STRANDED (VARADOS) directed by HELENA TABERNA
STRANDED (VARADOS) directed by HELENA TABERNA

Twenty-one Basque films are selected for the 67th edition of the San Sebastian Festival, and nine of these, feature films having their world premiere at the Festival, will compete for the Irizar Basque Film Award. Zinemira, the section specifically dedicated to Basque cinema, contains ten films.

The latest film from Helena Taberna (Alsasua, Navarre), Varados (Stranded), will open the section. Several of Taberna’s films have screened in previous years at the Festival, such as Yoyes (Made in Spain, 2000), La buena nueva (The Good News,Made in Spain, 2009) and Acantilado (The Cliff, Zinemira, 2016). Varados portrays the everyday lives of long-term refugees in Greece.

This year will see the screening at the Basque Film Gala of Agur Etxebeste!, the latest installment in the adventures of Patrizio Etxebeste and his wife María Luisa, which will also compete for the Irizar Basque Film Award.

At the Basque Film Gala, in addition to the premiere of Agur Etxebeste!, the honorary Zinemira Award will be presented to producer José María Lara, Txepe. Past awardees include Imanol Uribe (2009), Álex Angulo (2010), Elías Querejeta (2011), Michel Gaztambide (2012), Juanba Berasategi (2013), Pedro Olea (2014), Karmele Soler (2015), Ramón Barea (2016), Julia Juaniz (2017) and Ramón Agirre (2018).

Miguel Ángel Jiménez (Madrid, 1979), who competed in New Directors with Chaika (2012), will premiere at the EiTB Gala Una ventana al mar / Window to the Sea. Emma Suárez will play a woman diagnosed with cancer who sets off on a journey to Greece with her friends.

BASQUE FILM GALA

AGUR ETXEBESTE!

ASIER ALTUNA, TELMO ESNAL (SPAIN)
Competes for the Irizar Basque Film Award
Cast: Ramon Agirre, Elena Irureta, Paco Sagarzazu, Iban Garate

Patrizio Etxebeste decides to resign from the office of mayor for health problems, but few know the real reason: the recent corruption scandals uncovered in nearby towns lead him to believe that his may be the next head to roll. Who better to take up the reins and maintain the control than Mª Luisa, his faithful wife? But it won’t all be quite as simple as it once may have been. His decorative wife decides not to be quite so decorative and starts taking action. The controlling man doesn’t control things quite as much as he thought he did or would like to and he has to adapt, to evolve. All crises, whether in the family, politics or social spheres, bring tensions and problems. But they also bring change and big opportunities. Sequel to Aupa Etxebeste! (2005).

EITB GALA

UNA VENTANA AL MAR / WINDOW TO THE SEA

MIGUEL ÁNGEL JIMÉNEZ
Competes for the Irizar Basque Film Award
Cast: Emma Suarez, Akilas Karazisis, Gaizka Ugarte, Katerina Zafeiropoulou, Kostas Petrou, Antonis Kafetzopoulos

Faced with life changing news, María, a fifty-five-year-old Spanish woman from Bilbao, chooses to take a trip to Greece with her closest girlfriends against the advice of her son and doctors. A spontaneous decision leads her to the island of Nisyros, a tiny haven of peace and calm that immediately feels like home. While exploring the beautiful island and soaking in its hidden treasures, she meets Stefanos and finds herself falling in love against all odds.

ZINEMIRA

VARADOS / STRANDED

HELENA TABERNA
Competes for the Irizar Basque Film Award
OPENING NIGHT FILM

In the Mediterranean, the sea around which our civilization took shape, thousands of refugees wait for Europe to take them in. At the doors of the old continent, they struggle to keep their hope alive despite the precarious conditions under which they survive every day. Varados (Stranded) looks at the everyday life of these long-term refugees. In Athens squats or in refugee camps spread across the country, these men and women wait for the documents that will allow them to continue with their lives.

70 BINLADENS / 70 BIG ONES

KOLDO SERRA
Cast: Emma Suárez, Nathalie Poza, Hugo Silva

Raquel is a desperate woman. Her personal situation has driven her to the point where she needs 35,000 euros (colloquially known as ’70 binladens’), and she needs them in the next 24 hours. Her last hope is a bank loan. When two armed robber burst into the place just as she’s about to seal the transaction the situation will become more complicated for Raquel, who has no choice: time’s running out and she has to leave there with the money, no matter what the cost.

ELKANO, LEHEN MUNDU BIRA

ÁNGEL ALONSO

The first round-the-world trip. A voyage into the unknown which began in the command of Magellan and was completed by Juan Sebastián Elcano. Storms, hunger, tribes… Five ships set sail from Seville. Three years later, only one made it back. An incredible adventure around a planet whose round shape was finally demonstrated.

EL DOBLE MÁS QUINCE / DOUBLE PLUS FIFTEEN

MIKEL RUEDA SASIETA
Cast: Maribel Verdú, Germán Alcarazu

Imagine a woman. Around 45 years old. Slender, attractive, but somewhat ravaged by age. Can you see her? Now put her in a stretch of wasteland. Alone. Sitting on the bonnet of her saloon car. Waiting. She’s waiting for someone. She’s nervous. Someone’s coming towards her from the distance. It looks like a boy. Yes, it’s a boy, a 16-year-old kid pedaling his bike. He stops in front of her. They look at one another. Uncomfortable. They don’t know what to say. They don’t know what to do. He sees her smoking. “You told me you’d stopped”, he says to her. “And you told me you were older”, she answers, half-nervous, half-angry. “So what now?” he insists, nervous, very nervous. That’s exactly the question. What now? What would happen if a 45-year-old woman and a boy of 16 were to get to know one another online and arrange to meet for sex? That’s the basic premise of El doble más quince.

GLITTERING MISFITS

IBAN DEL CAMPO URIBARRENA
Competes for the Irizar Basque Film Award
Cast: Dirty Martini, Tigger!

Dirty Martini and Tigger!, stars of the New York underground scene, reveal some of the secrets of their provocative and remonstrative forms of artistic expression in New York’s Off-Off Broadway. Meanwhile, they will help us to understand from their everyday intimacy the reasons, the struggles and the keys that keep them in their place as the figures and references of the burlesque revival, more than 20 years after the whole phenomenon exploded in the New York of the 90s.

HIRU UHINAK – LES TROIS VAGUES / THE THREE WAVES

LOÏC LEGRAND
Competes for the Irizar Basque Film Award

I thought the legend was marvelous and outrageous. But what meaning could we give it today? I publish an announcement offering to make a film based on that old story. Lili, Aña and Ekaitz reply with curiosity and an eagerness for cinema. Together they address the tale of the three waves to make it their own.

LA PEQUEÑA SUIZA

KEPA SOJO
Cast: Jon Plazaola, Maggie Civantos, Ingrid Garcia-Jonsson, Secun de La Rosa, Ramón Barea, Maribel Salas, Lander Otaola, Mikel Losada, Enrique Villen, Kandido Uranga, Pepe Rapazote

The film follows the eventful tale of the inhabitants of a fictional Spanish village nestling in the heart of the Basque Country called Tellería, which, after 700 years of history, wants to become part of the Basque territory. When the Basque government refuses their request to join the region, an intriguing discovery in the local shrine leads the intrepid villagers to seek annexation to one of the world’s most highly developed nations: Switzerland.

MUGA DEITZEN DA PAUSOA / STEPPING INTO THE BOUNDARY

MAIDER OLEAGA

Two women meet at an old apartment in San Sebastian (in the Basque Country). One is alive and a filmmaker; the other is called Elvira Zipitria Irastorza, who died in 1982. The filmmaker discovers that she’s living in a place heavy with an invisible presence, with myriad barely audible echoes. Some ring out from the Franco dictatorship, when Elvira created a clandestine school in the Basque language. The former tenant of the house was an important figure in 20th century Basque culture and politics. But she remains in the shadows. The filmmaker, driven by the need to find out more about the woman, starts to investigate. An anything but easy quest will soon take the shape of performances. Making the film represents the ultimate way to approach Elvira.

PASEKO TXORIAK

JUAN MIGUEL GUTIÉRREZ MÁRQUEZ

It all started in July 2018. Groups of migrants coming from Africa endeavoring to cross the border with France started arriving at Irun train station. They would sleep in the street. The charities working in the town succeeded in convincing the squatters’ movements to take a hand in the matter by letting them use their places. The wave of generosity spread to the people of Irun.

SOINUJOLEAREN SEMEA / THE ACCORDIONIST’S SON

FERNANDO BERNUES
Cast: Aitor Beltrán, Iñaki Rikarte, Cristian Merchán, Bingen Elortza, Frida Palsson, José Ramón Argoitia, Joseba Apaolaza, Mireia Gabilondo, Miren Arrieta, Laia Bernués, Alberto Berzal, Mikel Losada, Eneko Sagardoy

David Imaz had to flee from the Basque Country in the mid-seventies, repudiated by his people, accused of betrayal. Despite having found happiness in California, his past still weighs heavily on him and the feeling of guilt prevents him from being able to peacefully enjoy the last days of his life. Joseba Altuna, his childhood friend, comes to say goodbye and to settle the score while he’s at it. It’s been a long time since they saw one another, but the time has come to face the truth. Based on the novel of the same name by Bernardo Atxaga.

OFFICIAL SELECTION – In competition

LA TRINCHERA INFINITA / THE ENDLESS TRENCH

AITOR ARREGI, JON GARAÑO, JOSE MARI GOENAGA (SPAIN – FRANCE)
Competes for the Irizar Basque Film Award
Cast: Antonio de la Torre, Belén Cuesta

Higinio and Rosa have only been married for a few months when the Civil War breaks out, representing a serious threat to his life. Helped by his wife, they decide to use a hole dug into their own home as a provisional hiding place. The fear of potential reprisals and the love they feel for one another will condemn them to an imprisonment that will last for more than 30 years.

NEW DIRECTORS

LAS LETRAS DE JORDI / JORDI’S LETTERS

MAIDER FERNÁNDEZ IRIARTE (SPAIN)
Competes for the Kutxabank-New Directors Award
Competes for the Youth Award
Competes for the Irizar Basque Film Award

Ikusmira Berriak III

Jordi was born 51 years ago with cerebral palsy. Although he can’t speak, he tries to communicate using his letter chart. That’s how he tells Maider, the director of the film, that at the age of 21 he felt God talking to him for the first time. But today, now that he has moved out of his parent’s house into a home, he no longer feels God. Once a year, Jordi makes a pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, where he searches for his connection with God, despite not knowing if God will come back one day. Debut film. Project developed at the Ikusmira Berriak residencies program. REC Grabaketa Estudioa Post-Production Award.

ZABALTEGI-TABAKALERA

LEYENDA DORADA / THE GOLDEN LEGEND

Short film
ION DE SOSA, CHEMA GARCÍA IBARRA (SPAIN)
Cast: Al Sarcoli, Cristina Canchal, María Ángeles Rosco, Carlos Lebrón Lázaro, Laura Molano Canchal, David Pavón Gómez
Zinemira Kimuak

A summer day in the municipal swimming pool: heat, teenagers, families, couples, dips, beers and sandwiches in the bar. An adolescent medium tries to locate someone by moving a pendulum over a map of Spain. In the midst of the ordinary goings on something extraordinary happens: a boy on the verge of drowning is saved by a person who walks on the water of the pool to get to him. The miracle is accepted naturally by the other bathers and the summer afternoon continues as if nothing had happened.

LURSAGUAK

Short film
IZIBENE OÑEDERRA (SPAIN)
Zinemira Kimuak

As Hélène Cixous would say, we precisely live in this time when the conceptual basis of an age-old culture is being undermined by millions of moles of a species never seen before.

URPEAN LURRA

Medium-length film
MADDI BARBER (SPAIN)

Almost two decades ago, the Itoiz dam flooded seven villages and three natural reservoirs on the Pyrenean hillside in Navarra. The ecologist group Solidari@s con Itoiz made a video document of the fight against its construction. Today, those who were there, dream of the land lying beneath the water. Their voices and gestures come together to tell the tale of an individual and collective mourning still suffered today. World premiere.

PERLAK

O QUE ARDE – LO QUE ARDE / FIRE WILL COME

OLIVER LAXE (SPAIN – FRANCE – LUXEMBOURG)
Competes for the Audience Award
Cast: Amador Arias, Benedicta Sánchez

Nobody’s waiting for Amador on his release from jail after serving time for having caused a fire. He returns home to an isolated hamlet in the mountains of Lugo, where he will once again live with his mother, Benedict, his dog Luna and their three cows. Their lives pass to the pace of nature, until everything changes when a violent fire razes the area to the ground.

CULINARY ZINEMA

BITTOR ARGINZONIZ. VIVIR EN EL SILENCIO / BITTOR ARGINZONIZ. LIVING IN SILENCE

IÑAKI ARTETA (SPAIN)
Competes for the Irizar Basque Film Award

The personality of Bittor Arginzoniz and the place where he lives make his cuisine unique. The possibilities of cooking with charcoal have not been exhausted, and a return to its roots may be admirable if executed with respect and vocation. Self-taught, Bittor has made his restaurant Etxebarri the sixth best in the world, and minimalism his trademark. The nature that saw his birth is its landscape; the grill and the finest products, the materials he works with. And the silence. Silence in its walks, in nature, in the coals, in the choice of adequate product and the exact point of its preparation.

GAZTA

MIKEL URRETABIZKAIA (SPAIN)
Competes for the Irizar Basque Film Award

A journey around the universe of Idiazabal cheese in the company of exceptional characters like Eli Arrillaga who, widowed at the age of 24 years, had to choose between following her husband’s trade of shepherding, or returning to her urban environment in Zarautz. Eli continued to work as a shepherd and is today one of the most important producers of this cheese. Exceptional characters like Juan Mari and Elena Arzak, Eneko Atxa, Joan Roca, Martín Berasategui, Pedro Subijana and Andoni Luis Adúriz, who have absolutely no doubts as to the importance of an artisan, high quality produce that fits perfectly into their demanding culinary procedure. On the Urbía, Aralar and Gorbea mountain ranges, in the highlands of Navarre, the shepherds lavish care on their herds, their prized latxa sheep, with a view to obtaining a product of fine quality, capable of winning the annual cheese competition in Ordizia.

ZER JAN HURA IZAN / YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT

Short film
IGOR ARABAOLAZA (SPAIN)

The documentary analyses the relationship between producers and chefs based on their own testimonies. It touches on subjects such as the importance of the produce in the kitchen, sustainability, the generational takeover and promotion of the rural world.

ZINEMIRA KIMUAK

ARTIKO / ARCTIC

Short film
JOSU VENERO, JESUS MARI LAZKANO
Zinemira Kimuak

Resting on the table is the map of my last trip to the Svalbard archipelago, at the North Pole. That map, crumpled and broken, has become a form of mental cartography, a territory of painting and drawing, a new and exciting space for the imagination.

EL INFIERNO / HELL

Short film
RAÚL DE LA FUENTE
Zinemira Kimuak

Chennu committed his first crime when he was 15 years old: being a street kid. And he entered hell: Pademba Road. The adult prison in Free­town. In hell, Mr. Sillah is in charge, and there is no hope. Chennu got out after four years. Now he wants to go back.

LABO

Short film
JESUS Mª PALACIOS
Zinemira Kimuak

Labo is a stroll through the memory of the former Francisco Franco Labour University of Tarragona, not only through its buildings but also the memory of those who inhabited them. It is a journey into our past that will enable us to better understand the present and the future.

LEYENDA DORADA / THE GOLDEN LEGEND

Short film
ION DE SOSA, CHEMA GARCÍA IBARRA (SPAIN)
Cast: Al Sarcoli, Cristina Canchal, María Ángeles Rosco, Carlos Lebrón Lázaro, Laura Molano Canchal, David Pavón Gómez
Zinemira Kimuak

A summer day in the municipal swimming pool: heat, teenagers, families, couples, dips, beers and sandwiches in the bar. An adolescent medium tries to locate someone by moving a pendulum over a map of Spain. In the midst of the ordinary goings on something extraordinary happens: a boy on the verge of drowning is saved by a person who walks on the water of the pool to get to him. The miracle is accepted naturally by the other bathers and the summer afternoon continues as if nothing had happened.

LURSAGUAK

Short film
IZIBENE OÑEDERRA (SPAIN)
Zinemira Kimuak

As Hélène Cixous would say, we precisely live in this time when the conceptual basis of an age-old culture is being undermined by millions of moles of a species never seen before.

MATEOREN AMA / MATEO’S MOTHER

Short film
AITOR ARREGI, JOSE MARI GOENAGA
Cast: Iñigo Aranburu, Itziar Aizpuru, Mariasun Pagoaga, Aitziber Garmendia
Zinemira Kimuak

After a period of time without seeing his mother, Angel Mari decides to bite the bullet and go and visit her at the nursing home to which she has been admitted. He doesn’t like seeing how his mother has disappeared under the skin of a senile old woman who does not recognize her own children.

MEDVEDEK / BEAR

Short film
AINHOA GUTIÉRREZ DEL POZO
Zinemira Kimuak

The arrival of two Slovenian bears in the Pyrenees of Navarre alters their balance. The bear has been a natural inhabitant of the Pyrenees for millions of years. However, its disappearance led to the transformation of the area. The presence of these new inhabitants brings old conflicts back to the fore.

EUROPE-LATIN AMERICA CO-PRODUCTION FORUM

KARMELE

ASIER ALTUNA (SPAIN – FRANCE)

Ondarroa, the Basque Country, October 1936. Franco’s troops enter the town; the family of Karmele Aurresti, a young nurse aged 24, flee to France by boat. This film tells the tale of Karmele, first of all as a refugee in France, where she meets other young Basques in Paris and falls in love with Txomin, an idealistic and committed musician with whom she forms a family of exiles in Caracas (Venezuela). Later, the return to Spain under Franco, the conspiracies and struggle against the dictatorship, the secrecy and the reprisals; and the return to exile.

IKUSMIRA BERRIAK

JO TA KE / NON STOP

AITZIBER OLASKOAGA (SPAIN)

In 1990, Negu Gorriak played their first concert outside Herrera de la Mancha prison and later sold a VHS recording of the event. The tape became a symbol for followers of the Abertzale nationalist left wing. Jo ta ke is a video essay which uses images from the video and the director’s own memories as its starting point. It opens up reflections on the construction of national identity and the links between fatherland, father and patriotism. The project relates the author’s political awakening in the politicized and polarized context of the Basque Country.

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