ROME — The 49th San Sebastian Intl. Film Festival has unveiled the first part of its lineup, with a rich roster of the year’s major award winners and critical hits from European festivals set to compete for the Spanish event’s 30,000 euro ($27,000) audience award.
Screening as part of the extensive open-zone section are Italian Nanni Moretti’s poignant family tale “The Son’s Room” and Austrian Michael Haneke’s psychosexual drama “The Piano Teacher,” which, respectively, took the Palme d’Or and Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Cannes Intl. Film Festival.
Other Cannes hits at San Sebastian include Yugoslav feature “No Man’s Land,” which won the screenplay award for debuting director Danis Tanovic; the Coen brothers’ B&W pic “The Man Who Wasn’t There”; Portuguese veteran Manoel de Oliveira’s tragicomic “Going Home,” starring Michel Piccoli; and Todd Solondz’s controversial “Storytelling.”
Also from Cannes comes French period military drama “The Officer’s Ward,” from Francois Dupeyron, who won San Sebastian’s top honor in 1999 for “What’s Life.”
Berlin fest laureates unspooling include Golden Bear winner “Intimacy,” a dark exploration of sexual obsession from Gallic helmer Patrice Chereau; Grand Jury Prize winner “Beijing Bicycle,” a Chinese neorealism homage by Wang Xiao-Shuai; and Argentine newcomer Lucrecia Martel’s disturbing family drama “The Swamp,” winner of the first feature nod.
Two titles segueing directly from their Venice fest competition bows to San Sebastian are Clare Peploe’s Tuscan-set Marivaux adaptation “The Triumph of Love,” starring Mira Sorvino, and French drama “Time Out,” based on the true story of a man who hides his unemployment from his family, bringing tragic results when he’s discovered. The latter’s director, Laurent Cantet, won San Sebastian’s New Directors Prize in 1999 for “Human Resources.”
Other high-profile films coming to the fest are French box office smash “Amelie From Montmartre,” by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and Ferzan Ozpetek’s love triangle drama “Ignorant Fairies,” one of the season’s major hits in its native Italy.
The full lineup of official competition titles and New Directors Prize contenders will be announced before the end of the month. While San Sebastian officials would not confirm the news, Spanish daily ABC revealed that Julie Andrews and veteran Spanish thesp Francisco Rabal will receive this year’s Donostia Awards for lifetime achievement.
The 49th San Sebastian fest will run Sept. 20-29.
(Emiliano de Pablos in Madrid contributed to this report.)