San Sebastian announces first competition titles

Davies, Hadzihalilovic and Simon among established names

by Amber Wilkinson

Terence Davies' Benediction
Terence Davies' Benediction Photo: Courtesy of San Sebastian Film Festival
British director Terence Davies' Siegfried Sassoon biopic Benediction is among the first titles announced in the Official Selection this year's San Sebastian Film Festival, which will run from September 17 to 25.

The film, which stars Jack Lowden, Simon Russell Beale and Peter Capaldi will be joined by UK co-production Earwig, directed by Lucile Hadzihalilovic, whose connection to the festival stretches back to 2004 when she won the New Directors Award for Innocence. Her latest tells the story of a man employed to look after Mia, a girl with teeth of ice.

Hadzihalilovic is one of six female directors included in the first set of titles, alongside established filmmakers Inés Barrionuevo, who brings coming-of-age tale Camila Comes Out At Night, Claire Simon, who brings drama I Want To Talk about Duras and Berlin Golden Bear winner Claudia Llosa, whose latest film Fever Dream is described as "a tale of invisible fear and the power of motherly love".

Also announced in the line-up is Laurent Cantet, who also snagged the festival's New Director's award back in 1999 with Human Resources. His latest, Arthur Rambo, stars Rabah Naït Oufella as a successful writer forced to deal with the hate messages he posted in the past on social media.

Three debuting filmmakers will also compete - Romanian actress and screenwriter Alina Grigore, who brings Blue Moon, a drama focused on a young woman who lives in the oppressive environment of a dysfunctional family; DoP Zhang Ji, who moves into directing with cold case thriller Fire On The Plain; and established Danish TV director Tea Lindeburg, who brings As In Heaven, a historic drama set on a farm.

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