×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Runar Runarsson’s ‘Sparrows’ Tops San Sebastian

Darin, Camera take actor for ‘Truman,’ Ariosa (“’The King of Havana’) actress and Joachim Lafosse (‘White Knights’) director

Three rising stars of European cinema, Iceland’s Runar Runarsson, France’s Lucile Hadzihalilovic, Belgium’s Joachim Lafosse – won out big-time at the 2015 San Sebastian Film Festival, vindicating the enthusiasm that Wild Bunch and young sales companies in Paris have shown for the festival and the Toronto-San Sebastian Express: a practice of world premiering movies at Toronto and then garnering more profile at San Sebastian, the highest-profile event in the Spanish-speaking world.

That said, Latin America – and often films made on a Latin America-Europe axis- came a close second.

Sold by Paris-based Versatile Films, “Sparrows,” by Iceland’s Runar Runarsson, took flight Saturday night winning the top Golden Seashell plaudit at the 63rd San Sebastian Festival, an edition marked by hiked interest from press and distributors alike in Latin America’s now multi-prized movie industry.

Runarsson’s second feature, after “Volcano,” which bowed at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 2011, Iceland-set “Sparrows,” was among the most-liked foreign titles at San Sebastian, a critically praised coming-of-age tale set against majestic scenery.

Of other big winners at San Sebastian, described by Variety as “an open-ended visual feast,” Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s auteur genre movie “Evolution” – a follow-up to “Innocence,” set on a island inhabited only by women, and young boys, who never reach adulthood, – won both the Special Jury Prize and best cinematography.

Impressing with Cannes 2012 Un Certain Regard player “Our Children,” Belgian Joachim Lafosse won best director at San Sebastian for “White Knights,” sold by Parios-based Indie Sales, and starring Cannes 2o15 best actor winner Vincent Lindon (“The Measure of a Man”) as the head of a NGO trying to rescue 300 children from civil war-torn Chad.

“Evolution” is co-produced by Spain’s Volcano Films. Spain’s three other major winners all mix Spanish and Latin American elements.

Prompting the biggest applause of the night, Ricardo Darin and Javier Camera shared best actor for their performances on Cesc Gay’s friendship dramedy “Truman,” a Spain, Argentina co-production. Cuba’s Yordanska Ariosa snagged best actress for Agusti Villaronga’s “The King of Havana,” a torrid sexual story set in embargo-hit ‘90s Cuba, but shot and co-financed out of the Dominican Republic. “The Apostate” – a Madrid-set rites-of-passage comedic drama marking Uruguayan-Spaniard Federico Veiroj’s first Spanish shoot – won a Special Mention.

“21 Nights With Pattie,” the eighth film from French bros Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu, took best screenplay

Rudi Rosenberg’s debut, Indie Films-sold “The New Kid,” a Gallic children-targeting coming-of-age comedy, snagged San Sebastian’s coveted New Directors Award, which came with a €50,000 ($57,000) cash prize.

The second film from one of Latin America’s most talked-up new talents, the also Versatile-sold “Paulina,” from Argentina’s Santiago Mitre, swept three prizes: Horizontes Latinos, which carried a €35,000 cash prize ($40,000). A remake of Argentine modern classic, “La Patota,” and a study of varying reactions to violence, “Paulina” also won both San Sebastian’s Youth Award and RTVE-backed Other Look Prize. “Paulina” already topped Cannes 2015 Critics’ Week.

With San Sebastian firmly established as a major Latin American beach-head in Europe, building interest in Latin America translated into packed screenings at Films in Progress, renewed interest in Latin American showcase Latinos Horizontes, which was packed out with a bevy of 2015 laurelled gems, and, given the allure of some titles, multiple San Sebastian co-pro and acquisition deals, with the promise of more to come.

In industry trends, on the company count, Telefonica and Disney energized early going, jointly announcing a Star Wars Channel pact; a re-energized Latido, the Madrid sales company, unveiled a world sales alliance with Spanish distributor A Contracorriente Films, acquired for international both Alvaro Brechner’s “Memorias del calabozo,” a standout at fest’s Europe-Latin America Co-production Forum, and Pepa San Martin’s “Rara,” a hit at Films in Progress, a pix-in-post showcase.

With Films in Progress winner “Cambridge Squatter” and “Princess” looking set to close sales agents, 2015’s edition will have been one of the strongest in commercial terms.

The 63rd San Sebastian Intl. Film Festival ran Sept. 18-26.

WINNERS OF THE 63rd SAN SEBASTIAN FILM FESTIVAL

COMPETITION PRIZES

GOLDEN SHELL

“Sparrows,” (Runar Runarsson, Iceland, Denmark, Croatia)

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE

“Evolution,” (Lucile Hadzihalilovic, France)

SPECIAL MENTION

“The Apostate,” (Federico Veiroj, Spain, Uruguay, France)

SILVER SHELL, DIRECTOR

Joachim Lafosse, (“The White Nights,” Belgium, France)

SILVER SHELL, ACTRESS

Yordanka Ariosa, (“The King of Havana,” Spain, Dominican Republic)

SILVER SHELL, BEST ACTOR

Ricardo Darin, Javier Camara (“Truman,” Spain)

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Manu Dacosse, (Lucile Hadzihalilovic, France)

SCREENPLAY

Jean Marie Larrieu, Arnaud Larrieu (“21 Nights with Pattie,” France )

OTHER MAIN PRIZES

KUTXA NEW DIRECTORS’ AWARD

“The New Kid,” (Rudi Rosenberg, France)

SPECIAL MENTION

“Sex Life of Plants,” (Sebastian Brahm, Chile)

“Drifters,” (Peter Gronlund, Sweden)

AUDIENCE AWARD

“Our Little Sister,” (Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan)

AUDIENCE AWARD, EUROPEAN FILM

“Mountains May Depart,” (Jia Zhang-ke, China)

HORIZONTES AWARD

“Paulina,” (Santiago Mitre, Argentina, Brazil, France)

SPECIAL MENTION TO

“I Promise You Anarchy,” (Julio Hernandez Cordon, Mexico)

Luis Silva (“From Afar,” Venezuela, Mexico)

YOUTH EZAE AWARD

“Paulina,” (Santiago Mitre, Argentina, Brazil, France)

FILMS IN PROGRESS INDUSTRY AWARD

“The Cambridge Squatter,” (Eliane Caffe, Brazil, France)

OTHER AWARDS

FIPRESCI INTL. FEDERATION OF FILM CRITICS’ PRIZE

“The Apostate,” (Federico Veiroj, Spain, Uruguay, France)

TOKYO GOHAN FILM FESTIVAL AWARD

“Noma, My Perfect Storm,” (U.K., Denmark)

FEROZ ZINEMALDIA AWARD

“Truman,” (Cesc Gay, Spain, Argentina)

SPANISH COOPERATION AWARD

“Land and Shade,” (Cesar Augusto Acevedo, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Netherlands, France)

TVE OTHER LOOK AWARD

“Paulina,” (Santiago Mitre, Argentina, Brazil, France)

SIGNIS AWARD

“Moira,” (Levan Tutberidze, Georgia)

SPECIAL MENTION TO

“When a Tree Falls,” Asier Altuna Iza (Spain)

IRIZAR AWARD

“Grandma” (“Amama”) (Asier Altuna, Spain)

SPECIAL MENTION TO

Irene Escolar (“Sister of Mine,” Spain)

SEBASTIENE 2014 AWARD

“Freeheld,” (Peter Sollett, U.S.)

More Film

  • John Wick: Chapter 3

    Box Office: 'John Wick 3' Knocks Down 'Avengers: Endgame' With $57 Million Debut

    Earth’s Mightiest Heroes put up a good fight, but John Wick put at end to the three-week box office reign of “Avengers: Endgame.” Propelled by positive reviews, “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” beat expectations with a debut of $57 million from 3,850 North American locations. That was enough to nab the box office crown [...]

  • Game of Thrones Cast

    What's Next for 'Game of Thrones'' Cast Members

    Eight years and eight seasons later, the “Game of Thrones” cast finally has some downtime to relax or move onto other projects. Some stars, like Kit Harington, who told Variety that he doesn’t plan on taking another role as physically demanding as Jon Snow, certainly deserve a break, but others have wasted no time getting back on [...]

  • MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r)

    Submissions Now Welcome for Third 'Meet the Press' Film Festival

    Chuck Todd’s quest to bring “Meet the Press” to the movies continues. The third annual Meet the Press Film Festival, held in collaboration with the American Film Institute, will take place on October 6 and 7 in Washington, D.C., and remains a haven for issue-focused documentary shorts. Todd believes the event serves a critical mission: [...]

  • Challenges Still Keep Content From Traveling

    Cannes: Challenges Still Keep Content From Traveling to and From China

    Challenges still remain when it comes to buying, distributing and producing content that can travel between China and the West, attendees of a panel organized by the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival on the sidelines of Cannes said. Cai Gongming, president of Road Pictures, has hit box office gold in China with Cannes art-house titles such [...]

  • 180423_A24_Day_03B_0897.jpg

    Cannes Film Review: Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe in 'The Lighthouse'

    “The Lighthouse,” the second feature directed by Robert Eggers (“The Witch”), is a gripping and turbulent drama that draws on a number of influences, though it merges them into its own fluky gothic historical ominoso art-thriller thing. Set in the 1890s, and suffused with foghorns and epic gusts of wind, as well as a powerfully [...]

  • Cannes: Diao Yinan Explains His Artistic

    Diao Yinan on Cannes Pic 'Wild Goose Lake': 'I Try to Portray the Opposite of a Utopia'

    In competition in Cannes with “Wild Goose Lake,” director Diao Yinan explained Sunday why he’s fascinated by dark crime thrillers – and why his new film features dialogue in China’s Wuhan dialect. “Such thrillers are not only an exercise in style; they’re also full of dramatic tension, and when you combine style with dramatic tension, [...]

  • CAP D'ANTIBES, FRANCE - MAY 18:

    Cannes: Robert Pattinson, Shailene Woodley Attend Starry Vanity Fair Party

    It’s true what they say about Batman being a loner. On Saturday night, Robert Pattinson made his first public appearance since being cast as the new Dark Knight at this year’s Vanity Fair Party at the Cannes Film Festival. But while all the other A-list guests mingled and worked the crowd at the restaurant of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content