Spain's premiere festival, San Sebastian, has unveiled a raft of new Spanish directorialtalent in its first line-up announcement. Filmax's 1970s-set$5.6m Spanish thriller Backwoods,with Gary Oldman, Virginie Ledoyen, Paddy Considine and Aitana Sanchey-Gijon, directed byBasque first-timer Koldo Serra,is perhaps the most splashy debut but will play outside competition in the Zabaltegi/New Directors sidebar, where Serrawill be eligible for the cash-rich Altadis-NewDirectors Award.
The festival's 54th edition,to take place Sept 21-30, will also feature the last film by director, writer, documentarian,and activist Joaquin Jorda,who died of cancer in June and was posthumously awarded Spain's national cinemaprize last month (the ceremony will take place at San Sebastian). His film Mas Alla Del Espejo is a documentary featuring testimonies from thevictims of the same cerebral dysfunction Jorda hadhimself suffered from.
The festival's maincompetition will feature three titles from Spanish directors, of which one, Lo Que Se De Lolais a debut outing from short film director Javier Rebollo.Vete De Mi, from Victor Garcia Leon (Mas Pena Que Gloria),and Las VidasDe Celia, a Spanish-Mexican thriller set in Cataloniafrom Antonio Chavarrias (Volveras), round out the Spanish selection in the main competitionfor the Golden Shell.
San Sebastian's Zabaltegi/New Directors sidebar meanwhile features threedebuts from Spanish film-makers, including TheBackwoods. Other directors being launched at the festival are Inaki Dorronsoro, with film noir La Distancia;and Fernando Bernues and MireiaGabilondo with the entirely Basque-languagecoming-of-age tale Kutsidayu Bidea, Ixabel. Judith Colell's 53 Dias de Invierno tells three inter-locking stories and is thefollow up film to her 2000 debut Nosotras, rounding out the Spanish titles at this year'sevent. Further line-up announcements will be made throughout the month.