The 61st edition of the San Sebastian Festival is almost here with the official inauguration taking place this Friday, 20th September in an opening gala presented by the actors Cayetana Guillén Cuervo and Unax Ugalde. The first film to open the festival will be Juan Jose Campanella’s Futbolín (Foosball), one of Latin America’s most successful films to date, with the guest appearance of Spanish actor/presenter Arturo Valls, who lends his voice in this animated feature.
Always playing host to a plethora of more than familiar faces in the world of cinema, this year’s festival certainly won’t be breaking from the norm in what is expected to be an all-consuming week of activities, screenings and events focusing on the silver screen:
The Face of Love, with the attendance of actress Annette Bening, will open this year’s Pearls section which each year features some of the year’s finest films, yet to be released in Spain, which have all received critical acclaim and/or awards on the international film circuit.
Fresh from the Venice Film Festival, adopted Brit Terry Gilliam makes a welcome return to San Sebastian with his latest project, The Zero Theorem, also featuring as part of this year’s Pearls section.
Michelle Yeoh will be the “Culinary Zinema: Film and Gastronomy” guest of honour as the star of Final Recipe which opens the section this year.
Oliver Stone will be bringing his new documentary series The Untold History of the United States and will also present Alexander: The Ultimate Cut, a newly remastered 206-minute reedit of Alexander, the director’s fourth and definitive version.
Other guest appearances over the first weekend of this year’s festival include:
The premiere of Las Brujas de Zugarramurdi (Witching and Bitching) will count on the attendance of the film’s director, Alex de la Iglesia, together with Carmen Maura, who will receive the Donostia Award, joined by various cast members including Mario Casas, Hugo Silva and Santiago Segura.
The acclaimed director, Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Enduring Love) will be on hand to present his latest film, Le Week-end, in the Official Selection, alongside two of the film’s stars, Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan. They will be accompanied by the film’s scribe Hanif Kureishi, author of the novels The Buddha of Suburbia and Intimacy and the screenplays My Beautiful Laundrette and Sammy and Rosie Get Laid.
We will be following the festival closely over the course of the week so keep watching this space for regular updates.