The Double Steps wins Golden Shell amid controversy
by Juan Arteaga
The jury at the 59th San Sebastian Film Festival, presided by US actress Frances McDormand and comprising Guillermo Arriaga, Álex de la Iglesia, Bent Hamer, Bai Ling, Sophie Maintigneux and Sophie Okonedo, unveiled its prize list live before the audience and media at the closing ceremony of José Luis Rebordinos’ successful first edition.
In a decision that was much objected to in the press room, the Golden Shell in the end went to Isaki Lacuesta’s The Double Steps [+see also:
film profile]: a Spanish/Swiss co-production which right from its screening in theatres stood out as one of the most radical, bold and original films in the competition. The film, shot in Mali, is a hybrid essay blending documentary and fiction about the process of artistic creation, in which the painter Miquel Barceló appears.
The rest of the gongs also went to European works, with only Best Screenplay, awarded to Hirokazu Kore-eda for I Wish, escaping Europe’s clutches. Indeed, the second most important prize, the Special Jury Prize, went to Julie Delpy’s family comedy Skylab [+see also:
film profile], which already has a Spanish distributor (Alta films).
One of the surprises of the evening was the double honours for Greek film Unfair World [+see also:
film profile]. Both its director, Filippos Tsitos, and lead actor, Antonis Kafetzopoulos, climbed onto the Kursaal stage to collect their awards –the Silver Shell for Best Director and Silver Shell for Best Actor, respectively – in another international recognition for Greek cinema. Meanwhile, Best Actress was handed to Spain’s María León for her brilliant performance in The Sleeping Voice [+see also:
film profile] and Sweden’s Ulf Brantas had his experimentations with light in Happy End [+see also:
film profile] rewarded with the Jury Prize for Best Cinematography.
The FIPRESCI Prize went to Portuguese title Blood of My Blood [+see also:
film profile], one of the most outstanding films in the competition and, for many, a strong contender for the festival’s top award, but which, in the end, wasn’t included in the official prize list.
Full list of prize-winners:
Golden Shell for Best Film:
The Double Steps, by Isaki Lacuesta
Special Jury Prize:
Skylab, by Julie Delpy
Silver Shell for Best Director:
Filippos Tsitos for Unfair World
Silver Shell for Best Actor:
Antonis Kafetzopoulos for Unfair World
Silver Shell for Best Actress:
María León for The Sleeping Voice
Jury Prize for Best Cinematography:
Ulf Brantas for Happy End
Jury Prize for Best Screenplay:
Hirokazu Kore-eda for I Wish
Kutxa New Directors Award:
The River Used to Be a Man [+see also:
film profile], by Jan Zabeil
Emek Tiferet/A Beautiful Valley [+see also:
film profile], by Hadar Friedlich
Stillleben/Still Life, by Sebastian Meise
The Artist [+see also:
interview: Michel Hazanavicius
film profile], by Michael Hazanavicius
European Film Award:
Where Do We Go Now? [+see also:
film profile], by Nadine Labaki
Euskaltel Youth Award:
Wild Bill [+see also:
film profile], by Dexter Fletcher
Serbitzu Zinemira Award:
Two Brothers, by Imanol Rayo.
(Translated from Spanish)
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