Five local titles will feature in official selection at the 59th San Sebastian Film Festival

The San Sebastian Film Festival (16 - 24 September) has revealed 15 Spanish titles that will participate in key sections of this year’s event, including Eduardo Chapero-Jackson’s hotly anticipated debut feature Verbo.

In official selection, respected genre director Enrique Urbizu’s thriller No Rest For The Wicked will compete alongside Isaki Lacuesta’s biopic The Double Steps and Benito Zambrano’s post Spanish Civil War drama The Sleeping Voice.

No Rest For The Wicked stars Jose Coronado as a detective investigating a missing girl who gets caught up in a shooting at a bar. Filmax is handling sales and Warner Bros will release the film in Spain at the end of the festival.

Urbizu has been making films for more than 20 years, and enjoyed particular success with Box 507 (2002), which picked up two Goya awards and performed well at the local box office.

Lacuesta’s The Double Steps takes an intriguing look at the life of French artist and author Francois Augiéras who famously painted a military bunker in the desert and let it sink into the sand so that no-one would find it until the 21st Century.

Lacuesta previously enjoyed success at San Sebastian in 2009 with his challenging and intense film The Damned, which critics awarded the Fipresci prize.

Multi-award winning director Zambrano’s new film The Sleeping Voice about the lives of two sisters torn apart during the Spanish Civil War should peak the interest of attendees, especially following the success of Agusti Villaronga’s post Civil War drama Pa Negre at last year’s San Sebastian, which went on to sweep the board at the Goyas. 

In official selection, out of competition, will be Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s thriller Intruders, starring Clive Owen, which has already been announced as the opening film, and Asier Altuna’s documentary Bertsolari about a traditional form of oral poetry in the Basque country.

Meanwhile, Ignacio Ferreras’s animation Wrinkles about the dreams, feelings and frustrations of a group of elderly people in a home for the aged will feature in the Zabaltegi New Directors section.

Ferreras arrives with a proven track record in animation having already worked on Asterix and the Vikings, Joseph: King of Dreams and the Oscar nominated The Illusionist. His short film How to Cope with Death (2002) landed prizes at several international festivals, including Annecy, Melbourne and Ottowa.

The other two local titles appearing in the New Director’s section are Sandra Sánchez’ documentary Behind The Lights about a family who run a dodgems ride in the north of Spain and Telmo Esnal’s Urte Berrion, Amona!, which uses touches of black humour to steer us through the misfortunes of a couple forced to care for the wife’s elderly mother.

Of the seven Spanish titles in the Zabaltegi Specials section, Chapero-Jackson’s fantasy drama Verbo about a young girl (Alba Garcia) who escapes into a fantasy world, and Nacho Vigalondo’s alien invasion comedy Extraterrestrial are creating the biggest buzz ahead of the festival.

Chapero-Jackson enjoyed incredible success all over the world with his three short films, Contracuerpo, The End, and Alumbramiento, which picked up the best short film prize at the European Film Awards in 2007, while Vigalondo was nominated for an Oscar for his short film 7:35 in the morning. His feature debut TimeCrimes is slated to be remade in the US by DreamWorks.

The remaining 5 titles in the Specials section are David Trueba’s romantic drama Madrid 1987, Isaki Lacuesta’s documentary The Clay Diaries, Manuel Huerga’s political drama 14 D’Abril: Macia Contra Companys, Eterio Ortega’s ETA terrorist documentary A Light At The End Of The Tunnel In The Basque Country, and Puzzled Love, a film made by students at the renowned Catalan film school ESCAC.

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