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San Sebastian fest goes ‘Grey’

'Last,' 'Lantana' set for Spain

ROME — American actor-turned-director Tim Blake Nelson, Australians Fred Schepisi and Ray Lawrence, Spanish veteran Vicente Aranda and Hong Kong’s Ann Hui are among those whose films will compete for the Golden Shell in the main competition of the 49th San Sebastian Intl. Film Festival, running Sept. 20-29 in the Spanish resort town.

While a handful of titles still await confirmation, including opening and closing pics, the bulk of San Sebastian’s lineup is now complete, following the earlier announcement of New Directors competition entries and the best-of-fests section.

Sole U.S. entry is “The Grey Zone,” Nelson’s drama about Nazi medical research in Auschwitz, which Lions Gate has in the U.S. Harvey Keitel, Mira Sorvino, Steve Buscemi and David Arquette star.

Schepisi brings his screen version of Graham Swift’s Booker Prize-winning novel “Last Orders.” Michael Caine, Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren star in the story of drinking buddies on a cross-country trip to scatter their deceased friend’s ashes. Lawrence has psychological thriller “Lantana,” starring Anthony LaPaglia, Geoffrey Rush and Barbara Hershey.

Hui’s “Visible Secret” combines elements of fantasy, horror and comedy, while Aranda’s period piece “Juana la Loca” is a tale of amour fou centering on the 16th century Spanish queen.

Other national entries include Jose Luis Guerin’s “Work in Progress,” an ambitious project blending history, life and cinema, in which the director spent three years following the construction of a Barcelona building. Manuel Gutierrez Aragon weighs in with “Visionaries,” a drama about religious fanaticism in the rural Basque country.

Representing Latin America are Argentinean prison-break drama “The Escape,” by Eduardo Mignogna, and “Taxi Para Tres,” Chilean helmer Orlando Lubbert’s account of a debt-ridden city cab driver’s personal odyssey.

China figures in the lineup with “Butterfly Smile,” He Jian Jun’s drama of obsession, seduction and guilt stemming from a hit-and-run accident in Beijing.

Rounding out the competition are several Euro entries. From France comes Jean-Pierre Ameris’ drama about accepting death, “C’est la vie,” with Jacques Dutronc and Sandrine Bonnaire, and Philippe Harel’s comedy “Le velo de Ghislain Lambert,” about a female racing cyclist.

Swiss director Nino Jacusso’s “Escape to Paradise” focuses on a family of Kurdish refugees, while Denmark’s Ake Sandgren brings “Truly Human,” a tale of innocence and cruelty in which reality and imagination intertwine.

Along with “Lantana,” Anglo-Indian director Asif Kapadia’s epic adventure “The Warrior” and Dutch helmer Ineke Smits’ story of dreams and imagination, “Magonia,” figure both in the main competition and New Directors lineup for first and second features.

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