San Sebastian New Directors line-up announced

UK's Ben Sharrock to present second film Limbo

by Amber Wilkinson

Limbo
Limbo Photo: Courtesy of San Sebastian Film Festival
British director Ben Sharrock's second feature Limbo is among the 11 films that will compete for the New Directors Award at this San Sebastian Festival, which runs from September 18 to 26.

Sharrock's intercultural satire on the difficulties and hopes of refugees marks the second time his work has been selected for the festival, after Pikadero debuted there in 2015, going on to win the Michael Powell Award when it screened at Edinburgh Film Festival the following summer.

Spanish director Imanol Rayo - who won the festival's Zinemira award with Bi anai in 2011- also returns with his second film Death Knell (Hil kanpaiak), an adaptation of Miren Gorrotxategi’s novel 33 ezkil about family infighting in a rural setting. Silent Night director Piotr Domalewski will make a first appearance at the festival with his second film I Never Cry (Jak Najdalej Stad), about a young girl who travels to Ireland to get her dad's body after he dies in a work accident, along with Japanese filmmaker Ako Fujimoto (Passage of Life), who brings Along the Sea (Umbibe no kanojotachi) - about a Vietnamese woman who starts to work illegally in Japan - to the Basque festival.

Gull
Gull Photo: Courtesy of San Sebastian Film Festival
The other seven films in the line-up are debuts, with several of the filmmakers previously featuring in the festival. Isabel Lamberti, who won the festival's Torino Award at Nest, the festival's international film students meeting, will compete with the Spanish set Last Days Of Spring (La última primavera). David Pérez Sañudo, who previously attended the festival with short film Aprieta, returns with his debut Ane, about a mum searching for her missing child.

Brazilian João Paulo Miranda Maria brings Memory House (Casa de Antiguidades), descibed as a spiritual and fantastical story encapsulating the social and racial tensions of modern Brazil, while Russian helmer Grigory Kolomytsev's Chpacabra sees a child discover a mystical creature.

Korean director Kim Mi-jo (Jeonju, 1989) presents Gull (Gal-mae-gi), the story of a middle-aged rape victim which recently garnered the Grand Prix in the Korean competition at the Jeonju Festival, while Chinese filmmaker Xingyi Dong's Slow Singing (Gē shēng yuán hé màn bàn pāi) sees a man return to his hometown after being released from jail. French director Suzanne Lindon completes the line-up, also starring in Spring Blossom (16 printemps) about a young girl torn between her love for an older man and her adolescence.

Eight of the films are world premieres, with Gull enjoying its international premiere and Limbo and Spring Blossom both making their European premieres.

Read more about the titles here.

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