×

Walter Salles, Laurie Anderson in San Sebastian’s Zabaltegi

Strong presence of docus and non-fiction features at sidebar's 2015 edition

Marcia Tambutti’s “Beyond My Grandfather Allende,” Walter Salles’ “Jia Zhangke, A Guy From Fenyang” and Laurie Anderson’s “Heart of a Dog” figure among the highlights of the 63rd San Sebastian Festival’s Zabaltegi sidebar, which concentrates some of the most unclassifiable and suggestive proposals of the current international film scene.

Combining the showcase of the Spanish premieres by pics from reputed filmmakers with titles awarded at international festivals, Zabaltegi praises even more something that has become a hallmark of the San Sebastian fest: the rich breadth in film styles and countries of origin.

Part of a strong presence of documentaries and nonfiction features — 11 out of a total 24 titles announced — “Beyond My Grandfather Allende” will screen in Zabaltegi after winning the first L’Oeil d’Or for best documentary at the last Cannes fest.

In her feature debut, sold by Paris-based Doc & Film International, Marcia Tambutti delivers a personal portrait of her grandfather Salvador Allende, 42 years after the coup d’etat that overthrew the Chilean president.

Docu “A Guy From Fenyang” shows Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles tracking young Chinese director Jia Zhangke through China on the sets of his films. Sold by Paris-based MK2, the documentary premiered at the Berlinale’s Dokumente Panorama section.

Popular on Variety

A personal essay film that explores themes of love, death and language, “Heart of a Dog” marks composer and artist Laurie Anderson’s full-length directorial debut, which will compete in the Official Selection at the Venice Film Festival.

Anca Damian’s animated docudrama “The Magic Mountain,” a Romanian-French-Polish co-production, mixes interwoven animation, archival images, handmade art and prickly politics to tell the story of a Polish refugee in Paris. Pic snagged a special mention at the Karlovy Vary fest.

Bulgarian actor-turned-director Ivaylo Hristov’s coming-of-age tale “Losers,” winner of the top prize at Moscow Film Festival, follows the lives of four high school students in a small Bulgarian town.

Distributed internationally by Wild Bunch, Romanian Corneliu Porumboiu’s Cannes Un Certain Regard Talent Prize winner “The Treasure” narrates in the key of black comedy how a father’s love transforms an unlikely a hunt into a fairy tale.

A France-Germany-Netherlands co-production, vet Russian helmer Alexander Sokurov’s historical pic “Francofonia” turns on the protection and preservation of the treasure of the Louvre Museum in the 1940s. Sold by Films Boutique, “Francofonia” will compete in Venice’s Official Selection.

Animation is also present in Simon Rouby’s “Adama,” a coming-of-age story, sold by Picture Tree International, that premiered at the Annecy festival, and “Psiconautas,” Spaniards Alberto Vazquez and Pedro Rivero’s feature film adaptation of the same-titled comic book on the escape from an island devastated by ecological catastrophe.

The Zabaltegi sidebar also includes Philippine Remton Zuasola’s Brillante Mendoza-produced crime drama “SWAP”; Zentropa Sweden-produced “The Here After,” the feature debut by Magnus Von Horn and a Cannes Directors’ Fortnight player; and Pyramid-sold “Montanha,” Portuguese Joao Salaviza’s family loss drama, selected for Venice’s Critics’ Week.

Previously announced, Spanish productions at this year’s Zabaltegi encompasses documentaries Alex Guimera and Juan Pajares’ “Un dia vi 10,000 elefantes,” Alvaro Longoria’s “The Propaganda Game” and Mercedes Moncada’s “Mi querida España”; Fernando Colomo’s new comedy “La Isla Bonita,” Paula Ortiz’s “La novia,” a drama based on a Federico Garcia Lorca play, plus short film “Duellum,” by Tucker Davila Wood.

The San Sebastian film fest runs Sept. 18-26.

 

 

More Film

  • My Salinger Year

    Berlin Film Festival to Open With Sigourney Weaver, Margaret Qualley Starrer 'My Salinger Year'

    The 70th edition of the Berlinale will open with Philippe Falardeau’s anticipated “My Salinger Year,” headlined by a powerful female duo, Sigourney Weaver and Margaret Qualley. Set in New York’s literary world in the 90’s, the coming-of-age-story is based on Joanna Rakoff’s international bestseller and follows Joanna (Qualley), who leaves graduate school to pursue her [...]

  • Bad Hair

    'Bad Hair': Film Review

    The year is 1989 and New Jack Swing is about to push black culture from the margins to the mainstream. The question for the black employees of Culture, the music TV station at the center of writer-director Justin Simien’s delightfully macabre horror-dramedy “Bad Hair,” is what image do they — and their white executive Grant [...]

  • Bad Hair

    Justin Simien's 'Bad Hair' is a Tribute to Exploited Black Women Everywhere, Director Says

    Deeply personal but indulgently campy, Justin Simien’s Sundance opener “Bad Hair” is a genre-blending horror show that the director said serves as a tribute to the struggles of black women. The mind behind  “Dear White People” staged the world premiere for the project at Park City’s Ray Theater on Thursday night, before a cast that [...]

  • Taylor Swift: Miss Americana

    'Taylor Swift: Miss Americana': Film Review

    Fly-on-the-wall portraits of pop-music stars used to be dominated by, you know, pop music. The life and personality and woe-is-me-I’m-caught-in-the-media-fishbowl spectacle of the star herself was part of the equation, yet all that stuff had a way of dancing around the edges. Now, though, it’s front and center. In “Taylor Swift: Miss Americana,” we catch [...]

  • Taylor Swift attends the premiere of

    Sundance Crowd Goes Wild as Taylor Swift Becomes Powerful Voice of Trump Resistance

    At the outset of the first screening of the documentary “Miss Americana” Thursday night at the Sundance Film Festival, it was clear at the outset that it was not necessarily Taylor Swift’s core audience filling the Eccles Theater for the premiere. The opening scene has Swift trying to write a song at the piano while [...]

  • wanda Imax China

    China Closes Thousands of Theaters in Response to Coronavirus Outbreak

    China closed swathes of cinemas on Friday in response to the outbreak of novel coronavirus, which started in the city of Wuhan and has now killed 26 people. The closures come a day after the distributors and producers of the seven major blockbusters that had expected to launch from Jan. 25 cancelled their films’ releases. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content