San Sebastián a celebration of shorts

The 65th San Sebastián International Film Festival is bound to close in on the Basque Country from 22 – 30 September. Opening the festival this Friday will be the European premiere of Wim Wender's Submergence.

But the Spanish festival will not only focus on the made men among the filmmakers but also promote new emerging talents. During the International Film Students Meeting from 25-29 September a collection of fourteen international shorts will be presented. The directors have been selected from 209 works submitted and origin from three different continents. During the Meeting the students will take part in several masterclasses with acclaimed international directors who are presenting their films at the festival. Among them photojournalist and documentary director Raymond Depardon and Claudine Nougaret,  Todd Haynes as well as Nobuhiro Suwa who is at the festival with his latest film The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Chilenian director José Luis Torres Leiva will additionally chair the jury for the Orona Award and the Panavision Award consisting of high-end film equipment.

More talented short films are presented in the section Zabaltegi -Tabakaler, a rather embracing section with neither limits on a film's-length nor any other category. Seven shorts have been selected in the company of José Luis Torres Leiva's El Sueño de Ana which is the epilogue to his up-coming feature.

Further seven shorts are showcased in the section Zinemira, dedicated to Basque film. Among which is the animated collaborative work of several Basque artists in Areka (or Ditch). The film is one of the shorts presented which have been selected from Kimuak, an annual edition of Basque's finest short films.

Honored with the Donostia Award in 2017 for their outstanding contributions to the film world will be director Agnès Varda, alongside actor Ricardo Darín and actress Monica Bellucci. Varda has continuously cherished the short film in her work. Her latest from 2015 Les 3 Boutons was part of the Miu Miu Women's Tales, a short film series dedicated to celebrating femininity in the 21st century by the clothing brand. The Belgian director is the first woman to receive an honorary Palme d'or in 2015 and will receive the Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award by the Hollywood Academy later on this year. Her current documentary Visages, Villages is presented in a special screening at San Sebastián.

The Classic Retrospective this year will focus on the American director Jospeh Losey. Part of the programme are six short films from as early as 1939 with Pete Roleim and his Cousins – with which he debuted in the field of fiction – up to 1959 with his only foray into advertising with the spot First on the Road announcing Ford's car model “Anglia”.

Spanish directors Isabel Coixet's short Project Time. Part I: The Key will finally lead up to the award ceremony as part of the Closing Special Programme on the 30th September. It is the first part of a film tetralogy on energy efficiency which was produced by the Cinergía Initiative of the energy company Gas Natural Fenosa.

20 September 2017, by Sabine Kues