San Sebastian adds six to competition

Peter Strickland, Brillante Mendoza and Louis Garrel join line-up

by Amber Wilkinson

Peter Strickland's In Fabric, stars Marianne Jean-Baptiste
Peter Strickland's In Fabric, stars Marianne Jean-Baptiste Photo: Courtesy of San Sebastian Film Festival
San Sebastian Film Festival has announced six additions to its competition line-up, including films by Peter Strickland, Louis Garrel and Brillante Mendoza.

Strickland's In Fabric - which has already been bought by Curzon for distribution in the UK - is a ghost story about the life of a cursed dress, starring Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Hayley Squires and Julian Barratt.

Veteran Filipino director Mendoza will compete for the first time at the festival with Alpha: The Right To Kill, set against the backdrop of the Philippine Government’s crackdown on drugs. Belgian filmmaker Felix van Groeningen (The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgica) also joins the competition for the first time with his English-language debut Beautiful Boy, based on the true story of a father’s struggle to rescue his son from drugs and starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chamalet.

Rounding out the additions are three films from relative newcomers to directing. French actor Garrel will present his second feature as a director - A Faithful Man (L'homme Fidèle), a tale of jealousy starring the director and Lily-Rose Depp - while Liu Jie also brings his second feature Baby (Bao bei er) about a teenager who becomes determined to save sick baby. Swedish actress Tuva Novotny completes the line-up, presenting her directorial debut Blind Spot, which focuses on a mother/daughter relationship.

The festival runs from September 21 to 29.

Details of the additions are below (descriptions courtesy of the festival):

  • Alpha: The Right To Kill Brilliante Mendoza (Philippines) - Set against the background of the government's crackdown on illegal drugs, the SWAT-led police force launches an operation to arrest Abel, a major methamphetamine distributor, with PO3 Moises Espino and his informant Elijah providing the intelligence. A violent battle breaks out in the slums between the SWAT and Abel's gang.
  • Baby Liu Je (China) - Born 19 years ago in Nanjing with the VACTERL syndrome, Jiang Meng was abandoned by her parents. With the help of her foster mother and Director Wang, today Jiang works in a hospital as cleaner. One day, Jiang encounters a man coming into the hospital with a newborn baby. She learns that the baby is a girl who also has the VACTERL syndrome, and that the father has decided not to care for her.
  • Beautiful Boy Felix van Groeningen (US) - Based on the bestselling pair of memoirs by father and son David and Nic Sheff, the film chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.
  • Blind Spot Tuva Novotny (Norway) - A mother struggles to understand her teenage daughter's crisis, when tragedy strikes the whole family.
  • In Fabric Peter Strickland (UK) - Set against the backdrop of a busy winter sales period in a department store, the film follows the life of a cursed dress as it passes from person to person, with devastating consequences.
  • A Faithful Man Louis Garrel (France) - Marianne leaves Abel for Paul, his best friend and the father of her unborn child. Eight years later, Paul dies. Abel and Marianne get back together, arousing feelings of jealousy in both Marianne's son, Joseph, and Paul's sister, Eva, who has secretly loved Abel since childhood.

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