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Additions to Official Selection at San Sebastian Festival

Acclaimed directors Daniel Burman, Christophe Honoré, Kim Ki-duk and Jaime Rosales feature among the Official Selection competitors at the coming San Sebastian Film Festival. They will be accompanied by one of the creators of Dogme 95 movement, Kristian Levring, the North American Courtney Hunt and the Palestinian Rashid Masharawi. These are the first confirmed names of contenders for the Golden Shell and other awards bestowed at the 56th San Sebastian Film Festival, to take place from 18-27 September.
The Argentine director Daniel Burman will present his sixth feature, El nido vacío, a huge box-office success in his country, with over 300,000 spectators. This winner of the Silver Bear at Berlin Festival with El abrazo partido (Lost Embrace, 2004), not to mention a whole list of other prizes for his films Esperando al Mesías (Waiting for the Messiah, 2000), Todas las azafatas van al cielo (Every Stewardess Goes to Heaven, 2002) and Derecho de familia (Family Law, 2006), gives a twist to his trajectory, departing from the perspective of his own generation to approach the fears of a man on catching a glance of things to come in his life.

Christophe Honoré, one of new French cinema’s most highly thought of directors, will compete at San Sebastian with La belle personne. Following the presentation at Cannes of his two latest features, Dans Paris (2006) in the Director’s Fortnight and Les Chansons d’amour (2007) in the Official Selection, Christophe Honoré transfers the essences of the classic novel La Princesse de Clèves to today’s Paris. This director, who launched his career with the features 17 fois Cécile Cassard (2002) and Ma Mère (2004), works once again with the actor starring in most of his films, Louis Garrel.
The Korean director Kim Ki-duk, one of the great masters of contemporary Asian cinema, will also bring his new movie to San Sebastian. Bi Mong (Dream) looks at the paradox of couples while portraying the hidden desires of people who love and hate each other in the world of dreams. Kim Ki-duk, who will compete for the first time in the Official Selection, bagged the international critics’ Fipresci film of the year award at San Sebastian in 2005 for 3-Iron, while Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring won the Audience Award in the 2003 Pearls section. Other of his prize-winning films the world over are The Isle (2000), Samaritan Girl (2004), The Bow (2005) and Tim e (2006).
Goya award-winner for best director and best film with La soledad (2007), Jaime Rosales will compete at San Sebastian with his new film, Tiro en la cabeza. This director from Barcelona who debuted in feature films with Las horas del día (2003), garnering the Fipresci award at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes, continues to explore the new forms of film language already causing surprise in La soledad (2007), a movie that went on to earn him international acclaim following its participation in the Un Certain Regard competition at Cannes Festival.

Having uncovered the might of contemporary Nordic cinema last year with its Cold Fever retrospective, San Sebastian’s Official Selection will include a work by the Danish director Kristian Levring. One of the creators of the Dogme 95, a movement to which he contributed with the film, The King Is Alive (2000), a competitor at Cannes, Levring will present Den Du Frygter (Fear Me Not), his fourth movie as a director, co-written with the Oscar-winning Anders Thomas Jensen. The film stars Ulrich Thomsen, winner of the Golden Shell for best actor at San Sebastian Festival for Brødre (Brothers, 2004).
The Palestinian director Rashid Masharawi, author of films like Curfew (1994) and Ticket to Jerusalem (2002), winner of the Silver Pyramid at the Cairo Festival, and of documentaries including En direct de Palestine (2003) and Arafat, mon frère (2005), will compete at San Sebastian with Eid milad Laila (Laila’s Birthday), describing a normal day in Ramala through a judge forced to work as a taxi driver.

The Official Selection will also present the debut of North American director Courtney Hunt, who will compete with Frozen River. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance 2008 and was qualified by Quentin Tarantino, member of the jury, as “a marvellous description of poverty in America.”

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Chatelin Bruno
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