla Tsotsorkova
film profile
]
by Bulgaria’s Svetla Tsotsorkova pocketed a Special Mention), and Argentina’s Again Once Again by Romina Paula coming out on top in the Horizontes Latinos section. Nevertheless, in the Zabaltegi-Tabakalera strand, Europe was celebrated through the win of I Was at Home, but… [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Angela Schanelec
film profile
]
by Germany’s Angela Schanelec, while Isadora’s Children [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Damien Manivel
film profile
]
by Damien Manivel snagged a Special Mention.

Here is the complete list of award winners:

Official Section

Golden Shell
Pacified – Paxton Winters (Brazil)

Special Jury Prize
Proxima [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alice Winocour
film profile
]
– Alice Winocour (France/Germany)

Silver Shell for Best Director
Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño, Jose Mari Goenaga – The Endless Trench [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño an…
film profile
]
(Spain)

Silver Shell for Best Actress (ex aequo)
Greta Fernández – A Thief's Daughter [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Belén Funes
film profile
]
 (Spain)
Nina Hoss – The Audition [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ina Weisse
interview: Ina Weisse
film profile
]
(Germany/France)

Silver Shell for Best Actor
Bukassa Kabengele – Pacified

Jury Prize for Best Cinematography
Laura Merians – Pacified

Jury Prize for Best Screenplay
Luiso Berdejo, Jose Mari Goenaga – The Endless Trench

New Directors

Kutxabank-New Directors Award
Some Beasts – Jorge Riquelme Serrano (Chile)
Special Mention
Sister [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Svetla Tsotsorkova
film profile
]
– Svetla Tsotsorkova (Bulgaria/Qatar)

Zabaltegi-Tabakalera

Zabaltegi-Tabakalera Award
I Was at Home, but… [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Angela Schanelec
film profile
]
– Angela Schanelec (Germany/Serbia)
Special Mention
Isadora's Children [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Damien Manivel
film profile
]
 – Damien Manivel (France/South Korea)

Horizontes Latinos

Horizontes Latinos Award
Again Once Again
– Romina Paula (Argentina)
Special Mention
La bronca
– Daniel Vega, Diego Vega (Peru/Colombia)

Other awards

RTVE Another Look Award
Let It Be Law [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 – Juan Diego Solanas (Argentina/France)

Cooperación Española Award
Our Mothers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Cesar Diaz
film profile
]
– César Díaz (Belgium/France/Guatemala)

City of Donostia/San Sebastián Audience Award
The Specials [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano (France)

City of Donostia/San Sebastián Audience Award for Best European Film
Sorry We Missed You [+see also:
film review
trailer
Q&A: Ken Loach
film profile
]
– Ken Loach (UK/France/Belgium)

Irizar Basque Film Award
The Endless Trench – Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño, Jose Mari Goenaga

Youth Award
The Good Intentions – Ana García Blaya (Argentina)

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(Translated from Spanish)

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