Six world premieres to vie for $25,000 prize.

Basque productions of recent months will screen in San Sebastián Film Festival’s Zinemira section, devoted to films of this region of Northern Spain where the Festival is located. Six world premieres will have their chance to win the Serbitzu prize, aimed to develop and strength Basque cinema industry. The prize is worth $25,000.

Documentaries lead the pack. Pure Life (Pura vida), by Pablo Iraburu and Migueltxo Molina, documents the ransom of a sick explorer in the Annapurna Mountains. In An Imagined Landscape (En un paisaje imaginado), by Josu Venero, portrays the career of José Antonio Sistiaga, a pioneer Basque experimental film-maker.

Murmurs (Murmullos), by Juan Miguel Gutiérrez, shows the difficult path to freedom of six prison inmates. Butterflies In The Iron (Mariposas en el hierro), by Bertha Gastelumundi, takes the statements of very different women against violence. Empty Places, Full Words (Lugares vacíos, palabras llenas), by Joxeanjel Arbelaitz Irastortza, is an insight into popular writer Bernardo Atxaga’s work.

To Say Goodbye [pictured], by Mat Richards, is the only fictional film in the competition. An animated feature, it is inspired by the story of the 4000 Basque children who were exiled in the UK during the Spanish Civil War.

Two more Basque titles will be shown out of competition in Panorama section. Camera Obscura, by Maru Solores, tells the story of a girl, Ane, who discovers photography and first love in a cathartic summer. Dad, I am a Zombie (Papá, soy un zombie), by Ricardo Ramón and Joan Espinach, is an animated film about a little girl who discovers herself after meeting the living dead.

Short films will have a display in Zinemira Kimuak, a private screening for professionals and accredited. It will show Agua!, by Mikel Rueda; Bajo la almohada, by isabel Herguera; Beerbugs, by Ander Mendia; Casa vacía by Jesús MoPalacios; Deus et Machina, by Koldo Almandoz; and Monsters Do Not Exist, by Paul Urkijo and Voice Over, by Martín Rosete.

There will also be a special screening of Ikuska 20, a film shot by recently deceased Antxon Eceiza, a pioneer of Basque cinema (The Last Encounter or The Secret Intentions). He was also a member of the board of San Sebastián Film Festival during the ’70s and ’80s and a longtime collaborator. 

A special gala by ETB (the Basque public broadcaster) will present miniseries Gernika Under The Bombs (Gernika bajo las bombs).

On Sept 23, script writer Michel Gaztambide will receive the Zinemira Prize dedicated to honour Basque cinema professionals. Gaztambide is very well known as the writer for Enrique Urbizu. A recent winner of Goya prize for his work with Urbizu in No Rest For the Wicked, another scripts by Gaztambide include Cows (Julio Medem, 1992) or Box 507 (Enrique Urbizu, 2002). Zabaltegi Special will screen Baztan, by Iñaki Elizalde.