Wise, Ferrara grab San Seb honors

Fest fetes 'Bad Lieutenant' helmer with retrospective

The 53rd San Sebastian Film Festival will honor Robert Wise with a major retrospective of his work.

Continuing its tradition of reviving the lesser-known films of a major classic director and a left-of-field jobbing auteur, it will also screen a tribute to the Bronx-born helmer and indie filmmaker Abel Ferrara, who broke through with a string of titles in the ’90s such as “King of New York,” “Bad Lieutenant,” “The Addiction” and “The Funeral.”

Meticulously prepared and accompanied by plush publications, San Sebastian’s retros have won praise from critics and fellow festival pro-grammers. Cannes Festival president Gilles Jacob recently recognized that San Sebastian’s retrospectives were for years its major claim to fame.

“Known the world over for the enormous success of two of his musi-cals, ‘West Side Story’ (1961) and ‘The Sound of Music’ (1965), Robert Wise is the author of a heterogeneous work representing the entire history of Hollywood,” the San Sebastian Festival org declared.

Fest, which runs Sept.15-24, will also program the retrospective “Re-bellious and Untamed,” charting the halting revolution in women’s social position across the last century.

Unconfirmed are the fest’s now traditional sections for this year: an offi-cial competition; a major Zabaltegi sidebar split between a Festival Top subsection profiling the cream of films from other festivals and a New Directors focus; sidebar Horizontes Latinos, screening Latin American pics yet to be released in Spain; a Made in Spain look at recent Spanish produc-tions; and a Films in Progress showcase for unfinished Latin American productions seeking completion financing. The best first or second pic in any festival section will receive the Altadis-New Directors cash prize, worth E90,000 ($117,000) this year. Turner Classic Movies offers a $39,000 TCM Audience Award for the Spanish distribution of the fave film in the Festival Top section of Zabaltegi.

The Horizontes prize is worth $23,400.

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