Spanish filmmaker Alberto Rodríguez’s Prison 77 (Modelo 77) will open the 70th edition of the San Sebastian International Film Festival, playing out of competition.
San Sebastian runs from September 16-24.
It marks Seville-born Rodríguez’s fifth time in the festival’s official selection.
The thriller is inspired by true events, and set during Spain’s 1970s period of transition from Franco’s dictatorship to democracy. It is produced by Atipica Films and Movistar Plus+.
In Barcelona’s Modelo prison, a young accountant, played by Money Heist’s Miguel Herrán, is awaiting trial for embezzlement, and facing a disproportionate punishment for his crime. Together with his cellmate, played by Javier Gutiérrez (who previously worked with Rodríguez in San Sebastian premiere Marshland), he joins a group of prisoners fighting for their rights as Spain enters a new dawn for democracy.
Rodríguez debuted at San Sebastian with The Pilgrim Factor in 2000, a film co-directed with Santi Amodeo, that granted him a special mention in New Directors. This was followed by The Suit, again in the same section in 2002.
His debut in the official selection was 7 Virgins in 2005 for which Juan José Ballesta won the Silver Shell for best actor. Later came After in 2009, and Unit 7 in 2012, screened in Made in Spain.
The director returned to San Sebastian’s official competition with Marshland in 2014 which, prior to winning 10 Goya awards, bagged the Silver Shell for best actor for Javier Gutiérrez and the jury prize for best cinematography for Álex Catalán. Smoke And Mirrors in 2016 won the Silver Shell for best actor Eduard Fernández, and in 2017 the series The Plague played in the official selection, out of competition.