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Las leyes de la frontera directed by Daniel Monzón
Las leyes de la frontera directed by Daniel Monzón

Fourteen Spanish films have been selected for San Sebastian Festival’s 69th edition with four of them competing for the Golden Shell: Maixabel, by Iciar Bollaín; El buen patrón / The Good Boss by Fernando León de Aranoa; La abuela by Paco Plaza and Quién lo impide, by Jonás Trueba.

The opening gala will include the screening of Carlos Saura’s documentary short Rosa Rosae. La Guerra Civil / Rosa Rosae. A Civil War Elegy, a tribute to the children of war set to the song by José Antonio Labordeta and manipulated photographs and drawings by Saura himself. The filmmaker from Aragón received an honorary Golden Shell in recognition of his career in 2007.

The Festival will close with Las leyes de la frontera by Daniel Monzón, who participated in Made in Spain with El corazón del guerrero (2000) and Celda 211 / Cell 211 (2010), winner of eight Goya awards including best film and best director. Las leyes de la frontera is the big-screen adaptation of the homonymous novel by Javier Cercas, set in the late 70s in Girona, where three young people from two very different worlds run into one another.

OFFICIAL SELECTION – In competition

EL BUEN PATRÓN / THE GOOD BOSS
FERNANDO LEÓN DE ARANOA (SPAIN)
Country(ies) of production: Spain
Cast: Javier Bardem, Manolo Solo, Almudena Amor, Óscar de la Fuente, Sonia Almarcha, Fernando Albizu, Tarik Rmili, Rafa Castejón, Celso Bugallo

Básculas Blanco, a company producing industrial scales in a provincial Spanish town awaits an imminent visit from a committee which holds their fate in their hands as to whether they merit a local Business Excellence award: things must be perfect when the time comes. But everything seems to be conspiring against them. Working against the clock, Blanco (Bardem) tries to restore the balance within his company: doing his all to iron out his employees’ issues, he crosses every imaginable line in the process.

LA ABUELA
PACO PLAZA (SPAIN)
Country(ies) of production: Spain – France
Cast: Almudena Amor, Vera Valdez

Susana has to leave her life in Paris working as a model to return to Madrid. Her grandmother Pilar has just had a stroke. Years ago, when Susana’s parents died, her grandmother had brought her up as if she were her own daughter. Susana needs to find someone to take care of Pilar, but what should have been only a few days with her grandmother will end up turning into a terrifying nightmare.

MAIXABEL
ICIAR BOLLAÍN (SPAIN)
Country(ies) of production: Spain
Cast: Luis Tosar, Blanca Portillo, Urko Olazabal, María Cerezuela

Maixabel Lasa lost her husband, Juan María Jaúregui, assassinated by ETA in 2000. Eleven years later, she receives an unusual request: One of the murderers has asked to meet her in the Nanclares de la Oca prison in Álava, where he is serving a sentence after having severed ties with the terrorist gang. Despite the doubts and the immense pain, Maixabel Lasa agrees to meet face to face with the people who ended in cold blood with the life of who had been her partner since the age of sixteen. “Everyone deserves a second chance,” she says when asked about the reasons for sitting in front of her husband’s killer.

QUIÉN LO IMPIDE
JONÁS TRUEBA (SPAIN)
Country(ies) of production: Spain
Cast: Candela Recio, Pablo Hoyos, Silvio Aguilar, Pablo Gavira, Claudia Navarro, Marta Casado, Rony-Michelle Pinzaru, Javier Sánchez

Quién lo impide is a call to change our perception of adolescents and youths; our idea of those born in the early 21st century who have recently reached adulthood; those who now seem guilty of everything as they themselves see their hopes dashed. Somewhere between documentary, fiction and pure testimonial record, the young adolescents show themselves the way they really are, the way we rarely see them, or the way they let us see them: taking advantage of the film camera to show off the best of themselves and renew our trust in the future; from fragility and emotion, with humour, intelligence, beliefs and ideas. Because the young people who speak to us about love, friendship, politics or education refer not only to their own situation, but to the things that always matter to us, at any age. Quién lo impide is a film about ourselves: about what we were, what we are and what we will continue to be.

OFFICIAL SELECTION – Not in competition

ROSA ROSAE. LA GUERRA CIVIL / ROSA ROSAE. A SPANISH CIVIL WAR ELEGY
Short film
CARLOS SAURA (SPAIN)
Country(ies) of production: Spain
OPENING NIGHT FILM
Not in competition

Saura creates and recovers more than thirty images, drawings and photographs that he prints, manipulates, plays with and subsequently films, to produce a story which, while recreating the Spanish Civil War, could also reflect the horrors of universal conflict seen through the eyes of a child and his surroundings.

LAS LEYES DE LA FRONTERA
DANIEL MONZÓN (SPAIN)
Country(ies) of production: Spain
Cast: Marcos Ruiz, Begoña Vargas, Chechu Salgado
CLOSING NIGHT FILM
Not in competition

The story begins in summer 1978. Nacho Cañas, a shy student and something of a misfit, is seventeen years old and lives in Girona. His meeting with Zarco and Tere, two young tearaways from the city’s red-light district, catapults him into a love triangle leading to a continual spate of thefts, robberies and heists that will last throughout the summer and forever change his life. Las leyes de la frontera is the tale of the summer when Nacho fell in love for the first time and grew up, constantly crossing the border between two worlds, crossing the line between good and bad, between justice and injustice.

LA FORTUNA
TV Series
ALEJANDRO AMENÁBAR (SPAIN)
Country(ies) of production: Spain
Cast: Álvaro Mel, Ana Polvorosa, Stanley Tucci, Clarke Peters, T’Nia Miller, Karra Elejalde, Manolo SoloNot in competition

Álex Ventura, a young and inexperienced diplomat, becomes the leader of a mission that will test his convictions: to recover the underwater treasure stolen by Frank Wild, an adventurer who travels the world looting common heritage from the depths of the sea. Together with Lucía, a feisty official, and Jonas Pierce, a brilliant American lawyer, Álex will set out on the adventure of his life, discovering the importance of love, friendship and following your beliefs.

LA HIJA / THE DAUGHTER
MANUEL MARTÍN CUENCA (SPAIN)
Country(ies) of production: Spain
Cast: Javier Gutiérrez, Patricia López Arnaiz, Irene VirgüezNot in competition

Irene is fifteen years old and lives in a centre for juvenile offenders. She has just realised that she’s pregnant and is determined to turn her life around with the help of Javier, one of the centre educators. Javier invites her to come and live out her pregnancy with himself and his wife Adela in their house in a remote and rugged spot in the mountains. The only condition is that, in exchange, she must agree to give them the baby she is carrying in her womb. This feeble pact will be threatened when Irene starts to feel that the life growing inside her is her own.

NEW DIRECTORS

İKI ŞAFAK ARASINDA / BETWEEN TWO DAWNS
SELMAN NACAR (TURKEY)
Country(ies) of production: Turkey – France – Romania – Spain
Cast: Mücahit Koçak, Nezaket Erden, Burcu GölgedarWIP Europa 2020

After a worker is severely injured in their family business, Kadir is forced into making a moral decision, which will have an impact on his dreams, his family and the life of the injured worker’s wife. Debut film. WIP Europa Industry Award and WIP Europa Award in 2020.

JOSEFINA / JOSEPHINE
JAVIER MARCO (SPAIN)
Country(ies) of production: Spain
Cast: Emma Suárez, Roberto Álamo, Miguel Bernardeau, Olivia Delcán

Juan, a prison officer, silently observes the visit every Sunday of Berta, the mother of one of the imates. The day he finally approaches her, he surprises himself by pretending to be the father of a made-up daughter inside the jail: Josefina. The need to fill the vacuum of their lives prompts Juan and Berta to continue meeting beyond the reality around them. Debut film.

HORIZONTES LATINOS

PIEDRA NOCHE / DUSK STONE
IVÁN FUND (ARGENTINA)
Country(ies) of production: Argentina – Chile – Spain
Cast: Maricel Álvarez, Mara Bestelli, Alfredo Castro, Marcelo Subiotto, Jeremías KuharoWIP Latam 2020

Sina makes her way to the coast to help her friend Greta with the sale of her summer house. Greta lost her only son less than a year ago in that sea and needs her help. As they pack everything up and get ready to hand over the key, Bruno, Greta’s husband, claims to have seen something that confirms the local rumours referring to sightings of a strange creature. WIP Latam Industry Award 2020.

ZABALTEGI-TABAKALERA

ELES TRANSPORTAN A MORTE / THEY CARRY DEATH
HELENA GIRÓN (SPAIN), SAMUEL M. DELGADO (SPAIN)
Country(ies) of production: Spain – Colombia
Cast: Nuria Lestegás, Sara Ferro, Xoán Reices, Valentín Estévez, David Pantaleón

1492. Travelling among the crew captained by Christopher Columbus are two men who should have been dead by now. They have managed to avoid their sad fate by signing up for the uncertain voyage. But on reaching the Canary Islands the men flee, taking one of the ship’s sails with them. Meanwhile, in the Old World, a woman tries to save her dying sister by taking her to a healer. Both journeys try to outwit death. Both journeys are at the mercy of time and history.

HELTZEAR
Short film
MIKEL GURREA (SPAIN)
Country(ies) of production: Spain
Cast: Haizea Oses, Mikel Arruti, Oier de Santiago

San Sebastian, the year 2000. The Basque conflict is ongoing. While writing a letter to her absent brother, Sara, a 15-year-old mountain climber, trains for the hardest ascent of her life.

PERLAK

COMPETENCIA OFICIAL
GASTÓN DUPRAT (ARGENTINA), MARIANO COHN (ARGENTINA)
Country(ies) of production: Spain – Argentina
Cast: Penélope Cruz, Antonio Banderas, Oscar Martínez
OPENING NIGHT FILM

In search of significance and social prestige, a billionaire businessman decides to make a film to leave his mark. To do it, he hires the best: a stellar team made up of the famous filmmaker Lola Cuevas and two renowned actors, both enormously talented, but with even bigger egos: the Hollywood actor Félix Rivero and radical thespian Iván Torres. Both legends, but not exactly the best of friends. Through a series of increasingly eccentric challenges set by Lola, Felix and Iván must face not only each other, but also their own legacies.

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