Spain's San Sebastian International Film Festival (Sept 19-28) kicks off what promises to be a star-studded 50th anniversary edition today with screenings of Official Section inaugural film The Good Thief and sidebar Zabaltegi opening title The Dancer Upstairs.

Good Thief director Neil Jordan and co-star Tcheki Karyo will offer a press conference prior to the official screening tonight. Director John Malkovich and star Javier Bardem will accompany their Spanish production The Dancer Upstairs, which makes its Spain premiere at San Sebastian.

This being Spain, the inaugural fiesta doesn't begin until midnight.

Local hero Bardem also stars in Fernando Leon's highly anticipated film Mondays In The Sun (Los Lunes Al Sol), screening Monday in the official competition.

Other highlights at this year's edition include a special 50th anniversary award for Francis Ford Coppola, to be given at the fest's conmemorative party on Saturday night, September 21. The following Tuesday the festival hosts a gala ceremony to celebrate all previous San Sebastian award-winners.

Dennis Hopper will pick up his lifetime achievement Donostia Award on the 23rd, followed by ceremonies for fellow Donostia Award recipients Jessica Lange on the 25th and Bob Hoskins on the 27th.

The closing ceremony and bestowal of the fest's Golden and Silver Shell prizes takes place Saturday night, September 28th.