San Sebastian International Film Festival – The Results

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“Despite my romance, it was a competitive festival, so the rewards are always important.”TWITTER / @ SANSEBASTIANFES

Although screenings are still ongoing, the San Sebastian International Film Festival closed more than a month ago, and it seems appropriate to review the results. For me, and for the thousands of other audience members who were basically part of the festival, the awards seemed like an afterthought. There was more emphasis on spreading the love for cinema, sharing the work of new and young creators, and generally creating a good atmosphere for visitors of all sizes. There was no nervous anticipation of the Oscars or the Golden Globes; it felt more like a celebration than a competition.

Despite my romance, it was a competitive festival, and so the rewards are always big.

“The emphasis was placed more on spreading the love of cinema, sharing the work of new and young creators and, in general, creating a good atmosphere for visitors of all stature”

In the official selection (the highest category), we saw an impressive number of women winning awards. Of the seven individual winners, only Terence Davies, who won the award for best screenplay for Blessing, a British film about Siegfried Sassoon, was a man.

Alina Grigore won the Golden Shell (best film) for Crai Nou (Blue Moon), making it the first time that a Romanian production has won this award and the third year in a row that a first director has won it. In fact, the inaugural 2020 winner, Dea Kulumbegashvilli, was this year’s jury chairman.

From dom er i himlen (Like in paradise) won two awards, Tea Lindeberg received the Silver Shell (best director) and Flora Ofelia Hofmann Lindahl won the award for best performance.

Hofmann Lindahl shared this award with Jessica Chastain, who to me is a wonderful representation of how this festival brings Hollywood stars together in the same forum as small-scale non-English-speaking productions put on by those with less. of funds and experience.

To prove my total ignorance of cinema, the prize for best screenplay went to Claire Mathon from Investigation into a state scandal, which, if you read my previous article, you will know that I found it quite boring. So take this as a clue that you should potentially ignore any opinions I am offering. If you needed more to convince of my ignorance, Mathon also provided the photography for two other contest entries, that of Céline Sciamma Little mom and that of Pablo Larrain Spencer, so she probably knows what she’s doing.

“This festival is just that; a week of celebration of the love of cinema ”

The Special Jury Prize was also awarded to a director, Lucile Hadzihalilovic, who presented Ear piercing. In 2004, she also won the award for new directors in her first film. Innocence and the Special Jury Prize in 2015 with Evolution. This makes her the first director to receive the Special Jury Prize twice.

What can we learn from these results?



“For the girls who have never seen older men hobble across the stage, it’s a new moment as visionary young women finally receive the recognition they deserve.”TWITTER / @ SANSEBASTIANFES

Three things.

It is clear that SSIFF differs from other Category A competitions in terms of purpose. The large number of films screened all over the city that do not even compete for a prize are proof that this festival is just that; a week of celebration of the love of cinema. The cheap tickets, multiple screenings, and the general inclusion of locals in the festival set it apart from other competitions. The drama and elitism of the Oscars create a wonderful spectacle that I love, but the Donostia festival offers something different; something that really includes everyone.

We need to watch more “foreign language” films. Yes, of course, it’s easier if you speak the language; I found by looking Fire on the plains (which is in Mandarin) much more trying than Tammy Faye’s eyes, but by opening our eyes to the enormous amount of offerings beyond British and American productions, we expose ourselves to new narratives, concepts and understandings of other cultures. And I would say that understanding is something we need more in this age of walls and camps.

Finally, a positive note. Even before the festival started, we witnessed the controversy over Johnny Depp’s appearance due to abuse allegations from his ex-wife, Amber Heard, with female directors speaking out against the indiscriminate sexism and patriarchy of the industry. cinematic as a whole. However, this was somewhat overshadowed by the commendation of an unprecedented number of creative women in the official selection. For girls who’ve never seen anything but older men hobble on stage, it’s a new moment as visionary young women finally get the recognition they deserve.


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