Film fest picks three for Official Selection
MADRID — Betting on up-and-coming auteurs, the San Sebastian Film Festival has unveiled three Spanish films for its main Official Section competition: Antonio Chavarrias’ “Las vidas de Celia,” Victor Garcia Leon’s “Vete de mi” and Javier Rebollo’s “Lo que se de Lola.”Brain illness docu “Mas alla del espejo” will play out-of-competition as a tribute to its director, Joaquin Jorda, who died in June. All four will world preem at the Basque fest: None will have bowed a few days earlier at Toronto, as has happened with some past Spanish competish players. Running Sept. 21-30, the 54th San Sebastian fest will showcase four Spanish world preems in the Altadis-New Directors half of its main Zabaltegi sidebar, led by the English-lingo “Deliverance”-style thriller “The Backwoods,” toplining Gary Oldman, Virginie Ledoyen, Paddy Considine and Aitana Sanchez-Gijon. Of the competition helmers, only director-producer Chavarrias has an international profile. “Celia” promises a caustically noirish take on the underbelly of Catalan society, kicking off with a young girl’s murder after a open-air dance. A competition berth for “Vete de mi,” a darkly humorous family comedy, marks recognition for Garcia Leon, who debuted promisingly in 2001 with “Mas pena que Gloria,” co-directed with Jonas Trueba. Rebollo’s Paris-set romancer charts a voyeur’s years-long unfulfilled desire for an extrovert female neighbor. The Spanish pics in Zabaltegi’s New Directors section highlight three debs from local Basque helmers: the Koldo Serra-directed “Backwoods”; “La Distancia,” a young boxer drama, from Inaki Dorronsoro; and the Basque-lingo, mountain farmhouse-set “Kutsidazu Bidea, Ixabel,” by Fernando Bernues and Mireia Gabilondo. Rounding up the Spanish presence in the New Directors’ section is the social issue three-parter “53 dias de invierno,” the sophomore outing of Judith Colell (“Nosotras”).