Spanish cinema in spotlight at San Sebastian

Jake Gyllenhaal film among competition titles.

by Amber Wilkinson

Jake Gyllenhaal sees double in Denis Villeneuve's Enemy
Jake Gyllenhaal sees double in Denis Villeneuve's Enemy
San Sebastian Film Festival put its focus on domestic talent as it announced the Spanish titles that will feature in and out of this year's competition.

Among the competition highlights, is the latest from Álex de la Iglesia - Witching & Bitching (Las Brujas De Zugarramurdi), a comedy about a gang who fall foul of a group of Basque witches as they try to make good an escape to Disneyland. The film stars Carmen Maura, who will be at the festival's 61st edition to pick up the Donostia Award for lifetime achievement.

Spanish-Canadian co-production Enemy will also feature in the Official Selection. The thriller, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal as man who becomes obsessed with his doppelganger, is directed by Incendies helmer Denis Villeneuve.

Also joining the Official Selection are Manuel Martín Cuenca's Cannibal - starring Spanish star Antonio de la Torre as an unrepentant murderer who finds his life changing after he falls in love - and David Trueba's Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed (Vivir Es Facil Con Los Ojos Cerrados), which tells the story of a unexpected friendship that blossoms between a teacher in search of John Lennon and two youngsters.

Wounded (La Herida) - the debut film from Blancanieves editor Fernando Franco, about a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder and her struggle to find happines, rounds out the Spanish entries in the Official Selection.

The New Directors segment will feature work from first-time filmmakers Fran Aruajo and Ernesto de Nova (Hassan's Way [El Rayo]) and Isabel Ayguavives (The Magnetic Tree [El árbol magnético]) alongside The Empty Hours (Las Horas Muertas) from second-time filmmaker Aarón Fernández.

The Horizontes Latinos section - celebrating Latin American talent - features three Spanish co-productions, including La Jaula De Oro from long-time cinematographer Diego Quemada and the latest film from XXY director Lucía Puenzo, Wakolda, both films fresh from the Un certain regard section at Cannes.

Elsewhere in the programme, the Zalbategi section, which aims to showcase some of the best films of the year, will feature eight Spanish titles, while Pearls - featuring films yet to have a Spanish release - will include Sebastián Lelio's Gloria, which won the Films in Progress award at last year's edition of the festival. Completing the Spanish selection is the premiere of comic caper Zip And Zap And The Marble Gang (Zipi y Zape y el Club de la Canica), which will screen at the Velodrome.

The festival will run from September 20 to 28, when we will be bringing you coverage from San Sebastian. You can read our coverage of previous editions here.

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