Female directors at 65th San Sebastian Film Festival

Kristina Zorita
Kristina Zorita

San Sebastian Film Festival opens its 65th edition on Friday with a record number of women directors

A record number of female directors will compete in the main sections of the San Sebastian Film Festival (September 22- 30) while Agnès Varda and Monica Bellucci will receive the Donostia Award.

Women have directed four out of eighteen films competing for the Golden Shell, the highest prize of this class A festival. Over the last two years there was just one female contender for this prize per edition. It’s the third participation of the Argentinian Anahí Bernerí and the second of the Austrian Barbara Albert at the Official Selection of the festival. Albert’s fifth feature “Mademoiselle Paradis”, set in a real story of the 18th century, explores the gender power conflict. The Serbian Ivana Mladenovic premieres her feature film debut “Soldiers. Story from Ferentari” in San Sebastian. “Beyond words” by Polish-Dutch Urszula Antoniak will compete in San Sebastian after having premiered at Toronto.

The presence of female filmmakers is stronger at the New Directors and Horizontes Latinos sections (33 – 34 %).

The line-up of the New Directors section has six films directed or co-directed by women out of its sixteen contenders. Among them, the Swiss Lisa Brúhlmann with the coming of age “Blue My Mind” and the French Marine Francen with the period drama “Le Semeur” about a village without men. Four films directed by women compete for the Horizontes Award. The recent winner of Venice Critic’s Week “Hunting Season” by Natalia Garagiola is one of the contenders.

Out of competition, San Sebastian will recognize the outstanding contribution to the film world by the French-Belgian director Agnès Varda and the Italian actress Monica Bellucci. They will receive the honorary Donostia Award. Argentinean actor Ricardo Darín will also receive the award in this edition.

San Sebastian Film Festival will also launch the FIACINE, the meeting of the Ibero-American female filmmakers. During the first working season, the head of Swedish Film Institute, Anna Serner will explain how they have overcome the gender inequality in cinema. A manifesto by Ibero-American female filmmakers is also awaited during that meeting.

Paula Vaccaro (EWA) is a member of the jury of the main competition.

EWA members will have their networking event and meeting with (H)emen on the 26th at 16:30 at Sala Keler.