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San Sebastian Film Festival.  Official Selection

San Sebastian Film Festival. Official Selection

The North American James Franco, winner of the Golden Shell for The Disaster Artist (2017), will return to the Official Selection with Zeroville, another movie set in the film world. The 67th edition will see the screening of the works by six filmmakers as yet to compete at the San Sebastian Festival: Louise Archambault, Guillaume Nicloux, José Luis Torres Leiva, Ina Weisse, Adilkhan Yerzhanov and David Zonana.

Louise Archambault (Montreal, Canada, 1970) will compete with Il pleuvait des oiseaux (And the Birds Rained Down), based on the novel of the same name by Jocelyne Saucier, a tale of intertwined destinies where love can happen at any age and new life emerges in unexpected places. This is the third feature from the author of Familia (2005), Best Canadian First Feature Film, selected for the official competition in Locarno, and Gabrielle (2013), winner of the Prix du Public at the same event as well as being her country’s Academy Awards candidate.

Zeroville, marking the return of James Franco (Palo Alto, United States, 1978) to the San Sebastian competition, is also a literary adaptation, in this case of Steve Erickson’s homonymous novel. The Golden Shell winner for The Disaster Artist (2017) directs and stars in this fiction set in the changing Hollywood of the late 60s with  Megan Fox, Seth Rogen, Will Ferrell, Jacki Weaver and Dave Franco in the cast.

With the same transgressive spirit as shown in his film L’enlèvement de Michel Houellebecq (The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq, 2014), the director Guillaume Nicloux (Melun, 1966, France) once again puts the famous French author before the camera, who plays himself in Thalasso with Gérard Depardieu as his fellow cast partner. The two meet at a sea water therapy centre where they struggle to survive the strict health regime imposed by the establishment; but events will soon derail their routine.

José Luis Torres Leiva (Santiago de Chile, 1975) has used the name of a poem by Cesare Pavese for the title of his film Vendrá la muerte y tendrá tus ojos (Death will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes), one of the Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum projects in 2016. The film looks at the love relationship between two women when one of them is in the last moments of her life. The characters are played by Amparo Noguera and Julieta Figueroa, who has already worked with the director in titles such as El cielo, la tierra y la lluvia (The Sky, the Earth and the Rain, 2008) and Verano (Summer, 2011).

Nina Hoss (Phoenix, Barbara) stars in Das Vorspiel / The Audition, second film from the also actress Ina Weisse (Berlin, 1968), whose debut behind the camera was the award-winning Der Architekt (The Architect, 2008). This time round she tells the tale of a female violin teacher obsessed with a boy student to whom she ends up paying more attention than to her own family.

The filmmaker Adilkhan Yerzhanov (Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, 1982) presented The Owners (2014) at the Cannes Festival as one of its Special Screenings, and The Gentle Indifference of the World (2018) released at Un Certain Regard. Now he’ll compete in San Sebastian with A Dark, Dark Man, a film set around a police inspector and a journalist who investigate the death of a child in a Kazakh village.

Lastly, having directed several shorts, David Zonana (Mexico City, 1989) makes his feature debut with Mano de obra (Workforce), produced by the filmmaker Michel Franco. The cast of his first feature film combines professional and non-professional actors to portray the drift of a group of construction workers affected by precarious employment.

These seven titles join those already announced a few days ago, La trinchera infinita (The Endless Trench, Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño, Jose Mari Goenaga), Mientras dure la guerra (While At War, Alejandro Amenábar) and La hija de un ladrón (A Thief's Daughter, Belén Funes), the three Spanish productions competing for the Golden Shell. Furthermore, Diecisiete (Seventeen, Daniel Sánchez Arévalo) will participate out of competition, and there will be a special screening of La odisea de los giles (Heroic Losers, Sebastián Borensztein). In the coming weeks, the Festival will announce the rest of the titles making up the Official Selection at the 67th edition, to run from 20-28 September.