MADRID – A bullish star quotient – Denzel Washington, Benicio del Toro, Antonio Banderas, John Malkovich, Pedro Almodovar, Viggo Mortensen, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jessica Chastain, Josh Hutcherson, Omar Sy, Ricardo Darin, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Leonardo Sbaraglia – is expected at Spain’s 62nd San Sebastian Festival.
The highest-profile event in the Spanish-speaking world, San Sebastian Festival is celebrated for its powerful Spanish-world art film line-up and new-talent focus. But it has never disdained glam: Stars – Hollywood, Spanish and French – receive a rapturous welcome from the city’s townsfolk, especially when they arrive at the festival’s mainstay Maria Cristina Hotel.
Star presence also plays off San Sebastian’s policy of attempting to snag European premieres of Toronto bows.
Washington and Del Toro will receive career-achievement Donostia Awards. Washington, accompanied by Antoine Fuqua, will also present the European premiere of Sony’s “The Equalizer,” which opens the Festival on Sept.19.
Del Toro also closes Fest’s Pearls section with Pathe’s “Escobar: Parsdise Lost,” Hutcherson, Claudia Traisac and Carlos Bardem will also be in attendance.
Sy, the co-star of “The Intouchables,” will be on hand to close San Sebastian with Charlotte Gainsbourg and Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano to introduce the Gaumont co-produced and sold “Samba,” Nakache and Toledano’s follow-up to “Intouchables,” which closes San Sebastian Sept. 27.
Jessica Chastain will present “The Disappearance of Eleonor Rigby,” Almodovar and Darin “Wild Tales,” Damian Szifron’s omnibus B.O. smash-hit for WB in Argentina, co-produced by Almodovar’s El Deseo, and co-starring Sbaraglia, on hand for Anahi Berneri’s competish entry “Open Air.”
Banderas will talk-up San Sebastian competition title “Automata,” the second movie from Spain’s Gabe Ibanez, co-financed and sold by Nu-Image/Millennium, which Banderas produces and stars in.
Mortensen will introduce “Jauja,” from fellow Argentine Lisandro Alonso, a Fipresci winner at Cannes.
Danish Oscar-winning director Susanne Bier will accompany “Game of Thrones” mainstay Nikolaj Coster-Waldau to present another San Sebastian Golden Seashell contender, “Second Chance.” John Malokovich, Veronika Ferres will be in the Basque resort for Michael Sturminger’s “Casanova Variations,” Willem Defoe for Abel Ferrara’s “Pasolini,” Diego Luna for “Chavez.”
The 62nd San Sebastian Festival runs Sept. 19-27.