At the 64th edition of the San Sebastian Festival, fifteen titles will compete for the Cooperación Española Award: one film in the Official Selection (Jesús/Jesus, by Fernando Guzzoni), another in Pearls (Neruda, by Pablo Larraín), three in Zabaltegi-Tabakalera (Ejercicios de memoria/Memory Exercises, by Paz Encina; El viento sabe que vuelvo a casa, by José Luis Torres Leiva; and Oscuro animal, by Felipe Guerrero), and ten in Horizontes Latinos: Aquí no ha pasado nada/Much Ado About Nothing (Alejandro Fernández Almendras), El amparo (Rober Calzadilla); El Cristo ciego (Christopher Murray), Era o Hotel Cambridge (Eliane Caffé), La idea de un lago/The Idea of a Lake (Milagros Mumenthaler), La larga noche de Francisco Sanctis/The Long Night of Francisco Sanctis (Andrea Testa and Francisco Márquez), Rara (Pepa San Martín), Santa y Andrés (Carlos Lechuga), Viejo Calavera/Dark Skull (Kiro Russo) and X-Quinientos (Juan Andrés Arango).
The Award will be given to the producer of the Ibero-American film making the best contribution to spreading the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the eradication of poverty and the full exercise of human rights.
Along with the Award, as part of its goal to build a global citizenship committed to human rights and to the promotion of cultural diversity, the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation Development (AECID), backs another two activities within the framework of the Festival:
Session on “Cinema, development and sustainability” (Monday, September 19th), where an endeavor will be made to demonstrate the potential of film as a catalyst of social transformation and awareness, with the presentation of three projects:
“Mujeres de cine”: a collective book, coordinated by Eugenio Fontaneda and published by AECID and Notorius, portraying the influence of the big Hollywood productions of the 20s and 30s on Spain, and more specifically on the Spanish women of the period.
“Nómadas”: a documentary directed by Jorge Martínez, where the voice and the words of the writer Martín Caparrós and the images of the photographer Samuel Aranda come together to reflect on the life of a community of nomad herdsmen who receive the backing of the Spanish non-governmental development organisation RESCATE, in an inhospitable corner of Mali.
“El cine y las 5 P”: with the backing of the AECID, the producer and director Manuel Serrano has prepared an audiovisual presentation on how film can help to achieve the 2030 Agenda, including the Development Goals agreed to by the international community (Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs). The 2030 Agenda revolves around five core issues: PLANET, PEOPLE, PROSPERITY, PEACE AND PARTNERSHIPS – known in English as the 5 P.
Round table on co-productions between Europe and Latin America (Wednesday, September 21st)
Films competing for the Cooperación Española Award
FERNANDO GUZZONI (FRANCE – CHILE – GERMANY – GREECE – COLOMBIA)
Santiago, Chile. Jesús, 18, lives alone with his father Hector in a flat where the TV covers up their inability to communicate. The rest of the time, he dances in a K-pop band, hangs out with friends and does drugs, watches trashy clips and has sex in public places, looking for a thrill. One night, he finds it with his friends, being involved in an irreversible misadventure.
PABLO LARRAÍN (CHILE – FRANCE – ARGENTINA – SPAIN)
It’s 1948 and the Cold War arrives in Chile. In the Congress, Senator Pablo Neruda accuses the government of betraying the Communist Party and is stripped of his parliamentary immunity by President González Videla. The prefect of Investigative Police Óscar Peluchonneau is instructed to arrest the poet.
EJERCICIOS DE MEMORIA (MEMORY EXERCISES)
PAZ ENCINA (ARGENTINA – PARAGUAY – FRANCE – GERMANY)
Paraguay suffered one of the longest dictatorships in Latin America (1954-1989). Agustín Goiburú was the most important political opponent to the Stroessner regime. This documentary tries to enter a whole political context through the memories of Agustín Goiburú’s three children.
EL VIENTO SABE QUE VUELVO A CASA (THE WINDS KNOW THAT I’M COMING BACK HOME)
JOSÉ LUIS TORRES LEIVA (CHILE)
The Chilean documentary maker Ignacio Agüero is preparing his first fictional feature film based on an old documentary project that he never completed. In the early 1980s, on the island of Meulín, in the Chiloé region, a young couple disappears in the woods in the area totally without trace. A myth developed around this mysterious tragic love story. Ignacio Agüero will travel to the scene of the crime in search of locations and non-professional actors to finally gradually discover how his film is going to develop.
FELIPE GUERRERO (COLOMBIA – ARGENTINA – NETHERLANDS – GERMANY – GREECE)
Oscuro animal tells the tale of a voyage from the jungle to the city by three women obliged to flee from the harrassment of Colombia’s rural war. Each will undertake her own journey in search of peace and quiet. Arriving in Bogotá, they will draw breath before tackling the new period of their lost lives.
AQUÍ NO HA PASADO NADA (MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING)
ALEJANDRO FERNÁNDEZ ALMENDRAS (CHILE – USA – FRANCE)
Vicente is a young, reckless loner who returns to his parents’ beach house after a year studying in LA. One night of downing shots and chasing girls changes his life forever when Vicente becomes the prime suspect in a hit-and-run accident resulting in the death of a local fisherman. Vicente was wasted. His memories are a blur. Yes, he was in the car, but he swears he wasn’t driving. And what’s worse, the guy he remembers being behind the wheel is the son of a powerful politician.
ROBER CALZADILLA (VENEZUELA – COLOMBIA)
On the border of Venezuela with Colombia, during the late 80’s, two men survive an armed assault in the channels of the Arauca River, in which fourteen of their companions we murdered in the act. The Army accuses them of being guerrilla fighters and tries via intimidation to seize them from the cell where they are being watched over by the local police officer and by the village population, who are desperate to prevent them from being taken away. They say they are simple fishermen, but pressure to yield to the official version is overwhelming.
EL CRISTO CIEGO (THE BLIND CHRIST)
CHRISTOPHER MURRAY (CHILE – FRANCE)
Michael (30) is a mechanic who claims to have experienced a divine revelation in the desert. But far from believing him, the locals treat him like the village madman. One afternoon he learns that a childhood friend has had an accident in a distant town. Michael decides to leave everything he has to set out on a barefoot pilgrimage and cure him with a miracle. His walk begins to attract the attention of people exploited by the mining companies and drug addicts, who see him as a Christ capable of alleviating the harsh reality of the Chilean desert.
ERA O HOTEL CAMBRIDGE
ELIANE CAFFÉ (BRAZIL – FRANCE – SPAIN)
Era o Hotel Cambridge tells the story of refugees, recently arrived in Brazil who, together with a group of low-income workers, occupy an old abandoned building in downtown São Paulo. Daily dramas, comical situations and different views on the world commingle with the threat of impending eviction.
LA IDEA DE UN LAGO (THE IDEA OF A LAKE)
MILAGROS MUMENTHALER (ARGENTINA – SWITZERLAND – QATAR)
Inés, a professional photographer, is determined to finish her latest book before the birth of her son. Memory, souvenirs and this photographic work bring us back, time and again, to a same place: the family home in Southern Argentina. This is a space that marked her life and forged her personality over the years. The only photograph she has with her father was taken there when Inés was barely two years old. A few months after the picture was taken he would disappear, a victim of the military dictatorship.
LA LARGA NOCHE DE FRANCISCO SANCTIS (THE LONG NIGHT OF FRANCISCO SANCTIS)
FRANCISCO MÁRQUEZ, ANDREA TESTA (ARGENTINA)
Buenos Aires, 1977. Francisco, an office clerk who leads an eventless life with his wife and two children, receives information from an old friend about the upcoming kidnapping of two people by the soldiers of the dictatorship. Now he must decide whether or not to risk his life to safe those of two people he has never met.
PEPA SAN MARTÍN (CHILE – ARGENTINA)
Since their parents split up, Sara and her younger sister live with their mother, whose new partner is a woman. Everyday life for the four of them is very similar to that of other families. But not everyone sees it that way. Her father in particular has his doubts.
SANTA Y ANDRÉS (SANTA & ANDRES)
CARLOS LECHUGA (CUBA – FRANCE – COLOMBIA)
Cuba, 1983. Santa, a lonely country girl, is sent to keep an eye on Andrés, a gay writer in whom the Revolution has little “confidence”. Gradually these two people, apparently so very different from one another, realise that the things that bring them together are more important than those that separate them.
VIEJO CALAVERA (DARK SKULL)
KIRO RUSSO (BOLIVIA – QATAR )
Elder Mamani’s father has died, but he doesn’t seem to care. He still hogs the limelight at karaoke, in the streets, and gets into trouble. But no one wants to look after him any more, leaving him no other option but to replace his father down the bloody mine.
JUAN ANDRÉS ARANGO (CANADA – COLOMBIA – MEXICO)
Coming to Montreal from Manila to live with her grandmother, Maria struggles to adapt to the new environment. Alex, a young Afro-Colombian boy, is deported from the USA to Colombia only to find that his former district is now run by criminals. David leaves his town when his father dies to seek a better future in Mexico City. X Quinientos follows the lives of these three teens in different American cities as they make their way along the same path of pain, migration and transformation.
Rubén López-Pulido (Aranjuez, 1978) is head of public and institutional communication strategy, brand management, reputation and intangibles at the AECID (Spanish Agency for International Cooperation Development (AECID), under the aegis of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. He studied Philosophy at the National Distance Education University (UNED), Marine Engineering in Naples and at the UPM-Madrid, and Economy and Development at the London School of Economics (LSE). He is a Professor of the Master’s in Cooperation programme at Granada University, and has worked for several years in United Nations bodies such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). He has been a jury member of the World Premieres film Festival in the Philippines, of the EFE-King of Spain Journalism Awards and of the Spanish Cooperation Award of the 63rd edition of the San Sebastian Festival. He has curated Spanish Cooperation exhibitions and is the author of a maritime book for the Oxford unit of publishers Butterworth/Heinemann. He has written several articles on cultural and film criticism in different magazines. The latest is a philosophical and psychoanalytical study of Hitchcock’s Vertigo dedicated to Eugenio Trías. He is currently continuing his work on a book-study of the film director Michael Mann and his impact on modern cinema.
Lur Olaizola Lizarralde
Lur Olaizola Lizarralde (San Sebastian, 1988) is the Audiovisual Programme Coordinator at Tabakalera-International Centre for Contemporary Culture. She worked as visual artist and cultural manager in NYC, where she collaborated with the production company Horns&Tails and co-directed the film 71%, selected by MoMA PS1 for EXPO 1: NY. She also coordinated theArchitecture & Design Film Festival (with editions in New York and Los Angeles) and co-curated the first edition of The limit of our gaze, Women Filmmakers and Contemporary Documentary in Spain at New York University. Between 2011 and 2012 she worked at the Center for Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB) as an audiovisual archivist, videographer and editor.
Xabier Paya Ruiz
Xabier Paya Ruiz (Bilbao, 1982). Translator, bertsolari (improviser of Basque verse) and musician. He holds the following post-graduate titles: Basque Cultural Transmission Expert from Mondragon University; Master’s Degree in Multimedia Communication from the University of the Basque Country and MRes Modern European Cultures from Birmingham University. He has studied screenwriting as well, obtaining special training at the EITB-EIKEN Screenwriting Factory, among others, and has also worked in scripts for television. For the last three years he has been Cultural Programme Director at the San Sebastian, European Capital of Culture 2016 Foundation.