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Sixteen films will compete in the Official Selection of the San Sebastian

Sixteen films will compete in the Official Selection of the San Sebastian International Film Festival from 21st-30th September.

John Boorman, Bahman Ghobadi, Carlos Sorin, Tom DiCillo, Agnieszka Holland, Marion Hänsel, Nick Broomfield and Hirozaku Kore-eda are some of the accomplished directors whose new movies will compete for the Golden Shell and other official awards at San Sebastian.

The Official Selection will be rounded off with two out-of-competition screenings: the latest creation by Lars von Trier, who has taken a break from his American trilogy to surprise us with a Dogma comedy, Direktøren for det hele / The Boss Of It All; and the homage to Joaquín Jordá, with his posthumous Más allá del espejo.

Three of the competing films in the Official Selection will also contend for the Altadis-New Directors Award and the Montblanc Award for New Screenwriters: Lo que sé de Lola / Ce que je sais de Lola, Mon fils a moi and Vete de mí.

OFFICIAL SELECTION


EL CAMINO DE SAN DIEGO
Argentina
Director: Carlos Sorin
Cast: Ignacio Benítez, Carlos Wagner La Bella, Paola Rotela

A young man from the Misiones province is Maradona-crazy. When television announces news of Diego’s critical condition due to a decrepit, drug-beaten body, his admission to a clinic and likely move to Cuba, the boy decides to head for Buenos Aires to give his idol a statue carved in wood. The footballer and his roller-coastering health are nothing but an excuse for Carlos Sorin, director of Historias mínimas (Minimal Stories) and Bombón, el perro, to bring us a peculiar road movie demonstrating his unbeatable talent for portraying characters and minimal stories.

COPYING BEETHOVEN
USA – UK – Hungary
Director: Agnieszka Holland
Cast: Ed Harris, Diane Kruger

Only days after the premier of his Ninth Symphony, Beethoven needs help to put his scores to paper, and the conservatoire sends young music student Anna Holtz to help him. Having mastered the composer’s irascibility, the two forge a passionate artistic and emotional bond. Ed Harris and Diane Kruger bring life to the couple in this intimate tale from the director of Total Eclipse and The Third Miracle.


DELIRIOUS
USA
Director: Tom DiCillo
Cast: Michael Pitt, Steve Buscemi

A luckless photographer striving to snapshot the stars hires a young down-and-out wannabe actor to help him. But their initial camaraderie soon turns to jealousy and vengeance when the boy falls for a popstar. A dramatic irony-packed comedy on chance, friendship and the hollowness of fame from one of the most distinguished American independent movie directors, Tom DiCillo (Living in Oblivion, Box of Moon Light).

FOREVER
Holland
Director: Heddy Honigmann

Père Lachaise in Paris is the eternal resting place for many, including Jim Morrison, Proust, Apollinaire, Modigliani, Yves Montand and Simone Signoret, María Callas, Méliès, Ingres... alongside several other anonymous people. Most are visited by their loved-ones or admirers, and sometimes an observant onlooker rescues them from oblivion... A creative documentary discreetly and endearingly approaching a wide variety of subjects, filmed by one of the foremost European experts on the genre.


GHOSTS
UK
Director: Nick Broomfield
Cast: Ai Qin, Zhan Yu, Zhe Wei, Man Qin Wei

On 5th February 2004, 23 illegal Chinese immigrants died on the north coast of England while cockle picking. One of the few survivors of the tragedy, Ai Qin personally stars in the tale of his journey from China to England and the harsh working conditions he is obliged to face in the effort to secure a better life for his son. A movie based on real events shot on the border between fiction and documentary by one of genre’s leading renovators, Nick Broomfield, director of the controversial Kurt & Courtney.
HANA
Japan
Director: Hirozaku Kore-eda
Cast: Junichi Okada, Rie Miyazawa

Kore-eda, who formerly presented Afterlife (winner of the Fipresci Award) at San Sebastian in 1998, is back with a big studio (Shochiku in this case) movie in which he seems to abandon his intimate, almost documentary cinema to bring us a classic jidaigeki: the tale of a samurai run to seed who abandons the countryside for the city with the aim of avenging his father’s death. Hana is a reflection on violence, love and life, told with real humour and featuring an excellent cast of actors and actresses drawing a fine line between reality and portrayal.


KARAULA / BORDER POST
Bosnia and Herzegovina-France
Director: Rajko Grlić
Cast: Toni Gojanović, Sergej Trifunović, Emir Hadžihafizbegović, Verica Nedeska

1987. It’s the seventh year anniversary of Tito’s death and official celebrations paralyse the country. A military detachment on the Albanian border is on standby due to strong rumours of movements by Albanese troops preparing to invade Yugoslavia. If the truth be told, the soldier in charge of the post has cancelled all permits for far more prosaic reasons. An X-ray of a multiethnic group, obvious parabole of the falling apart of Yugoslavia, directed at a jaunty speed that doesn’t give the spectator a minute’s rest.


LO QUE SÉ DE LOLA/CE QUE JE SAIS DE LOLA
Spain-France
Director: Javier Rebollo
Cast: Michaël Abiteboul, Lola Dueñas, Carmen Machi.

León is a solitary man with no job or friends. He cares for his elderly mother until she dies. To relieve his loneliness, he likes to rifle through his neighbours’ mail, listen in on conversations and watch the coming and going of passengers at different stations. One day a noisy Spanish girl called Lola moves into the area, drawing his full attention. This Spanish-French co-production marks the feature film directorial debut of the Madrileño Javier Rebollo, also director of the shorts En medio de ninguna parte (1997), El equipaje abierto (1999), Diminutos del calvario (2001), segment of the film El preciso orden de las cosas, and En camas separadas (2003). All of these films star the actress Lola Dueñas, who similarly heads the line-up of Lo que sé de Lola. This movie will compete for the Altadis-New Directors Award and for the Montblanc Award for New Screenwriters.


MON FILS A MOI
France
Director: Martial Fougeron
Cast: Nathalie Baye, Victor Sevaux, Olivier Gourmet

A middle-class family in a small provincial town. The father is a university lecturer and the mother an OTT housewife, while the elder daughter is about to start university and the younger brother goes to school and takes piano lessons. The apparent family normality splits at the seams with the discovery that the mother has an ambigious love-hate relationship with her son that drives the boy crazy. This isn’t a case of child abuse, but a detailed study of the conflictive psychology of a mother and the defensive, desperate reaction of her son. This movie will compete for the Altadis-New Directors Award and for the Montblanc Award for New Screenwriters.

NIVEH MONG / HALF MOON
Iran-Irak-Austria-France
Director: Bahman Ghobadi
Cast: Allah Morad Rashtiyam, Faegh Mohammadi, Mahammad Saeid Mahammadi

The old Mamo, a famous, greatly admired Kurdish musician, decides to travel to Iraki Kurdistan with ten of his sons to play in a concert. Both voyage and concert are possible thanks to the fall of Saddam Hussein’s government. Having waited for seven months for the permit to travel, Mamo tries to have a female singer called Hesho accompany them, despite the fact that it is forbidden for women to sing. Mamo is decided to go ahead with his plan, even if it means doing so illegally. Bahman Ghobadi (winner of the Golden Shell in 2004 with Turtles Can Fly) surprises us once again with this emotional tale of a people asserting its right to exist.

ORAE DOIN JUNG WON / THE OLD GARDEN
South Korea
Director: Im Sang-Soo
Cast: Ji Jin-Hee, Yeom Jeong-A

The 80s in a South Corea under repressive dictatorship that reads spy infiltrated by the communists from the North into every rebellious student or socialist militant. The hero of the story leaves his girlfriend to sign up for active militancy, only to be arrested almost immediately, judged at a farcical trial and condemned to life imprisonment. Although the political moment plays an extremely important part in the tale, it takes second place to the overlying viewpoint of the woman abandoned by her boyfriend. Fifth film from the highly appreciated Korean director Im Sang-soo, maker of A Good Lawyer’s Wife and The President’s Last Bang.


SI LE VENT SOULÈVE LES SABLES
Belgium – France
Director: Marion Hänsel
Cast: Issaka Sawadogo, Carole Karemera, Asma Nouman Aden

An unspecified African country. A married couple receives a third child who turns out to be a girl. While the father would like to eliminate her so as not to have to feed a third, useless mouth, the mother stops him. The lack of water obliges the family to seek new horizons, but the way is plagued with all kinds of dangers and threats. A road movie on camel-back based on Marc Durin-Valois’ Chamelle, a best-seller in the Francophone world.


SLEEPING DOGS LIE
EE.UU.
Director: Bobcat Goldthwait
Cast: Melinda Page Hamilton, Bryce Johnson, Geoff Pierson, Colby French

Amy is a seemingly normal young girl, adored by her parents and golden-boy fiancé. Her future looks bright until her fiancé suggests that they tell each other their darkest secrets... things they have never told anyone. When Amy finally relents and reveals her secret, everything falls apart.

THE TIGER’S TALE
UK-Ireland
Director: John Boorman
Cast: Brendan Gleeson, Kim Cattrall

A winner, businessman of the year, is completely thrown on discovering that he’s being tailed by a man exactly the same as him who plans to take his place. While trying to prevent his replica from entering his family circle, he discovers the identity of his mysterious double. With dashes of thriller, melodrama and comedy, the director of Deliverance and Excalibur brings us an original, vibrating tale with all of the knowhow of one of the great British masters.


VETE DE MÍ
Spain
Director: Víctor García León
Cast: Juan Diego, Juan Diego Botto, Cristina Plazas, Rosa María Sardá.

Santiago is an actor in a hit vaudeville revue. Long-separated, he lives with Ana, a supporting actress with the same company. One night his son Guillermo bursts into the flat, thrown out by his mother after another of their endless fights. Thirty-year-old Guille has started to study several times and dropped out each time, never having done a day’s work in his life, but he’s a seducer and plans to continue getting by as he can. However, his father fails to see the funny side of the situation... A comedy with hints of black humour and drama, second movie as a director by Víctor García León, who debuted in 2001 with Más pena que Gloria. This movie will compete for the Altadis-New Directors Award and for the Montblanc Award for New Screenwriters.


LAS VIDAS DE CELIA
Spain-Mexico
Director: Antonio Chavarrías
Cast: Najwa Nimri, Luis Tosar, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Alex Casanovas, Aida Folch

Early one morning, the corpse of a young girl is found in a working-class area of a Catalonian city. The night before there had been a street dance attended by the director of a social centre in the process of separating from his partner and a woman who learns that her husband has been sleeping with her younger sister. The policeman in charge of the investigation endeavours to recover his lover as he takes a closer look at the suspects’ tormented lives. Movies directed by Antonio Chavarrías include Susanna (1996), Un caso para dos (1997) and Volverás (2002).



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