“The Disaster Artist” is the Winner of San Sebastian
Festival in Media
2017-10-03

"San Sebastian film festival is an A category festival which is not like any other" - that's how the journalist of "The Telegraph" once described the film festival. "Situated between Bilbao and the French boarder, invites all the cinephiles every year there where you don't have to run off your feet or constantly fret that may be missing something important. If there are friendlier folk than the Basque, I have yet to meet them." - wrote the journalist, delighted by the festival.

The 65th San Sebastian International Film Festival was opened on September 22nd with Wim Wender's competition film "Submergence". Up to 200 screenings were held during the festival, including almost 40 premieres. The sections showed: debut, Latin-American and Eastern films, the best films screened at different festivals. American actor John Malkovich was invited as a head of main competition program jury.

James Franco's film "The Disaster Artist" is based on a true story. It describes the making of "The Room". This film (directed by Tommy Wiseau) is considered as one of the worst films in cinema history. It is even named as a "Citizen Kane of bad movies". Paradoxically, with the film about "the worst movie" James Franco became the 65th International San Sebastian Film Festival winner and the owner of Golden Shell.

Silver Shell was awarded to Argentinian director Anahí Berneri for the film "Alanis". Alanis is a prostitute. She has a baby and shares the flat with her friend Gisela, where she also serves her clients. By the way, Berneri is the first woman director to get a prize for best director. Her debut feature "A Year without Love" got a Teddy Award (a special award for films with LGBT topics) at Berlinale, in 2005. The leading actress of the film - Sophia Gala is also awarded with Silver Shell for the best actress.

Special Jury Prize winner is Spanish film "Handia" (Giant) by Aitor Arregi and Jon Garaño.

This year, the international federation of film critics, FIPRESCI awards was held at the festival traditionally. Every year, FIPRESCI names the best film of the year at the San Sebastian festival. The best film of the year announced was Aki Kaurismäki's "The Other Side of Hope".

"It always fears me - to create the whole world. Imagine, how am I supposed to create the world which the viewer can trust? It is not as simple as it might seem to you" - noted Kaurismäki when he was about to start working on the film. Finnish director was nominated at Cannes festival 4 times but left without the Palme d'Or each time. Many expected that he would get the Golden Bear but it was in vain. "Thus, this is the film which, in general, raises the level of the festival" - claimed the famous film critic in berlin, the ex-president of FIPRESCI, Andrei Plakhov, after the no-doubt favorite of the festival got the Silver Bear.

The main competition program presented 24 films. Including, Jean-Michel Cousteau's 3D "Wonders of the Sea". The film, shot around Fiji and The Bahamas, tells the story of the wonderful sea world, taking 71% of our planet. As the creators state, their main aim was to remind the viewers what treasure the ocean keeps and how it needs to be protected. "It is the film, in which you'll see everything I have never witnessed during my 71 years of diving." - said Jean Michel Cousteau, the son of famous explorer and director Jacques-Yves Cousteau, at the premiere.

Interesting was the drama by Nobuhiro Suwa "Le lion est mort ce soir" (The lion Sleeps Tonight), starring famous Jean-Pierre Léaud. The character of Léaud, past famous actor learns that his current shoot is postponed for an indefinite period of time. Stressed, he decides to pay a visit to an old friend and go to the old abandoned house where once his great love, Juliette lived.

Since 1986, the organizers of San Sebastian film festival grant a special prize to actors and directors for the outstanding contribution to cinema. For years, Donastia Award winners were: Jeanne Moreau, Michael Douglas, Vittorio Gassman, Susan Sarandon, Liv Ullmann etc. This year Donastia was awarded to actress Monica Bellucci and directors Ricardo Darín and Agnès Varda. It's been several years already that the director of "Cleo from 5 to 7" - Agnès Varda has been keen on photography, sculpture and installations. Her works are exposed at Venice Art Biennale, in Los Angeles Museum of Arts, and in the exhibition spaces of Paris and Beijing. In November, American Academy and Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will grant her Honorary Award.

It is to note that Georgian directors have got the Golden Shell of San Sebastian. These are Giorgi Danelia for the film "Autumn Marathon" (1979) and in 2003, the prize was awarded to Dito Tsintsadze for the film "Gun-shy". In 2015, main competition program included "Moira" by Levan Tutberidze, awarded with a special SIGNIS prize.

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