San Sebastian fest topper ankles post

Olaciregui steps down as festival director

Mikel Olaciregui will step down as director of Spain’s San Sebastian Film Festival, the biggest film event in the Spanish-speaking world.

He will be replaced by Jose Luis Rebordinos, the San Sebastian Festival announced Friday night after an extraordinary board meeting.

Appointed fest deputy director Friday, Rebordinos will take up the position of San Sebastian director from the beginning of 2011.

Olaciregui will oversee the San Sebastian Festival’s 58th edition, which runs Sept. 17-25. He is stepping down for personal reasons, according to a festival press statement.

Under him, San Sebastian has consolidated its links with Latin America, added industry heft, led by a Films in Progress showcase from 2002, and attempted to put together a competition which balances out-and-out world preems with outstanding new pics which may have played before at Toronto.

A longtime festival exec — manager from 1993, deputy director from 1999 and director from 2001 — Olaciregui, has had to contend with the ever-growing importance of Toronto.

Rebordinos’ appointment can be seen as a generational change of guard.

Though he already formed part of the San Sebastian festival management in the 1990s, Rebordinos, a prolific film writer, has impeccable genre credentials as the longtime director of the San Sebastian Fantasy and Horror Film Week, a small but much appreciated and highly informal fanboy meet.

Emilio Mayorga and Emiliano de Pablos contributed to this report.

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