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SAN SEBASTIÁN 2020 New Directors

San Sebastián’s New Directors section will screen seven debut films

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- With eleven titles in total, the festival's section dedicated to discovering filmmakers will showcase emerging talents from Spain, France, Poland, Russia and the UK, among other countries

San Sebastián’s New Directors section will screen seven debut films
Spring Blossom by Suzanne Lindon

The San Sebastián International Film Festival is already gearing up for its 68th edition, which will take place 18 – 26 September in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Having already announced their opening film, one of their Donostia awards (read more) and the festival’s Spanish representation (read more), on 4 August, the contents of one of their most exciting sections has been revealed: New Directors, which spotlights filmmakers who have just directed their first or second feature-length film. Eleven films make up this section, with productions from Brazil, China, South Korea, Spain, France, Ireland, Japan, Holland, Poland, the UK and Russia all competing for the Kutxabank New Directors Prize.

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Among the European entries, Scottish director Ben Sharrock’s second film is a stand-out. Having made such an impression in this same competition five years ago with Pikadero [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ben Sharrock
film profile
]
, his latest project, Limbo, about a Syrian immigrant musician, is full of absurd humour and mysticism. From neighbouring France comes a debut by Suzanne Lindon, Spring Blossom [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Suzanne Lindon
film profile
]
, a film that discusses the contradictions one girl faces when she falls in love with a man much older than her.

French-Brazilian co-production, Memory House [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, debut from João Paulo Miranda, examines social tensions in Brazil, and was the winner of the European Distributors and Exhibitors Award at Films in Progress 37 Toulouse. Polish-Irish coproduction I Never Cry [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Piotr Domalewski
film profile
]
, is Piotr Domalewski’s second film, after the acclaimed Silent Night [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Dawid Ogrodnik
interview: Piotr Domalewski
film profile
]
in 2017. Russia comes to San Sebastián with Grigory Kolomytsev’s first feature, Chupacabra, developed in Ikusmira Berriak’s residency programme, about the power of imagination in childhood.

As we already announced last week (read article), three Spanish films make up this section: Ane [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: David Pérez Sañudo
film profile
]
, Basque director David Pérez Sañudo’s debut, which examines the delicate topic of estrangement and lack of communication between parent and child; Death Knell [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Imanol Rayo
film profile
]
, by Imanol Rayo, from the Navarre region, who has adapted Miren Gorrotxategi’s novel 33 ezkil for his second feature film; and Last days of spring (La última primavera), debut by Isabel Lamberti, a Spanish-Dutch coproduction that exposes social tensions in one of Madrid’s most conflict-affected neighbourhood, La Cañada Real. 

Three titles from Asia have made the list for the New Directors section at San Sebastián 2020: heralding from the ever-surprising and exciting South Korean cinema is Gull, the first feature film from Kim Mi-Jo, a director who narrates the consequences of an older woman’s rape; Slow Singing, from China, also the director’s first foray into feature films, this time by Xingyi Dong, whose film depicts a man who, upon returning to his hometown after leaving prison, feels something has broken between him and the rest of the population during this period of estrangement; and finally Along the Sea, Akio Fujimoto’s second film, a Japanese-Vietnamese coproduction about illegal immigration.

The list of selected films:

New Directors

Spring Blossom [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Suzanne Lindon
film profile
]
 – Suzanne Lindon (France)
Ane [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: David Pérez Sañudo
film profile
]
David Pérez Sañudo (Spain)
Memory House [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 – Joâo Paulo Miranda Maria (Brazil/France)
ChupacabraGrigory Kolomytsev (Russia)
Gull (Gal-Mae-Gi)Kim Mi-Jo (South Korea)
Slow singingXingyi Dong (China)
Death Knell [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Imanol Rayo
film profile
]
Imanol Rayo (Spain)
I Never Cry [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Piotr Domalewski
film profile
]
 – Piotr Domalewski (Poland/Ireland)
Last Days of Spring [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Isabel Lamberti
film profile
]
 – Isabel Lamberti (Holland/Spain)
Limbo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ben Sharrock
film profile
]
Ben Sharrock (UK)
Along the Sea (Umibe no kanojotachi)Akio Fujimoto (Japan/Vietnam)

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(Translated from Spanish by Jasmine Haniff)

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