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SAN SEBASTIÁN 2020

Woody Allen to open the 68th edition of San Sebastián in style

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- Allen’s latest, Rifkin’s Festival, which was shot a year ago in the capital of the Basque Country, and is toplined by Elena Anaya and Louis Garrel, will have the honour of opening the gathering

Woody Allen to open the 68th edition of San Sebastián in style
Rifkin’s Festival by Woody Allen

Films within films, and festivals within festivals. If Woody Allen hadn’t already written it, real life would certainly see to it that this game of cinephilic Russian dolls will become a reality on 18 September, when the latest film by the New York-born director – Rifkin’s Festival – opens the official section of the 68th San Sebastián International Film Festival, out of competition and as a world premiere. Despite the situation caused by the ongoing health crisis, the event is preparing to meet the public, industry professionals and press with the same verve and eagerness that it has exuded in previous years.

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Rifkin’s Festival was shot last summer, still without a definitive title, in one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. Local, regional and even national institutions threw themselves head-first into this shoot, which had the potential to bring San Sebastián a huge amount of media coverage as well as attracting a great deal of tourism and mainstream attention, similar to the effect that Vicky Cristina Barcelona [+see also:
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film profile
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had on Barcelona a decade ago. On this occasion, the cast is once again multinational: Elena Anaya and Sergi López represent the Spanish side, leading man Louis Garrel is on the French, Christoph Waltz flies the flag for Austria, and Gina Gershon and Wallace Shawn champion the USA.

This romantic comedy, a Spanish-US-Italian co-production by companies The Mediapro Studio, Gravier Productions and Wildside, tells the story of a married couple from the United States who come to the San Sebastián Film Festival and are enraptured by the event, by the beauty, light and charm of the city, and by the dreams and fantasies of the film world. Later, the woman will have a fling with a French film director, and the man will fall in love with a Spanish woman who lives in the city.

As the gathering headed up by José Luis Rebordinos reminded us in its press release this morning, this will be the second time that Allen has opened the San Sebastián Film Festival, after having done so in 2004 with Melinda and Melinda; that year, he received the Donostia Award and had a retrospective dedicated to him, entitled “Conocer a Woody Allen”. Films of his such as Manhattan (1979), Zelig (1983) and Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993) were screened both in the Official Section, out of competition, and in a number of parallel sections. In 1985, the then recently established Zabaltegi section was inaugurated by the marvellous The Purple Rose of Cairo, and in more recent years, various features by Allen have been programmed in Pearls: Match Point [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(2005), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008, with which he came to pay the festival another visit), Whatever Works (2009) and Irrational Man (2015).

Two days ago, the San Sebastián Film Festival also announced that one of its Donostia Awards for Lifetime Achievement will this year go to actor Viggo Mortensen, who will be at the gathering to present his directorial debut: the movie Falling, starring Mortensen himself and Lance Henriksen. The Canadian-US-Danish-UK co-production analyses parent-child relationships.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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