Making the most of its slot near the tail end of the annual festival calendar, the San Sebastian International Film Festival (Sept 18-27) has cherry-picked another top-notch selection of films from other A-list events for its Festivals' Top sidebar showcase, part of the Zabaltegi section.
The current ten titles - plus several more expected to be added to the list - will compete for a Euros 30,000 TCM-Pearl of the Audience Award for the Spanish distributor.
From Venice, which closes its curtains less than two weeks before San Sebastian revs up, come three highly anticipated international films: James Ivory's Le Divorce, Bernardo Bertolucci's The Dreamers and Robert Benton's The Human Stain.
The four titles from the Berlin Film Festival include Golden Bear winner In This World by Michael Winterbottom, also the subject of a retrospective at San Sebastian this year, best director winner Patrice Chereau's His Brother (Son Frere), Zhang Yimou's Hero (Yang Xiong) and Claude Chabrol's The Flower Of Evil (La Fleur Du Mal).
San Sebastian has also selected two of the better-received titles from the lacklustre line-up of this year's Cannes: Hector Babenco's prison drama Carandiru and Francois Ozon's Swimming Pool. Finally, Kim Ki-duk's Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... And Spring comes to San Sebastian following a strong reception in Locarno.
The festival also unveiled the dozens of films set to make up its Amongst Friends And Neighbours cycle of Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian cinema. "Emerging Maghrebian movies remain largely unknown to European audiences," the festival indicated, adding that this sidebar "intends to bridge this enormous gap."