In The House wins Golden Shell at San Sebastian

Francois Ozon's blackly comic drama takes top prizes.

by Amber Wilkinson

Francois Ozon and the Golden Shell <em>Photo: Montse Castillo; Courtesy San Sebastian Film Festival
Francois Ozon and the Golden Shell Photo: Montse Castillo; Courtesy San Sebastian Film Festival
Francois Ozon's In the House (Dans La Maison), a playful examination of fact and fiction as seen through the prism of a student/teacher relationship, took away the top prize at San Sebastian Film Festival last night.

The director, whose film recently scooped the FIPRESCI award at Toronto, was awarded both the Golden Shell and the jury prize for best screenplay.

The Silver Shell for best director went to Fernando Trueba for his black and white study of a sculptor's reinvigorated lust for his work in The Artist And The Model (El Artista y la Modelo). The ceremony at the Kursaal auditorium marked a good night for black and white film, as Pablo Berger's silent film Snow White (Blancanieves) (about which, more here) took home the special jury prize, and saw it's young star Macarena Garcia share the Silver Shell actress honours with Foxfire's Katie Coseni.

The Silver Shell for best actor went to Jose Sacristan, for his portrayal of a terminally ill hitman in The Dead Man And Being Happy (El Muerto Y Ser Feliz), while Touraj Aslani won the cinematography prize for Rhino Season. Director Ziad Doueiri took home a special jury prize for The Attack.

The 90,000 euro prize for best new director went to Paraguayan Fernando Guzzoni for Dog Flesh (Carne del Perro), while Ben Lewin's The Sessions (formerly The Surrogate) continues to prove that there is box office potential for a well pitched drama about a man in an iron lung and his sex therapist, by winning the audience award.

New Directors' special mentions went to Majid Barzegar for Parviz and Adrián Saba for The Cleaner (El Limpiador).

Armando Bo's The Last Elvis - which like The Sessions, made waves at Sundance - won the Horizontes Latinos prize. Special mentions went to After Lucia (Despues Lucia) and Once Upon A Time Was I, Veronica (Era Uma Vez Eu, Veronica).

Chilean Sebastian Lelio won this year’s Films in Progress Award for Glory - a prize which will see his post-production costs of paid and the end result shown in next year’s San Sebastian line-up.

The ceremony, which ended the festival's 60th edition, also saw a tearful Dustin Hoffman pick up his lifetime Donostia Award.

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