Made in Spain, the showcase of the Spanish films at the 2018 San Sebastian International Film Festival will spotlight eleven productions, including films by directors Daniel Calparsoro, Isabel Coixet, Álex de la Iglesia, Ramón Salazar and David Trueba. The Festival will also serve as the framework for presentation of the documentary Querido Fotogramas, directed by the Brazilian filmmaker Sergio Oksman.
Among the first works are Mi querida cofradía, by Marta Díaz de Lope Díaz (Ronda, Málaga, 1988), winner at the Malaga Festival of both the Silver Biznaga for Best Supporting Actress (Carmen Flores) and the Audience Award; and I Hate New York, by the journalist and filmmaker Gustavo Sánchez (Úbeda, Jaén, 1978), produced by the Bayona brothers.
Also part of the selection are Diana Toucedo (Pontevedra, 1982) who, having worked on sixteen feature films as an editor and having directed the non-fiction feature En todas as mans, debuted in feature films with Trinta lumes / Thirty Souls, premiered in the Panorama section of the Berlinale; and Les distàncies (Distances) by Elena Trapé (Barcelona, 1976), recipient of the Golden Biznaga for Best Spanish Film and of the Silver Biznagas for Best Director and Best Actress (Alexandra Jiménez) in Malaga. Trapé’s first film, Blog, was selected for Zabaltegi-New Directors eight years ago at the Festival, landing a special mention from the RTVE-Otra Mirada Award.
Having worked on eight feature films as an editor, works which have coexisted with her involvement in the film pedagogy project Cinema en curs – which has its corresponding event in San Sebastian through Tabakalera and the Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola (Zinema (h)abian) – Meritxell Colell (Barcelona, 1983) has now directed her first feature film, Con el viento / Amb el vent. Having been selected as a project by the Cinéfondation, the work premiered in the Forum section of the Berlinale. Colell will participate with her second feature film project, Dúo, in the Festival’s Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum.
Among the films by long-standing directors are El aviso (The Warning), the latest work from Daniel Calparsoro (Barcelona, 1968), whose films have been presented in Cannes, Berlin and Venice, as well as at the Festival; The Bookshop, by Isabel Coixet (Barcelona, 1960), winner this year of the Goyas for Best Film, Director and Adapted Screenplay; Perfectos desconocidos (Perfect Strangers), latest proposal from the filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia (Bilbao, 1965), a frequent participant in San Sebastian Festival’s Official Selection with several films including La comunidad (Common Wealth, Silver Shell for Carmen Maura), Las brujas de Zugarramurdi (Witching & Bitching) and Mi gran noche (My Big Night); La enfermedad del domingo (Sunday’s Illness) by Ramón Salazar (Málaga, 1973), participant in the Panorama section of the Berlinale; and Casi 40 (Almost 40) by David Trueba (Madrid, 1969), the sequel of his first work, La buena vida (The Good Life), winner of the Jury Special Prize in Malaga. Trueba’s previous feature, Vivir con los ojos cerrados (Living is Easy with Eyes Closed), competed in San Sebastian’s Official Selection and won six Goya awards, including Best Film.
CASI 40 (ALMOST FORTY)
DAVID TRUEBA (SPAIN)
Lucía was a successful singer until separation of the duo that had made her a sensation and earned her fame drove her to a somewhat marginal position in the industry. Now she lives a more stable life, married and with two children, retired from the world of show business. But the plans of an old boyfriend from the days of her youth to make a small concert tour of several Spanish cities give her the excuse to get back onto the road. About to turn 40, the two will have to bear the intimate price of giving up on their life ideals.
CON EL VIENTO – AMB EL VENT (FACING THE WIND)
MERITXELL COLELL (SPAIN – ARGENTINA – FRANCE)
Mónica, a 47 year-old dancer, receives a phone call from Spain: her father is seriously ill. Twenty years down the line, she must return to the remote Burgos town of her birth. By the time she gets there, her father is dead. Her mother, to whom she has hardly spoken in all these years, asks her for help to sell the family house. Winter arrives. The perpetual silence, the extreme cold, and having to deal with her family will be harsh trials for Mónica, who will take refuge in the place she knows best: dancing. The film combines dance, documentary and independent film to construct a singular tale of family ties and relations in a universe of women.
EL AVISO (THE WARNING)
DANIEL CALPARSORO (SPAIN)
We are in 2008. Young Jon is a mathematical whiz kid obsessed with numerical reasoning. He’s a genius whose schizophrenia has deprived him of a promising scientific career, so that he has to make do with a job in a photocopying shop. One night like many others, on leaving work, Jon and his best friend, David, head for a petrol station to buy drinks for a dinner with Andrea, a childhood friend of both and the girlfriend David is about to propose to. David goes into the shop while Jon waits for him in the car. Just then there is a robbery and David is hit by a bullet that leaves him in an irreversible coma. From then on Jon will stop taking his medication and, crippled by guilt, start looking for meaning in his friend’s murder. He investigates past robberies until finally finding a common mathematical pattern to them. Continuing with this logic, he comes to the conclusion that Nico, a 10 year-old boy, will be murdered in the same place.
I HATE NEW YORK
GUSTAVO SÁNCHEZ (SPAIN)
New York, 2007-2017. Over a decade, and filming only with a home video camera and no script, the director delves into the private world of Amanda Lepore, Chloe Dzubilo, Sophia Lamar and T De Long; four artists and transgender activists from the city’s underground scene. Little by little, their testimonies reveal fragments of a past –sometimes dramatic, always fascinating and simply extraordinary– that formed their identities and transformed their lives. Their words, fears and hopes take the audience from an outsider’s point of view to being emotionally invested in their destiny.
LA ENFERMEDAD DEL DOMINGO (SUNDAY’S ILLNESS)
RAMÓN SALAZAR (SPAIN)
Driven by her husband’s diplomatic career, Anabel dedicates her life to philanthropy. Her selfless devotion to helping others has increased her popularity, and she is the go-to person in her exclusive circle when it comes to obtaining donations for humanitarian organisations. It is precisely at one of these charity dinners that she runs back into her past on recognising one of the waitresses providing the catering service as being her daughter Chiara, the girl she had abandoned at the age of eight and whom she hasn’t seen for thirty-five years. It’s no chance she’s there; Chiara has been looking for her. Mother and daughter embark on a journey into the past, alone, with a hard road before them in the attempt to recover thirty-five years in barely ten days. Or that’s what Anabel believes. The thing is that this journey has a hidden purpose for Chiara. And when Anabel discovers it she will have to make the most difficult decision of her life, after which she will never be the same again.
LES DISTÀNCIES (DISTANCES)
ELENA TRAPÉ (SPAIN)
Olivia, Eloy, Guille and Anna travel to Berlin to surprise their friend Comas with a visit for his 35th birthday. He doesn’t give them the welcome they expected and during the weekend their contradictions grow and their friendship is put to the test. Together they will discover that time and distance can change everything.
MI QUERIDA COFRADÍA (HOPELESSLY DEVOUT)
MARTA DÍAZ DE LOPE DÍAZ (SPAIN)
Carmen, a middle-aged woman from Malaga, Catholic and apostolic, is about to see her lifelong dream come true: to be president of her brotherhood. It will be the first time that a woman will have achieved such an honour. But finally her fellow members decide to choose her biggest rival, a man named Ignacio. Everything becomes even more complicated for Carmen on the day of the Easter procession, when she is involved in a situation she can only get out of with the help of the women around her.
PERFECTOS DESCONOCIDOS (PERFECT STRANGERS)
ÁLEX DE LA IGLESIA (SPAIN)
Four couples meet for dinner on the night of a lunar eclipse. A night of friendship and laughs, until suddenly the idea emerges: Why not do something different? What would happen if we left the mobile phones on the table within reach of everybody? Entire lives shared by everyone as they happen… An innocent game or a dangerous suggestion? Will the group of friends be able to withstand such a degree of sincerity, even if it is only for a time?
SERGIO OKSMAN (SPAIN)
The 70th anniversary of the Fotogramas magazine comes in the shape of a sentimental voyage through the history of Spanish cinema thanks to a mosaic of voices represented by people who make films, those who write them and those who consume them. The documentary pays tribute to the readers of Fotogramas helped by the leading figures of Spanish cinema, who will read to the camera the most representative letters received at its offices in the history of the magazine.
ISABEL COIXET (SPAIN – UK)
In the late ‘50s, Florence Green decides to make one of her greatest dreams come true: to leave London and open a small bookshop on the British coast. But to her surprise, the decision will trigger all sorts of reactions among the locals.
TRINTA LUMES / THIRTY SOULS
DIANA TOUCEDO (SPAIN)
Alba is 12 years old and eager to discover the unknown, mysterious and fascinating side of death. With her best friend Samuel they enter abandoned houses, wander around rundown villages and make their way into the mountains with their hidden parallel world. A voyage starting from innocence to discover the mystery of the struggle between life and death.