Seventeen feature films, one medium-length film and three shorts will make up the Basque production distributed between the Official Selection, New Directors, Zabaltegi – Tabakalera, Perlak, Culinary Zinema, Zinemira sections and the Basque Cinema and EiTB galas
The producer José María ‘Txepe’ Lara will receive the Zinemira Award
Twenty-one films (seventeen feature films, one medium-length film and three shorts) make up the Basque production selected for the 67th edition of the San Sebastian Festival, distributed between the Official Selection, New Directors, Zabaltegi – Tabakalera, Perlak, Culinary Zinema, Zinemira sections and the Basque film and EiTB galas. Nine of these, feature films having their world premiere at the Festival, will compete for the Irizar Basque Film Award.
Zinemira, the section specifically dedicated to Basque cinema, contains ten productions including fiction and non-fiction, debut films and films by directors with an extensive career.
The latest film from Helena Taberna (Alsasua, Navarre), Varados (Stranded), will open the section. Several of Taberna’s films have been programmed in previous years at the Festival, such as Yoyes (Made in Spain, 2000), La buena nueva (The Good News,Made in Spain, 2009) and Acantilado (The Cliff,Zinemira, 2016). Varados portrays the everyday lives of long-term refugees in Greece.
Glittering Misfits is the first feature film by Iban del Campo (Arrasate, Gipuzkoa, 1971), whose short films Dirty Martini and Espedizio Handia were previously selected for Kimuak and screened at the Festival. In Glittering Misfits he explores the subject of burlesque outlined in Dirty Martini, in an expedition to the night clubs and cabarets of New York’s Off-Off-Broadway.
Hiru uhinak – Les trois vagues / The Three Waves too marks his feature debut for its director, Loïc Legrand, in which three filmmakers tackle the challenge of telling an old legend in images.
Taberna, Del Campo and Legrand will compete for the Irizar Basque Film Award. Furthermore, Zinemira will act as a showcase for seven of the year’s most outstanding Basque productions.
El doble más quince (Double plus Fifteen), the new film from Mikel Rueda (Bilbao, 1980) will participate in the section out of competition. It was one of the projects selected for the Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum in 2017 and had its premiere at the last Malaga Festival. Rueda, who competed with his first feature film (Izarren argia / Estrellas que alcanzar / Stars to Wish Upon, 2010) in New Directors, narrates in El doble más quince the relationship between a 45-year-old woman and a 16-year-old boy, played by Maribel Verdú and Germán Alcarazu.
Also programmed is Muga deitzen da pausoa / Stepping into the Boundary by Maider Oleaga (Bilbao, 1976), a project developed at the first edition of the Ikusmira Berriak residencies programme and premiered at the Gijon Festival.
Based on the novel of the same name by Bernardo Atxaga, Soinujolearen semea (The Accordionist’s Son) was selected for the Huelva and Nantes festivals. Its director, Fernando Bernués (San Sebastian, 1961), competed in New Directors with Kutsidazu bidea, Ixabel (Show Me the Way, Ixabel, 2006), co-directed with Mireia Gabilondo, and presented Mugaldekoak(2010) in Zinemira.
Zinemira will also screen the last film made by Juanmi Gutiérrez (Errenteria, 1945), who passed away in February this year, Paseko Txoriak / Birds of Passage. Gutiérrez, to whom the Festival will pay tribute at its 67th edition, presented ten of his films in Zinemira.
70 Binlandens is the third film from Koldo Serra (Bilbao, 1975), producer of The Backwoods and Gernika. The Movie. Emma Suárez, Nathalie Poza and Hugo Silva star in this thriller which had its premiere at the Sitges Festival.
La pequeña Suiza (The Little Switzerland) is the second feature film from Kepa Sojo (Llodio, Álava, 1968), after El síndrome de Svensson (2006). La pequeña Suiza narrates the adventures of a Castilian town in the heart of the Basque Country.
Lastly, also to be presented in Zinemira is the animated film Elcano y Magallanes: la primera vuelta al mundo (Elcano & Magallan: The First Voyage Around the World), the second film directed by Ángel Alonso (Pasaia, Gipuzkoa, 1967) following El ladrón de sueños (The Thief of Dreams,2000), Goya nominee for best animated film.
‘Agur Etxebeste!’ at the Basque Film Gala
Fourteen years ago, Asier Altuna (Bergara, Gipuzkoa, 1969) and Telmo Esnal (Zarautz, Gipuzkoa, 1967) presented Aupa Etxebeste! (2005) in the New Directors section, landing the Youth Award. Since then, they have presented their films in different Festival sections, including the Official Selection. This year will see the screening at the Basque Film Gala of Agur Etxebeste!, the latest instalment in the adventures of Patrizio Etxebeste and his wife María Luisa, which will also compete for the Irizar Basque Film Award.
Miguel Ángel Jiménez (Madrid, 1979), who competed in New Directors with Chaika (2012), will premiere at the EiTB Gala Una ventana al mar / Window to the Sea, also a contender for the accolade going to the best Basque production at the Festival. Emma Suárez will play a woman diagnosed with cancer who sets off on a journey to Greece with her friends.
Also in the running for the Irizar Basque Film Award are La trinchera infinita (The Infinite Trench), directed by Aitor Arregi (Oñati, Gipuzkoa, 1977), Jon Garaño (San Sebastian, 1974) and Josemari Goenaga (Ordizia, Gipuzkoa, 1976), selected for the Official Selection; and Las letras de Jordi (Jordi’s Letters,Ikusmira Berriak 2017), the debut film from Maider Fernández Iriarte (San Sebastián, 1988) participating in the New Directors section. Other contestants are two features having their premiere in Culinary Zinema: the film by Iñaki Arteta (Bilbao, 1959) Bittor Arginzoniz. Vivir en el silencio / Bittor Arginzoniz. Living in Silence, about the personality of the chef at the Etxebarri steakhouse, and Gazta, by Mikel Urretabizkaia, bringing a series of testimonies about the universe of Idiazabal cheese.
Other Basque productions not competing for the Irizar Award will also screen at the Festival: Leyenda dorada (The Golden Legend) by Ion de Sosa (Urnieta, Gipuzkoa, 1981) and Chema García Ibarra (Elche, Alicante, 1980) and Lursaguak (Scenes of Life) by Izibene Oñederra (Azkoitia, Gipuzkoa, 1979), two short films in the Kimuak programme selected for Zabaltegi – Tabakalera; the medium-length Urpean lurra by Maddi Barber (Lakabe, Navarre, 1988), also in Zabaltegi – Tabakalera, in which she participated last year with 592 metroz goiti (Above 592 Metres); O que arde (Fire Will Come), the film by Oliver Laxe (Paris, 1982) premiered and recipient of an award in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Festival, to be programmed in Perlak; and the short film Zer jan hura izan by Igor Arabaolaza, belonging to the Culinary Zinema section.
Two projects at the Co-Production Forum and Ikusmira Berriak
Furthermore, two projects of Basque production will be present at the Festival: Karmele, by Asier Altuna, is part of the Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum selection, and, in the framework of the Ikusmira Berriak residencies programme, Aitziber Olaskoaga (Getxo, Bizkaia, 1980) develops Jo ta ke.