Demme to head San Sebastian jury

Fest will screen Neil Young concert pic

MADRID — Academy Award-winning U.S. film-maker Jonathan Demme will chair the competition jury at September’s San Sebastian Festival.

Coinciding with Demme’s presence at the festival, San Sebastian will world preem a work-in-progress version of the helmer’s Neil Young concert film, “Neil Young Trunk Show: Scenes from a Concert.”

The Basque fest, the biggest in the Spanish-speaking world, will also screen Demme’s Venice competish player “Rachel Getting Married,” toplining Anne Hathaway, Debra Winger and Rosemarie DeWitt, which plays in a special presentation bearth.

Commenting on its choice of Demme as Official Jury prexy, the San Sebastian organization observed that Demme had skillfully “combined major international box-office hits with independent projects focusing on some of his many concerns.”

While “The Silence of the Lambs,” which won Demme a director Oscar, was a “landmark in modern thrillers,” the festival said, Demme also injected “new blood into intelligent comedy” with “Something Wild” and “Married to the Mob” and brought “a sense of ‘auteurship’” to remakes such as “The Truth About Charlie” or “The Manchurian Candidate.”

Demme is currently working on an authorized Bob Marley docu, sold by Fortissimo Films. He succeeds 2007 competition jury chair, novelist-director Paul Auster, who pulled off the nigh impossible for a San Sebastian jury of having its awards announcements near unanimously applauded by the Spanish press.

The 56th San Sebastian fest runs Sept. 18-28.

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