Nine new films join the Zabaltegi-Tabakalera competition at the 66th San Sebastian Film Festival’s most open competitive section bringing the number of films competing for the Zabaltegi-Tabakalera Award to 18.
Zabaltegi-Tabakalera will include the presentation of Kraben Rahu / Manta Ray, following its showing at Venice and Toronto. The first work by Phuttiphong Aroonpheng (Bangkok, 1976) brings the story of a fisherman who rescues a wounded, unconscious man from the forest and develops an unspoken connection with him.
The second feature film Di qiu zui hou de ye wan / Long Day’s Journey into Night, by Bi Gan (Kaili, China, 1989), after his award-winning debut, Kaili Blues, premiered in Un Certain Regard. The film narrates a man’s return to the town of his birth in search of a woman.
The animated stop-motion feature film La casa lobo (The Wolf House), by Cristobal León (Santiago de Chile, 1980) and Joaquín Cociña (Concepción, Chile, 1980), has been selected for international festivals including the Berlinale and Annecy, and has received several mentions and distinctions. The debut from León and Cociña tells the tale of a young girl who takes refuge in a house in Southern Chile on escaping from a Germany colony.
Sophia Antipolis, second feature from the director of Mercuriales, Virgil Vernier (Paris, 1976) premiered at Locarno in the Cineasti del Presente section. The French actor and filmmaker analyses a community in a strange territory between the Mediterranean, the forest and the mountain.
Joining the already-announced Los que desean (Those Who Desire, Elena López Riera) and 592 metroz goiti (Above 592 metres, Maddi Barber), are the short films De Natura, by Lucile Hadzihalilovic (Lyon, 1961), winner in 2004 of the New Directors award for her first film, Innocence, and who returned to San Sebastian’s Official Selection in 2015 with her second film, Evolution, winner of the Jury Special Prize; The Men Behind the Wall, by Inés Moldavsky (Buenos Aires, 1987), premiered at Berlin, about a woman living in Israel and the men she contacts in the West Bank using Tinder; and Sobre cosas que me han pasado, by José Luis Torres Leiva (Chile, 1975), his third participation in the section following El viento sabe que vuelvo a casa (The Winds Know that I’m Coming Back Home, 2016) and El sueño de Ana (2017). The short film Song for the Jungle by Jean-Gabriel Périot, shot in Calais, where thousands of migrants wait to go to England will also be screened. The first feature by Périot (Bellac, France, 1974), Una jeunesse allemande / A German Youth, opened the Panorama section of the Berlinale and was selected for Zabaltegi, and the second, Natsu no hikari – Lumières d’été / Summer Lights, competed in the New Directors section in 2016.
These additions bring the number of films competing for the Zabaltegi-Tabakalera Award to 18, including the productions Coincoin et les z’Inhumains / Coincoin and the Extra-humans (Bruno Dumont), Las hijas del fuego (The Daughters of Fire, Albertina Carri), Le livre d’image / The Image Book (Jean-Luc Godard), Da xiang xi di er zuo / An Elephant Sitting Still (Hu Bo), Belmonte (Federico Veiroj), Trote (Trot, Xacio Baño) and Teatro de guerra (Theatre of War, Lola Arias).
BERGMAN — ETT AR, ETT LIV / BERGMAN – A YEAR IN A LIFE
JANE MAGNUSSON (SWEDEN)
A documentary about Ingmar Bergman focussing on a hugely important year in his career, 1957, when he directed the masterpieces Det sjunde inseglet (The Seventh Seal) and Smultronstället (Wild Strawberries). However, more than simply looking at Bergman’s artistic facet, it addresses his private life like never before, particularly his stormy sentimental relationship with women, including several of the actresses he worked with.
LUCILE HADZIHALILOVIC (ROMANIA)
Cast: Mihaela Manta, Maria Manta
De Natura is an improvised poem, a peaceful and cheerful walk of two little girls in the middle of the nature, away from the eyes of grown-ups. But then, the joy starts disappearing gradually, the reverie becomes nostalgia, while at the edge of the road, among the summer’s putrescence fruits, some faint faces appear. The cycle of life does not lessen the magic of the world, whether it is lit by the moon or by the sun.
DI QIU ZUI HOU DE YE WAN / LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT
BI GAN (CHINA)
Cast: Sylvia Chang, Yongzhong Chen, Jue Huang
Luo Hongwu returns to Kaili, the city of his birth, from which he fled years back. He sets out to find the woman he loved, and has never been able to forget. She told him her name was Wan Quiwen…
KRABEN RAHU / MANTA RAY
PHUTTIPHONG AROONPHENG (THAILAND – FRANCE)
Cast: Wanlop Rungkamjad, Aphisit Hama, Rasmee Wayrana
Near a coastal village of Thailand, by the sea where thousands of Rohingya refugees have drowned, a local fisherman finds an injured man lying unconscious in the forest. He rescues the stranger, who doesn’t speak a word, offers him his friendship and names him Thongchai. But when the fisherman suddenly disappears at sea, Thongchai slowly begins to take over his friend’s life – his house, his job and his ex-wife…
LA CASA LOBO (THE WOLF HOUSE)
CRISTÓBAL LEÓN, JOAQUÍN COCIÑA (CHILE)
Young Maria seeks shelter in a big house after escaping from a sect of religious fanatics in Chile. There she is taken in by two pigs, its only inhabitants. Like in a dream, the universe of the house reacts to Maria’s feelings. The animals slowly morph into humans and the house into a nightmarish world. Inspired in the Colonia Dignidad case, La casa lobo (The Wolf House) seems to be an animated fairy tale produced by the sect leader to indoctrinate his followers.
THE MEN BEHIND THE WALL
INÉS MOLDAVSKY (ISRAEL)
Tinder. Woman seeks men. Man seeks women. Everything would be so simple if she weren’t in Israel and the guys nearby weren’t in the West Bank. Israeli filmmaker Ines Moldavsky sets out to meet up with the men that she is forbidden by law to see. She crosses the border into the West Bank to experience the personally unfamiliar physical space. The conversations revolve around virtual phone calls and physical encounters. Violence resonates in the search for a violation of boundaries.
SOBRE COSAS QUE ME HAN PASADO
JOSÉ LUIS TORRES LEIVA (CHILE)
Cast: Claudio Riveros
Sobre cosas que me han pasado is based on the book by author Marcelo Matthey, narrating his own life in a style reminiscent of school compositions. His constant strolls through streets, houses and beaches are recorded in notes of what he saw, felt or thought during these wanderings or moments, but almost only recalling the processes, the timeline in which things occur and come to mind, the trail of associations coming one after the other, like the steps of a person walking along a street. Immediate impressions, fleeting moments normally lost in time and which are captured in the images and sounds of this short film.
SONG FOR THE JUNGLE
JEAN-GABRIEL PÉRIOT (FRANCE)
Calais a few weeks before its clearing: The Jungle is a place where thousands of migrants live and wait to go to England, or just for somebody to take care of them. They wander in this abandoned place, hoping to survive our indifference.
VIRGIL VERNIER (FRANCE)
Cast: Dewi Kunetz, Sandra Poitoux, Hugues Njiba-Mukuna, Bruck, Lilith Grasmug
Sophia Antipolis: a technopole on the French Riviera, a place where dreams should come true. But fear and despair lurk beneath the surface. Under a deceitful sun, five lives map out the haunting story of a young woman: Sophia.