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A glimpse into this year’s San Sebastian


While titles in the official selection are yet to be announced, some of the events marking the 55th edition of the San Sebastian International Film Festival (September 20-29) have already been disclosed.

A retrospective will be dedicated to French indie filmmaker Philippe Garrel (Best Director at Venice 2005 for Regular Lovers [+see also:
interview: Philippe Garrel
film profile
, see interview) and another on the classic films by US director Henry King.

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The section Cold Fever, named after Fridrik Thor Fridiksson's 1995 film, will focus on filmmakers from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland who in the last 15 years have succeeded in crossing borders, partially benefiting from the global impact of Dogma. Thomas Vinterberg, Susanne Bier, Per Fly, Simon Staho, Lukas Moodyson, Hans Peter Molland, Baltsar Kormákur, Anders Thomas Jensen, Erik Richter Strand, Peter Schonau Fog and Ragnar Bragason are just some of the names on the slate.

With regards to the industry side of the festival, FAPAE and Cinema do Brasil are organising a co-production forum between Spain and Brazil. Registration is open until August 3 for fiction, documentary and animation projects that can successfully unite the production systems of the two countries. The presentation of the audiovisual landscapes of Spain and Brazil will precede bilateral meetings.

Establishing links with South America, the Films in Progress initiative – organised in collaboration with Toulouse's Rencontres Cinémas d'Amérique Latine (France) and the Guadalajara International Film Festival (Mexico) – will be held on September 25-26. The goal is to promote the completion of feature films that, though shot, are having problems with in post-production and their subsequent theatrical screenings. Titles previously backed by Films in Progress include Francisco Vargas' The Violin and Marcelo Gomes' German-Brazilian co-production Aspirin and Vultures, both shown in Cannes' Un Certain Regard.

Lastly, Cinema in Motion will bring local professionals together with filmmakers from the Maghreb and Portuguese-speaking African countries. The programme will exclusively comprise feature films about to complete filming or in the post-production stage.

All these initiatives, along with San Sebastian's Sales Office, play a significant role in maintaining the international reputation of an event progressively facing fierce competition from other international festivals held in the same season, such as Venice, Toronto and Rome.

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