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‘Magical Girl’ Tops San Sebastian Fest

Cedric Kahn's "Wild Life" wins Special Jury Prize

“Magical Girl” was awarded the top Golden Shell and best director for rising Spanish helmer Carlos Vermut at the 62nd annual San Sebastian Film Festival on Saturday.

Sold by Films Distribution, “Magical Girl,” which marks the sophomore outing of Vermut, is a troubling drama turning on a father who attempts to fulfill the last wish of his daughter, who is battling leukemia. Pic is produced by Pedro Hernandez Santos’ Madrid-based outfit Aqui y Alli.

Cedric Kahn’s “Wild Life,” a true story starring Mathieu Kassovitz and Celine Sallette, scooped San Sebastian’s special jury prize. The movie, repped by Jean Labadie’s Le Pacte, follows a father who lost the custody of his two children and spends 11 years on the run with them living off the radar across France.

Michael E. Roskam’s English-language debut “The Drop” earned a best screenplay nod for Dennis Lehane. Roskam last directed the Oscar-nominated “Bullhead.”

Alberto Rodriguez’s ‘Marshland” (“Isla Minima”), a thriller turning on  two homicide detectives on the trail of a serial killer on the loose, won best actor for Javier Gutiérrez and cinematography for Alex Catalan. It’s produced by Jose Antonio Felez’s Atipica and sold internationally by Vicente Canales’ Film Factory.

The four awards swept by “Magical Girl” and “Marshland” underscore the resilience of Spain’s film industry and the local talent pool which keeps growing in spite of the economic recession.

Paprika Steen won best actress for her turn as the daughter of a terminally-ill woman in Bille August’s “Silent Heart.” Pic, sold by LevelK, was warmly received at San Sebastian, where the movie world premiered.

Outside the main competition, Mexican Alonso Ruiz Palacios’ coming-of-age comedy, “Gueros,” won the Horizontes section. “Gueros,” sold by Mundial, also took the Youth Award.

“The Lesson” earned Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov the New Director Award. The audience prize went to Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado’s documentary “The Salt of the Earth.”

German Christian Petzold’s “Phoenix” took the Fipresci international critics’ prize. Sold by The Match Factory over most of the world, including IFC Films/Sundance Selects in the U.S., “Phoenix” turns on a concentration camp survivor returning to Berlin.

Fest wrapped with the European premiere of “Samba,” Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano’s follow-up to their box office smash hit, “The Intouchables,” which world premiered at the fest in 2011.

“Samba” stars Omar Sy, Charlotte Gainsbourg and the director duo Nakache and Toledano sparked rounds of applauses walking up  on the stage of Kursaal theater to present the movie.

“San Sebastian is a wonderful European launchpad for a film like ‘Samba’ — this festival has a warm atmosphere, a spectacular venue (the Kursaal) and the audience and critics are usually upbeat and enthusiastic,” said Cecile Gaget, Gaumont’s international sales boss, who just sold the movie to Broad Green in the U.S.

Fest’s Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum was energized in its third edition by a Focus on Canada, organized with Telefilm Canada.

“The selection is qualitative, the projects presented already have a solid base and are well financed, so it makes sense for an international sales agent to come on board and complete the financing,” said Gilles Sousa, international sales head at Bac Films. “The Europe-Latin America Co-production Forum is another spot to source promising Spanish or Latin American talent who’ve broken through with their first or second film,” he added.

Buzz pics at the Forum included Andi Baiz’s Miami-set immigrant dramedy “Domestic Animals”; German Kral’s project “Chau Buenos Aires,” produced by Luis and Lucia Puenzo’s Historias Cinematograficas; and “Las elegidas,” Mexican David Pablos’ follow-up to “The Life After,” produced by Canana.

WINNERS OF THE 62nd SAN SEBASTIAN FILM FESTIVAL

COMPETITION PRIZES

GOLDEN SHELL

“Magical Girl,” Carlos Vermut

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE

“Wild Life,” (Cedric Kahn, France)

SILVER SHELL, DIRECTOR

Carlos Vermut (“Magical Girl,” Spain)

SILVER SHELL, ACTRESS

Paprika Steen (“Silent Heart,” Denmark)

SILVER SHELL, BEST ACTOR

Javier Gutierrez (“Marshland ,” Spain)

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Alex Catalan (“Marshland,” Spain)

SCREENPLAY

Dennis Lehane (“The Drop,” U.S. )

 

OTHER MAIN PRIZES

KUTXA NEW DIRECTORS’ AWARD

“The Lesson,” (Kristina Grozeva, Petar Valchanov, Bulgary, Greece)

SPECIAL MENTION TO

“Modris,” (Juris Kursietis, Latvia, Germany, Greece)

AUDIENCE AWARD

“The Salt of the Earth,” (Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, France)

AUDIENCE AWARD, EUROPEAN FILM

“Wild Tales,” (Damian Szifron, Argentina, Spain)

HORIZONTES AWARD

“Gueros,” (Alonso Ruizpalacios, Mexico)

SPECIAL MENTION TO

“Natural Sciences,” (Matias Lucchesi, Gonzalo Salaya, Argentina, France)

“Gente de bien,” (Franco Lolli, France)

YOUTH AWARD

“Gueros,” (Alonso Ruizpalacios, Mexico)

 

FILMS IN PROGRESS INDUSTRY AWARD

“Magallanes,” (Peru, Argentina, Colombia)

SPECIAL MENTION TO

“Ixcanul,” (Jayro Bustamante, Guatemala, France)

 

OTHER AWARDS

FIPRESCI INTL. FEDERATION OF FILM CRITICS’ PRIZE

“Phoenix,” (Christian Petzold, Germany)

TOKYO GOHAN FILM FESTIVAL AWARD

“Finding Gaston,” (Patricia Perez, Peru, U.S.)

FEROZ ZINEMALDIA AWARD

“Marshland,” (Alberto Rodriguez, Spain)

TVE OTHER LOOK AWARD

“Girlhood,” (Celine Sciamma, France)

SPECIAL MENTION TO

“Gett, the trial of Viviane Amsalem,” (Ronit Elkabetz, Shlomi Elkabetz, Israel, Germany, France)

SIGNIS AWARD

“A Second Chance,” (Susanne Bier, Denmark, Sweden)

SPECIAL MENTION TO

“Loreak,” Jon Garano, Jose Mari Goenaga (Spain)

IRIZAR AWARD

“Negociador,” (Borja Cobeaga, Spain)

SEBASTIENE 2014 AWARD

“The New Girlfriend,” (Francois Ozon, France)

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