Ava Gardner comes to life at San Seb

Two pics from left-field helmers win fest exposure

MADRID — Isaki Lacuesta’s documentary about Ava Gardner, “La noche que no acaba” (All Night Long), and Jose Luis Guerin’s “Guest” will receive special screenings at the 58th San Sebastian Festival.

A world premiere, “Long” is the third docu feature from TCM Spain in a series that kicked off in 2006 with Fernando Mendez-Leite’s “El productor,” a portrait of Basque film producer Elias Querejeta, and “La silla de Fernando,” a conversation with actor-director Fernando Fernan-Gomez, directed by David Trueba and Luis Alegre.

Helmed by Lacuesta, who won a Fipresci prize at San Sebastian last year for fiction feature “The Damned,” “Long” recaptures Gardner’s sojourns in Spain, starting from 1951 when she came to shoot “Pandora and the Flying Dutchman.”

The film is based on Marcos Ordonez’s book, “Beberse la vida: Ava Gardner in Spain.”

Guerin’s “Guest” is a semi-autobiographical travel diary, shot while he was on the festival circuit to present “Sylvia,” mixing vignettes of the places he visited and the people he met with brief imagined films.

“This is not a documentary, but an extensively edited creative film, exploring the boundaries of filmmaking,” said producer Adrian Guerra.

“Guest” will also play Venice’s Horizons sidebar and Toronto’s Real to Reel. It is produced by Guerra’s Versus Entertainment, which made Sundance hit “Buried,” and Miguel Angel Faura’s Roxbury, producers of Berlin sales success “Agnosia.”

A third film in Zabaltegi Specials is Pierre Thoretton’s “Yves Saint Laurent — L’amour fou,” which Films Distribution rolled out at Cannes with multiple territory sales.

San Sebastian runs Sept. 17-25.

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