Wiseman, Sang-soo and Abramovich head to San Sebastian

Directors join Zabaltegi-Tabakalera competition

by Amber Wilkinson

Frederick Wiseman's film will feature in the competition side-bar
Frederick Wiseman's film will feature in the competition side-bar

The latest works from Manuel Abramovich, Filipa César, Raymond Depardon, Damien Manivel and Kohei Igarashi, Ilian Metev, Hong Sang-soo and Frederick Wiseman join the Zabaltegi-Tabakalera section of this year's San Sebastian Film Festival, which will open with Ruben Östlund's The Square.

The section will also feature documentaries Ex Libris: New York Public Library by Frederick Wiseman and 12 Days (12 Jours) - about mental health assessments in France - by Raymond Depardon.

Hong Sang-soo who won San Sebastian's Silver Shell for Best Director last year for Yourself And Yours (Dangsinjasingwa dangsinui geot) - returns with The Day After (Geu-hu) about a woman whose predecessor had been having an affair with her boss.

Argentine rising star Manuel Abramovich brings his second film Solar which looks at the function of the Argentine Army more than three decades after the end of the dictatorship through the eyes of a young man who decides to enlist, while Portugese director Filipa César examines the birth of Guinean cinema in Spell Reel.

The titles (descriptions courtesy of the festival) announced are below:

12 Jours/12 Days (France)
Dir. Raymond Depardon
Every year in France, 92,000 people are placed under psychiatric care without their consent. By law, the hospital has 12 days to bring each patient before a judge. Based on medical records and a doctor's recommendations, a crucial decision has to be made - will the patient stay or leave? Granted access to these hearings for the first time, Raymond Depardon captures these extraordinary encounters between justice and psychiatry.

¾ (Germany, Bulgaria)
Dir. Ilian Metev
Cast: Mila Mihova, Nikolay Mashalov, Todor Velchev, Simona Genkova
Young pianist Mila prepares for an audition abroad. Her brother Niki distracts her. Their astrophysicist father Todor seems incapable of dealing with his children's anxieties. A portrait of a family during their last summer together.

Braguino (France)
Dir. Clément Cogitore
In the middle of the Siberian taiga, 450 miles from the nearest village, live two families: the Braguines and the Kilines. Not a single road leads there. A long trip on the Ienissei River, first by boat, then by helicopter, is the only way to reach Braguino. Self-sufficient, both families live there according to their own rules and principles. In the middle of the village: a barrier. The two families refuse to speak.

Calipatria (Austria)
Dir. Gerhard Treml, Leo Calice
Cast: Gerhard Treml, Leo Calice
Convicted of murder, Sergio Cassilas is in solitary confinement. One hour a day, he works in Calipatria's desert prison garden. With the help of a guard he smuggles a truckload of earth from the landscape of his favourite movie into its grounds. While working there, Sergio reveals the secret meaning of the soil for his life sentence in prison. Based on a true story.

El Sueño De Ana (Chile) - Short Film
Dir. José Luis Torres Leiva
Cast: Amparo Noguera, Julieta Figueroa
Ana tells us about a dream she had with her partner, recently deceased.The epilogue of the coming feature film project currently being prepared by José Luis Torres Leiva, entitled Vendrá la muerte y tendrá tus ojos (Death Will Come and It Will Have Your Eyes), about death, love and the start of a new phase.

Ex Libris: New York Public Library (US)
Dir. Frederick Wiseman
Documentary, taking viewers behind the scenes of one of the world’s greatest institutions of learning. The film examines how this establishment has continued to go about its regular activities while adapting to the digital revolution.

Flores (Portugal) - Short Film
Dir. Jorge Jácome
Cast: André Andrade, Pedro Rosa, Gabriel Desplanque, Jorge Jácome
When a natural crisis occurs, the entire population of the Azores is forced to evacuate due to an uncontrolled plague of hydrangeas. Two young soldiers, impassioned by the beauty of the landscape, guide us through the tales of sadness of those forced to leave and the inherent desire to resist and stay on the islands.

The Day After/Geu-hu (South Korea)
Dir. Hong Sang-Soo
Cast: Kwon Hae-hyo, Kim Min-hee, Kim Sae-byuk, Cho Yun-hee
Areum is about to tackle her first day at work. Bongwan, her boss, had been having an affair with the woman Areum is replacing. Their relationship has just ended. That same day, Bongwan’s wife finds a love letter. She turns up at the office without warning and mistakes Areum for the woman she was hired to substitute.

Gwendolyn Green (US) - Short Film
Dir. Tamyka Smith
Cast: Roberta Maxwell, Dominic Rains
Inspired by true events, this is the story of Gwendolyn Green, an elderly, widowed woman living out her days alone, inside a gated Palm Springs residence, as if she were stuck in another era. As Gwendolyn's lack of social graces and isolation start to close in on her, she picks up the telephone and dials 911 in search of human connection. Gwendolyn creates a special bond with the responding officer, finding in him the care and connection to the modern world she craves.

The Night I Swam/La Nuit Ou J'ai Nage (France, Japan)
Dir. Damien Manivel, Kohei Igarashi
Cast: Takara Kogawa, Keiki Kogawa, Takashi Kogawa, Chisato Kogawa
Snow covered mountains in Japan. Every night, a fisherman makes his way to the market in town. His 6 year old son is awoken by his departure and finds it impossible to fall back to sleep. In the sleeping household, the young boy draws a picture he then slips into his satchel. On his way to school, still drowsy, he strays off the path and wanders into the snow...

Soldier/Soldado (Argentina)
Dir. Manuel Abramovich
Cast: Juan González
A young man decides to join the army. He becomes the drummer in the military band, and his everyday life is now a combination of military training and music. What does the Argentine Army do these days, more than 30 years after the dictatorship? What does it mean to be a soldier in a country without wars?

Spell Reel (France)
Dir. Filipa César
In 2011, an archive of film and audio material re-emerged in Bissau. On the verge of complete ruination, the footage testifies to the birth of Guinean cinema as part of the decolonising vision of Amí­lcar Cabral, the liberation leader assassinated in 1973. In collaboration with the Guinean filmmakers Sana na N'Hada and Flora Gomes, and many allies, Filipa César imagines a journey where the fragile matter from the past operates as a visionary prism of shrapnel to look through.

Shame/Sram (Bulgaria)
Dir. Petar Krumov
Cast: Zdravko Moskov, Monika Asparhuhova, Emiliya Panova
Macho is a poor boy who skips school to work on a construction site. The only ray of light for him is his girlfriend, Donna. But she's ashamed of his mother, who works as the janitor at their school. Forced to choose between his mother and his love, Macho finds his own way out of the situation.

Previously announced titles are listed here:

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