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Blogging from San Sebastian September 16-24, 2022

Coverage Recap of 61st edition. Photo gallery 2013 Recap of 63rd edition, video I Recap of 64th edition, video I Recap of 65th edition, video / Recap of 66th edition /Recap of 68th edition, video



San Sebastian 2007 - Facts and Figures

Close to 200,000 film-goers took part in the various screenings and activities at the 55th edition of the San Sebasti?n International Film Festival, which came to a close on September 29th. Ticket sales were up 8% this year, with a total of 100,576 tickets sold compared with 93,253 in 2006. Added to this figure are the 60,300 entrances by Festival accredited participants and the 18,000 children who enjoyed the morning screenings at the Velodrome, in addition to the people who took part in different activities such as Films in Progress, Cinema in Motion, Sales Office, the exhibition on Paco Rabal, the film workshop held at the Tobacco Factory and the concert offered by Gary Clark Jr at the Altxerri.

Particularly noteworthy this year was the high level of occupancy, 76%, in a total of 20 screening rooms in eight theatres, plus five cinemas in different towns in Gipuzkoa for children?s movies. This year?s festival featured 224 films from 34 countries and a total of 665 screenings.

Professional activities

There was also a notable increase the purchasing of films in the different sections of the Festival destined for a range of geographical areas. The transactions will be carried out in the upcoming months. 75% of the films in the Official Section already have distributors in Spain.

1230 industry professionals used the services and facilities of the Sales Office, including 1391 viewings of 168 films at the video library. 82 professionals and 68 companies from 17 countries took part in Cinema in Motion 3.

There was also increased participation in Films in Progress. 129 films were received from 17 countries, from which six titles were selected: Acn?, La extranjera, A festa da menina morta, Gasolina, Una semana solos and Sol na neblina. 198 participants from 127 companies and 21 countries took part in the Films in Progress workshops.

Youth Jury and Film Schools

The Youth Jury was made up of 230 students between the ages of 17 and 21, who voted on 26 films from Zabaltegi and the Official Section.

Worth noting was the healthy participation in the Audience Award and the high scores awarded. Eight of the 13 Zabaltegi-Pearls voted on were given scores of at least 7 points out of a maximum of ten.

The VI International Film School Meeting, which also saw its numbers increased, was chaired this year by Alfonso Cuar?n, who held a film workshop at the Tobacco Factory with director of photography Affonso Beato.

Stars and award winners

The 55th edition came to a close on the 29th with a party held at the Palacio de Miramar attended by a large group of invited guests, the press and accredited film industry professionals. Highlighted among the guests were the award-winners, who only a few hours earlier had been showered with applause by audiences at the Kursaal Auditorium and the Velodrome, in particular Wayne Wang, this year?s Golden Shell, Hana Makhmalbaf, winner of the special jury award, and Gracia Querejeta, taker of the jury prize for best screenplay. Accompanying them were members of the jury headed by Paul Auster, the architect of a decision that pleased both audiences and film critics alike.

David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen were the first in a long list of prominent guests taking part this year in the San Sebasti?n Film Festival: Richard Gere, Liv Ullmann, Paul Auster, Eduardo Noriega, Bahman Gobadhi, Samuel L. Jackson, Wayne Wang, John Sayles, Alyssa Milano, Carlos Saura, Sergi Lopez, Lou Reed, Julian Schnabel, Mathieu Amalric, Gracia Querejeta, Maribel Verd?, Blanca Portillo, El?as Querejeta, Richard Lester, Barbara Hershey, Aitana S?nchez-Gij?n, Iciar Bollain, Najwa Nimri, Javier C?mara, Ir?ne Jacob, Roberto Benigni, Diego Luna, Ingrid Rubio, Alfonso Cuar?n, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Demi Moore, among others.



Press and accredited guests

3,000 Festival accreditations were granted this year, some 1900 to film industry professionals and guests and 1123 to members of the press from 42 countries Both the event and the city itself were a continuous focus of attention for 562 media outfits from around the world, including 50 television stations.

Official website -

The Festival was closely followed by record-breaking numbers this year online through the official website. In September the website registered over 4 million visitors. Moreover, an average of 1000 Internet users logged on every day during the Festival to watch live broadcasts (press conferences, gala events). The traffic generated by recorded video broadcasts of these programs, as well as the daily recaps, photocalls, Zabaltegi Meetings and others, with 7.78 TB of broadcast capacity, was up two-fold from last year, exceeding all expectations. 94,439 complete videos were also downloaded.

Kursaal and Victoria Eugenia, two headquarters

For the first time the Kursaal shared headquarter status with the Victoria Eugenia Theatre. In fact, the reincorporation of the celebrated San Sebastian landmark was an important novelty this year. The Hotel Maria Cristina, Okendo Square, the Victoria Eugenia Theatre and the Kursaal Auditorium marked the pinnacles of an unrivaled space enjoyed by Festival-goers and residents alike.

The renovated Victoria Eugenia Theatre was the venue for a number of the year?s best films presented as part of the Zabaltegi Pearls section, as well as films from other sections. For accredited guests the theatre?s Club room served as the setting for the renewed Zabaltegi Meetings held in with an attractive formula in which participants had a chance to get to know the film crews and their work. 29 crews from Zabaltegi took part and a publication was presented for each of the three retrospectives: Cold Fever, Philippe Garrel and Henry King.

Donostia Prize winners and other special guests

Some of this year?s most exciting moments also took place on the stage of the Victoria Eugenia. An evening was dedicated to Carlos Saura, who was awarded the honorary Golden Shell, only the second person to receive the award in the history of the Festival. The audience was treated to a screening of Saura?s film, Fados, and a concert featuring some of the finest performers of fado. Richard Gere presented his latest film after walking down the red carpet leading from the Maria Cristina Hotel to the Victoria Eugenia amidst throngs of cheering crowds. He received much the same attention and admiration the evening before upon his arrival at the hotel and moments later at the Kursaal, where he was given the Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award before an enthusiastic sold-out audience who welcomed him with a standing ovation. The presence of Lou Reed and Julian Schnabel in the screening of Berlin and the presentation of Help! by director Richard Lester were also among the more exciting moments at the Victoria Eugenia Theatre.

A few days later Liv Ullman took centre stage at the Kursaal at another one of the Festival?s most brilliant moments, when she was awarded the second Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award. Liv Ullman responded to the admiration of the audience with kindness and generosity and stayed in San Sebastian at the Festival until the last day.

Donostia-San Sebastián, 5 October 2007


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About SanSebastian

Barreda de Biurrun Inés

Blogging from the 70th San Sebastian Film Festival
Reporting by Inés Barreda de Biurrun, Bruno Chatelin and Juncal de la Fuente.

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