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‘McConkey,’ ‘Akasha’ Play Savage Cinema

Red Bull, San Sebastian bow new action sports section

TAULL, Spain – “McConkey” and “Spirit of Akasha” will screen in Savage Cinema, a new section of the San Sebastian Festival marking a pioneering partnership between the festival and Red Bull Media House.

Helmed by Rob Bruce, Scott Gafney, Murray Wais, Steve Winter and David Zieff, “McConkey” is a portrait of Shane McConkey, the charismatic extreme skiing and BASE-jumping innovator. McConkey was killed in an accident in 2009.

One of RBMH’s flagship productions, it marks RBMH’s push to reach out beyond hardcore extreme sports demos and straight-to-vid or VOD distribution to broader sometimes theatrical, audiences.

“Rather like Asif Kapadia’s ‘Senna,’” this is not one action scene after another, it’s character-driven, the portrait of a very unique, very passionate person,” Sophokles Tasioulis, RBMH head of cinema and international theatrical sales, said at Cannes.

A European premiere at San Sebastian, “McConkey” was produced in association with Matchstick Prods. It played the Tribeca Festival, confirming the perceived increasing attraction of the outdoor/action sports genre for a modern generation of major festival goers.

Per San Sebastian director Jose Luis Rebordinos, “We can’t grow much more our core audience. We have to attract new audiences, new generations in these tough times, when the young aren’t going to cinemas so much.”

World preeming at San Sebastian, “Akasha” again examines a pioneering factor in extreme sports culture, a fact which reflects just how quickly the culture has evolved over recent decades.

Directed by Australian Andrew Kidman, “Akasha” celebrates the 4oth anniversary and enduring influence of the 1972 movie and soundtrack “Morning of the Earth,” a pioneering surf movie helmed by Albert Falzon that helped define and shape the values of surf. Falzon has mentored Kidman.

Savage Cinema’s complete program will be announced Sept. 4. Two titles will play San Sebastian’s spectacular big-screen Antonio Elorza Velodrome.

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