Marcia Tambutti’s “Beyond My Grandfather Allende,” Walter Salles’ “Jia Zhangke, A Guy From Fenyang” and Laurie Anderson’s “Heart of a Dog” figure among the highlights of the 63rd San Sebastian Festival’s Zabaltegi sidebar, which concentrates some of the most unclassifiable and suggestive proposals of the current international film scene.
Combining the showcase of the Spanish premieres by pics from reputed filmmakers with titles awarded at international festivals, Zabaltegi praises even more something that has become a hallmark of the San Sebastian fest: the rich breadth in film styles and countries of origin.
Part of a strong presence of documentaries and nonfiction features — 11 out of a total 24 titles announced — “Beyond My Grandfather Allende” will screen in Zabaltegi after winning the first L’Oeil d’Or for best documentary at the last Cannes fest.
In her feature debut, sold by Paris-based Doc & Film International, Marcia Tambutti delivers a personal portrait of her grandfather Salvador Allende, 42 years after the coup d’etat that overthrew the Chilean president.
Docu “A Guy From Fenyang” shows Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles tracking young Chinese director Jia Zhangke through China on the sets of his films. Sold by Paris-based MK2, the documentary premiered at the Berlinale’s Dokumente Panorama section.
A personal essay film that explores themes of love, death and language, “Heart of a Dog” marks composer and artist Laurie Anderson’s full-length directorial debut, which will compete in the Official Selection at the Venice Film Festival.
Anca Damian’s animated docudrama “The Magic Mountain,” a Romanian-French-Polish co-production, mixes interwoven animation, archival images, handmade art and prickly politics to tell the story of a Polish refugee in Paris. Pic snagged a special mention at the Karlovy Vary fest.
Bulgarian actor-turned-director Ivaylo Hristov’s coming-of-age tale “Losers,” winner of the top prize at Moscow Film Festival, follows the lives of four high school students in a small Bulgarian town.
Distributed internationally by Wild Bunch, Romanian Corneliu Porumboiu’s Cannes Un Certain Regard Talent Prize winner “The Treasure” narrates in the key of black comedy how a father’s love transforms an unlikely a hunt into a fairy tale.
A France-Germany-Netherlands co-production, vet Russian helmer Alexander Sokurov’s historical pic “Francofonia” turns on the protection and preservation of the treasure of the Louvre Museum in the 1940s. Sold by Films Boutique, “Francofonia” will compete in Venice’s Official Selection.
Animation is also present in Simon Rouby’s “Adama,” a coming-of-age story, sold by Picture Tree International, that premiered at the Annecy festival, and “Psiconautas,” Spaniards Alberto Vazquez and Pedro Rivero’s feature film adaptation of the same-titled comic book on the escape from an island devastated by ecological catastrophe.
The Zabaltegi sidebar also includes Philippine Remton Zuasola’s Brillante Mendoza-produced crime drama “SWAP”; Zentropa Sweden-produced “The Here After,” the feature debut by Magnus Von Horn and a Cannes Directors’ Fortnight player; and Pyramid-sold “Montanha,” Portuguese Joao Salaviza’s family loss drama, selected for Venice’s Critics’ Week.
Previously announced, Spanish productions at this year’s Zabaltegi encompasses documentaries Alex Guimera and Juan Pajares’ “Un dia vi 10,000 elefantes,” Alvaro Longoria’s “The Propaganda Game” and Mercedes Moncada’s “Mi querida España”; Fernando Colomo’s new comedy “La Isla Bonita,” Paula Ortiz’s “La novia,” a drama based on a Federico Garcia Lorca play, plus short film “Duellum,” by Tucker Davila Wood.
The San Sebastian film fest runs Sept. 18-26.