The Square by Ruben Östlund
The Square by Ruben Östlund

The Pearls and Zabaltegi-Tabakalera sections of the 2017 San Sebastian Film Festival will feature some of the year’s most important films.  The Square, winner of the Golden Palm at the last Cannes Film Festival, will open the Zabaltegi-Tabakalera section.

The Hungarian filmmaker Ilkidó Enyedi, winner of the Golden Bear with the fable Teströl és lékekröl / On Body and Soul, will compete for the City of Donostia / San Sebastian Audience Award against the Jury Prize in Cannes, Nelyubov / Loveless, by Russian moviemaker Andrey Zvyagintsev (Leviafan / Leviathan) and the Jury Grand Prix at the French festival, 120 battements par minute (120 BMP) / 120 Beats Per Minute by Robin Campillo, screenwriter of Foxfire, which competed in San Sebastian’s Official Selection in 2012.

Also competing for the award decided by the audience are Wonderstruck, the adaptation of a story by Brian Selznick which competed at Cannes, in which Todd Haynes (Carol) directs Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams and child actors Oakes Fegley and Millicent Simmonds, and two films premiered at Sundance: The Big Sick, third film by Michael Showalter, about an interracial couple forced to deal with their cultural differences, and Call Me By Your Name by Luca Guadagnino (A Bigger Splash), screened at the Berlinale following its stop at the North American Festival.  Loving Pablo will close the Pearls section.

Other titles in the Zabaltegi-Tabakalera section include Philippe Garrel with L’amant d’un jour / Lover for a Day; and Tesnota / Closeness, the debut by Kantemir Balagov, presented in Un Certain Regard.  Saura(s), helmed by Félix Viscarret, a film from the Cineastas contados series; the directorial debut of Gustavo Salmerón, Muchos hijos, un mono y un castillo / Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle, winner of Best Documentary at Karlovy Vary; the documentary No intenso agora / In the Intense Now, by the Brazilian filmmaker João Moreira Salles, which competed at Berlin; and the world premiere of Movistar+ series Vergüenza, written and helmed by Juan Cavestany and Álvaro Fernández Armero. This is the first time a television series will have competed for the Zabaltegi-Tabakalera Award.

The remaining titles making up both sections will be announced in the coming weeks.

ZABALTEGI-TABAKALERA (PREVIEW)

THE SQUARE
RUBEN ÖSTLUND (SWEDEN)
Cast: Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West, Terry Notary, Christopher Læssø
OPENING NIGHT FILM
Christian is a divorced father devoted to spending time with his two daughters. He’s a curator at a contemporary art museum, and the kind of guy who drives and electric car and supports the big humanitarian causes. He’s currently working on his next show, entitled The Square, an installation inviting passers-by to altruism, reminding them of their role as responsible fellow human beings. But sometimes it’s hard to live up to your own ideals: Christian’s meltdown in response to the theft of his mobile phone doesn’t exactly leave him in the best light… Meanwhile, the museum’s PR agency has created an unexpected campaign for The Square. The response is overblown and propels Christian headlong into an existential crisis. Golden Palm at Cannes.

L’AMANT D’UN JOUR / LOVER FOR A DAY
PHILIPPE GARREL (FRANCE)
Cast: Éric Caravaca, Esther Garrel
A 23 year-old comes home after the breakdown of a relationship to find that a woman the same age as herself now features in her father’s life.

MUCHOS HIJOS, UN MONO Y UN CASTILLO (LOTS OF KIDS, A MONKEY AND A CASTLE.)
GUSTAVO SALMERÓN (SPAIN)
Cast: Julia Salmerón, Antonio García Cabanes, Gustavo Salmerón, Nacho Salmerón, Ramón García Salmerón, David García Salmerón, Paloma García Cabanes
This is the story about Julita, a matriarch whose three childhood wishes have been granted: lots of kids, a monkey, and a Spanish castle. At her 81 years old, one of her children needs to find the vertebra of his murdered great-grandmother, lost among the exorbitant amount of weird objects she has hoarded throughout her life, revealing a very picturesque family history. This unique old lady is about to find the meaning of life. Winner of the Award to the Best Documentary at Karlovy Vary.

NO INTENSO AGORA / IN THE INTENSE NOW
JOÃO MOREIRA SALLES (BRAZIL)
Made following the discovery of amateur footage shot in China in 1966 during the first and most radical stage of the Cultural Revolution, No Intenso Agora / In the Intense Now speaks to the fleeting nature of moments of great intensity. Scenes of China are set alongside archival images of the events of 1968 in France, Czechoslovakia, and, to a lesser extent, Brazil. In keeping with the tradition of the film-essay, they serve to investigate how the people who took part in those events continued onward after passions had cooled. The footage, all of it archival, not only reveals the state of mind of those filmed – joy, enchantment, fear, disappointment, dismay – but also sheds light on the relationship between a document and its political context. What can one say of Paris, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, or Beijing by looking at the images of the period? Why did each of these cities produce a specific sort of record?

SAURA(S)
FÉLIX VISCARRET (SPAIN)
Félix Viscarret is a young director. Carlos Saura is a living legend. United by the Cineastas contados initiative tribute to the genius from Aragon, Viscarret devises a plan for his personal portrayal of the veteran filmmaker. It’s brilliant. It will show the most intimate Saura through conversations between the master and his 7 children. All accept. Saura isn’t fond of talking about the past. Viscarret insists. Saura likes painting. And photography.

TESNOTA / CLOSENESS
KANTEMIR BALAGOV (RUSSIA)
Cast: Darya Zhovner, Olga Dragunova, Artem Tsypin, Nazir Zhukov, Veniamin Kats
1998, Nalchik. A Jewish family is in a dangerous situation: a young man and his fiancée are kidnapped one night and the next morning his family receives a ransom note. The amount demanded is so high that the family is forced to sell its small business and seek help from the local community. Un Certain Regard FIPRESCI Prize.

VERGÜENZA
JUAN CAVESTANY, ÁLVARO FERNÁNDEZ ARMERO (SPAIN)
Cast: Javier Gutiérrez, Malena Alterio, Vito Sanz
Jesús and Nuria have a problem: no matter what they do, they’re always the laughing stock of their family and friends, stupidly making a fool of themselves. He is a wedding and christening photographer, but believes he has a calling to show his true talent in ‘artistic’ photography. She believes that after her temporary crises she’ll start to have a more interesting life. Together they must decide whether being so pathetic is just a passing virus or if they actually have a chronic disease. Vergüenza is a ten chapter television series.

PERLAS (PREVIEW)

LOVING PABLO
FERNANDO LEÓN DE ARANOA (SPAIN – BULGARIA)
Cast: Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz
CLOSING NIGHT FILM
Not in competition
The true story of the notorious drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, who killed thousands, made billions and struck up an unlikely love affair with his polar opposite, a glamorous television host named Virginia Vallejo.

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
LUCA GUADAGNINO (ITALY – FRANCE)
Cast: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel
North of Italy, Summer 1983. Elio Perlman, a 17-year-old American/French/Italian boy spends his days in his family’s 17th century villa lazily transcribing music and flirting with his friend Marzia. One day Oliver, an American 24-year-old, arrives to help Elio’s father in his academic activities while working on his doctorate on Heraclitus for a few weeks. Elio and Oliver will discover the beauty of desire slowly unfolding in the course of this unique summer.

120 BATTEMENTS PAR MINUTE (120 BPM) / 120 BEATS PER MINUTE
ROBIN CAMPILLO (FRANCE)
Cast: Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Arnaud Valois, Adèle Haenel, Yves Heck, Emmanuel Ménard, Antoine Reinartz, François Rabette…
Paris, in the early 1990s. A group of young activists multiply their actions to raise awareness of AIDS. Nathan, a newcomer to the group, has his world shaken up by the radical stance and energy of Sean, who throws the last of his strength into the struggle. Jury Grand Prix at Cannes.

NELYUBOV / LOVELESS
ANDREY ZVYAGINTSEV (RUSSIA – FRANCE – BELGIUM – GERMANY)
Cast: Maryana Spivak, Alexey Rozin, Matvey Novikov
A couple entangled in a messy divorce have no option but to join forces and search for their son when he disappears during one of their arguments. Jury Prize in Cannes.

TESTRÖL ÉS LÉLEKRÖL / ON BODY AND SOUL
ILDIKÓ ENYEDI (HUNGARY)
Cast: Géza Morcsányi , Alexandra Borbély, Ervin Nagy, Pál Mácsai
Two timid people make the chance discovery that they have the same dream every night. Confused and frightened by the revelation, they decide to accept the strange coincidence and set about recreating the experience in real life. A complicated task; the more they try, the further away their goal appears to be. In spite of it all, their clumsy attempts will topple their personal interior barriers and end up uniting them to one another. Golden Bear at Berlin.

THE BIG SICK
MICHAEL SHOWALTER (USA)
Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano
The Big Sick tells the real-life story of Kumail and Emily, a couple who meet after one of his comedy sets. However, what they thought would be just a one-night stand blossoms into the real thing, despite their cultural differences. The situation complicates everyone’s lives given the expectations harboured by Kumail’s traditional Muslim parents. And to make matters worse, Emily is beset with a mysterious illness… SXSW Audience Award.

WONDERSTRUCK
TODD HAYNES (USA)
Cast: Oakes Fegley, Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams, Millicent Simmonds
Ben and Rose are children from two different eras who secretly wish that their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he’s never known, while Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue and Rose reads an enticing headline, they both set out on epic quests to find what they’re missing.

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