'Un amor'

Source: Alfredo Tobía

‘Un amor’

Isabel Coixet’s romantic drama Un amor, Isabel Herguera’s animation Sultana’s Dream and JaioneCamborda’s drama The Rye Horn are among the 14 Spanish productions selected for the 2023 San Sebastian International Film Festival (SSIFF), running from September 22-30.

Scroll down for full line-up

Coixet will compete for the first time in San Sebastian’s official section with Un Amor, starring Laia Costa and Hovik Keuchkerian. Sold by Film Constellation, Un Amor is based on Sara Mesa’s novel that follows a woman struggling to start afresh in a countryside hamlet. Coixet premiered her first feature Too Old To Die Young in San Sebastian in 1988.

Also competing in the main section is The Rye Horn, the second feature from Jaione Camborda whose debut Arima took the New Waves Award at the 2019 Seville European Film Festival and was selected at SSIFF’s Made in Spain showcase. The Rye Horn is set in an early 1970s rural Galicia, and portrays a woman in her 40s who helps women during labour. Developed at two of Spain’s leading development labs, Ikusmira Berriak and Madrid’s ECAM Incubator, Camborda’s sophomore effort is produced by Esnatu Zinema, Miramemira and Elastica Films. International sales are handled by Films Boutique.

Also in competition is Isabel Herguera’s Sultana’s Dream, an animation/live-action hybrid inspired by a 1905 feminist sci-fi short story tale by Rockeya Hossain, about a woman who sets out on a voyage of discovery around India in search of Ladyland, the Utopian land of women. It is produced by Abano Producións, El Gatoverde Producciones and UniKo.

Out of competition,, artistic duo the Javis (Javier Ambrossi and Javier Calvo), the creators of Spanish series hit Veneno, will present the six-episode “family thriller” series La Mesías. It is a Movistar+ Original and stars Lola Dueñas, whose credits include Pedro Almodóvar’s Volver.

The SSIFF official section will include a special screening of musical animation They Shot The Piano Player, by the directorial duo behind Chico & Rita, Oscar-winning director Fernando Trueba and artist Javier Mariscal. The film is sold by Film Constellation and is a celebration of Latino Bossa Nova in the ’60s and ’70s.

New Directors, devoted to first and second works, will include Javier Macipe’s The Blue Star, chronicling the life of Spanish musician Mauricio Aznar, a key name on Spain’s 1990s rock scene. Produced by Alejandro Amenábar’s regular producers Mod Productions, and Argentina’s Cimarrón Cine, The Blue Star is sold by Film Factory Entertainment.

The Zabaltegi-Tabakalera competition will include Alberto Martín Menacho’s debut Antier Noche, a portrait of rural youth in rural Extremadura, which premiered at Visions du Réel. Also selected is the Cannes Camera d’O winner Inside The Yellow Cocoon Shell, directed by Pham Thien An. A Vietnam, Singapore, France and Spain co-production, it is sold internationally by Dubai-based Cercamon.

Two young filmmakers from the Basque country have also been selected for Zabaltegi-Tabakalera: director and cinematographer Ion de Sosa with medium-length film Mamántula, and Irati Gorostidi with Contadores.

SSIFF also announced two Argentinian entries for Horizontes Latinos section – Blondi, the directorial debut of Latin American actor Dolores Fonzi, and Martín Benchimol’s The Castle, which had its world premiere in Berlinale’s Panorama strand. The Castle’s international sales are handled by French Luxbox and Blondi’s by Spain’s Film Factory.

San Sebastian 2023 line-up – official selection

Official selection - In competition

Sultana’s Dream (Sp-Ger)
Dir. Isabel Herguera 

The Rye Horn (Sp-Por-Ger)
Dir. Jaione Camborda 

Un Amor (Sp)
Isabel Coixet 

Official Selection - Not In Competition

La Mesías (Series) (Sp)
Dirs. Javier Calvo, Javier Ambrossi 

Official Selection - Special Screenings

They Shot The Piano Player (Sp)
Dirs. Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal 

New Directors

The Blue Star (Sp-Arg)
Dir. Javier Macipe 

Horizontes Latinos

Blondi (Arg-Sp-Us)
Dir. Dolores Fonzi 

The Castle (Arg-Fr-Sp)
Dir. Martín Benchimol 


Nights Gone By (Switz-Sp)
Dir. Alberto Martín Menacho

Inside The Yellow Cocoon Shell (Sing-Viet-Fr-Sp)
Dir. An Pham Thien 

Contadores (short) (Sp)
Dir. Irati Gorostidi 

Mamántula (medium-length) (Sp)
Dir. Ion De Sosa 


The Other Side (series) (Sp)
Dirs. Javier Ruiz Caldera, Alberto De Toro 

This Excessive Ambition (series) (Sp)
Dirs. Santos Bacana, Cristina Trenas, Rogelio Gonzalez