Which festivals do you particularly enjoy'
'I enjoy Cannes. It is a lot of work, meeting contacts and watching films. But in the world of festivals, it is the leader. For years it has been finding new talent, attracting all the stars and all the industry. I love Berlin, where you can chat and enjoy the ambience more. It is also a movie lovers' city.'
What is the blueprint for a good festival'
'You need good movies. The main line-up must be useful to the industry and attract key media from all over the world.'
Which films, outside this year's San Sebastian selection, have you enjoyed recently'
'I did manage to see The Dark Knight, which I approached with an open mind and really enjoyed. It is a little bit long, but a beautiful movie. The performance from Heath Ledger is amazing. Another movie (screening out of competition at San Sebastian) which I enjoyed is Tropic Thunder. It is the craziest and funniest film I've seen in a while.
Are new film-making talents getting the chance to shine through'
'The film industry is in good health. But unfortunately piracy (in Spain) is still killing off the potential of films trying to break through at the box office. There are cycles in film making, there are different extremes, but in the last few years we have been able to watch some beautiful films from new film-makers in different languages. There are many examples of directors in recent years, such as Michel Gondry and Wes Anderson, who are able to combine drama with humour.'
How would you define what you bring to the film festival'
'One person can bring very few things to a festival that is as big as ours. It is a team effort. However, I feel that I have brought a personal approach in attracting the industry by speaking to them after the event to see how successful they were in promoting their films, and encouraging them to return.'
Which film-makers have you helped to nurture and gain recognition'
'There are so many film-makers who are now well known. The likes of Walter Salles, Francois Ozon, Olivier Assayas and Tsai Ming-liang all had their films in the new directors section at our festival. More recently, Argentinian director Carlos Sorin was discovered at the festival with his film Historias Minimas (in 2002), and Tristan Bauer with Blessed By Fire.'
What are you most looking forward to ahead of this year's festival'
'We are expecting a lot of glitz and glamour thanks to the number of big name directors attending the festival, and I am really excited about the films.'
Who are the new Spanish talents'
'This year's selection proves there are several interesting Spanish films and film-makers coming through. In competition, for example, we have three very contrasting films. There is the extreme drama, Tiro En La Cabeza, from Jaime Rosales, the more industrial work of a first time director, Belen Macias, which has the support of Pedro Almodovar's El Deseo, and Camino, which will be quite controversial as it tackles religion, family and politics. I hope these movies prove commercially successful.
'Outside of our selection, there is the Spanish film-maker Luis Berdejo, who is working on The New Daughter, starring Kevin Costner. It is an exciting time for Spanish film.'