San Sebastian has announced that French director Gilles Paquet Brenner’s film Sarah’s Key will close the festival.

Sarah’s Key stars Kristin Scott Thomas as an American journalist who uncovers secrets linking her to a 10-year-old girl called Sarah who tried to save her brother during the Second World War in the Vel’d’Hiv Roundup of 1942. The film is an adaptation of the international bestseller by Tatiana de Rosnay; it will have its world premiere as a Gala in Toronto. Kinology is handling international sales.

Brenner has worked on a diverse range of films over the years, including last year’s horror Walled In, action comedy Payoff and drama Pretty Things, starring Marion Cotillard, for which he won the best French script at the Deauville Film Festival.

Also, International critics group FIPRESCI has voted Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer as film of the year. British actress Olivia Williams (who plays Ruth Lang, wife of the former UK Prime Minister in the film) will accept the FIPRESCI Grand Prix 2010 on San Sebastian’s opening night. The Spanish festival has hosted the prize ceremony since 1999.

FIPRESCI’s 296 critics voted on the prize. Eligible films were released July 1, 2009 to July 1, 2010.


San Sebastian has also announced that Iranian director Vahid Vakilifar’s debut feature Gesher, produced by Mohammad Rassoulof, will compete in the New Directors section. The film is about three Iranian men seeking a better life in Oslouyeh, but through lack of money and poor living conditions have to seek refuge next to disused gas pipes.

Also announced are the juries for the New Directors, Horizontes Latinos and International Film Schools sections.  

Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland (A Somewhat Gentle Man) will preside over the New Directors jury, with the assistance of directors Elisabet Cabeza and Albertina Carri, writer Marc Levy and musician Fermin Muguruza.

Ecuadorian director Sebastián Cordero (Chronicles) has been named president of the Horizontes jury with fellow members consisting of Marlene Dermer and Pilar Martínez-Vasseur, while Serbian director Danis Tanovic (Triage) will preside over the Inernational Film School section.