San Sebastian: ‘Ciel,’ ‘One Hundred and Fifty,’ ‘Porto’ Compete at New Directors

A total of 14 first or second features vie for the $55,000 Kutxa Award

Peter Monsaert’s “Le Ciel Flamand,” Yu Liu’s “One Hundred and Fifty Years of Life” and Gabe Klinger’s “Porto,” featuring one of the last performances by Anton Yelchin, will contend in San Sebastian’s New Directors competition, whose 2016 lineup was announced Tuesday.

Also featuring, Federico Godfrid’s “Pinamar” and Jean-Gabriel Periot’s “Summer Lights” which complete the list of five second features at New Directors edition, following their director’ prizewinning debut at international festivals.

Framing films from Germany, Argentina, Belgium, China, France, Greece, Israel, Moldavia, Portugal, South Korea, Spain and the U.S., this year’s New Directors competition addresses themes such as women relationships, family feuds and coming-of-age.

With 2012’s “Offline,” a drama about second chances in life, Belgium’s Monsaert won a best film award at the Amiens Festival and a Jury Special Prize in Festroia, among other plaudits.  In his new film, “Le Ciel Flamand,” produced by Lunanime, the production division launched by Belgian distributor Lumiere, Monsaert depicts the lives of three generations of women whose family ties restrained by a dramatic event.

Another family drama, Chinese director Yu Liu’s “One Hundred and Fifty Years of Life” focuses on a ninety-year-old man concerned about the future of his sixty-year-old mentally disabled son, while his two daughters have designs on the apartment they share in Beijing.

Liu’s first film, “The Blinding Sunlight,” was selected for San Sebastian’s New Directors and won a Special Jury Prize in Cairo.

After debuting with “Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater,” which took a best documentary award at Venice in 2013, Brazilian-born Gabe Klinger presents a drama about two outsiders in “Porto,” a U.S.-France-Portugal co-production, exec produced by Jim Jarmusch.

Jean-Gabriel Periot, whose “A German Youth” opened the Berlinale’s Panorama section and played San Sebastian’s Zabaltegi sidebar, returning with “Summer Lights,” a feature on Akihiro, a Japanese filmmaker living in Paris who goes to Japan to interview Hiroshima survivors for a documentary.

Argentina’s Federico Godfrid, co-director with Juan Sasiain of 2008’s “La Tigra, Chaco,” a Fipresci best film award winner at Mar de Plata returns with “Pinamar,” about two brothers return to the quaint

Argentine coastal resort of Pinamar after their mother’s death.

Spanish actress Barbara Lennie, the star of San Sebastian 2014’s Golden Seashell winner “Magical Girl,” toplines “Maria (Y los demas),” the feature film debut by Nely Reguera, produced by Madrid-based Avalon.

First features at New Directors sidebar also take in “A Taste of Ink,” directed by Morgan Simon, whose short film “Try to Die Young” was nominated for France’s Cesar Awards; and Argentine Moroco Colman’s love triangle “Fin de semana.”

Winner of the the Works-in-Progress Award at last year’s Karlovy Vary Festival, Sofia Exarchlu will present at San Sebastian her feature debut “Park,” a portrait of contemporary  Greece.

A total 14 first or second feature films will compete for the Kutxa New Directors Award, which will be decided by a international jury and carries a €50,000 ($55,000) prize for the winning film’s director and distributor in Spain.

Focusing on new directors since 1976, San Sebastian has served as a launch-pad for filmmakers such as Pedro Almodovar, Ivan Zulueta, Olivier Assayas, Danny Boyle, Walter Salles, Nicolas Winding Refn, Laurent Cantet and Lucile Hadzihalilovic, whose second film, “Evolution,” won the Special Jury Prize at last year’s edition, alongside the Youth Award for best cinematography.

The 64th San Sebastian Film Festival runs Sept. 16-24.



“Anishoara,” (Ana-Felicia Scutelnicu, Germany, Moldova)

“Bar Bahar,” (Maysaloun Hamoud, Israel, France)

“A Taste of Ink,” ( Morgan Simon, France)

“Weekend,” (Moroco Colman, Argentina)

“Something in Blue,” (Yunbo Li, China)

“Le Ciel Flamand,” (Peter Monsaert, Belgium)

“Summer Lights,” (Jean-Gabriel Periot, France)

“Maria y los demás,” (Nely Reguera, Spain)

“Park,” (Sofia Exarchou, Greece, Poland)

“Pinamar,” (Federico Godfrid, Argentina)

“Porto,” (Gabe Klinger, Portugal, France, United States)

“Pretenders,” (Vallo Toomla, Estonia, Lituania, Letonia)

“Prowl, Alexandra Balteanu, Germany)

“Waldstille,” (Martijn Maria Smits, Netherlands)

“Our Love Story,” (Lee Hyun-South Korea)

“One Hundred and Fifty Years of Life,” (Liu Yu,China)

More Film

  • Come as You Are review

    SXSW Film Review: 'Come as You Are'

    The rare remake that’s actually a slight improvement on its predecessor, Richard Wong’s “Come as You Are” translates Geoffrey Enthoven’s 2011 Belgian “Hasta la Vista” to middle America. Other changes are less substantial, but this seriocomedy has a less formulaic feel than the original while remaining a crowd-pleasing buddy pic-caper with a soft-pedaled minority empowerment [...]

  • Strange Negotiations review

    SXSW Film Review: 'Strange Negotiations'

    In a era when some mainstream entertainers have transitioned to targeting faith-based audiences, David Bazan is moving in the other direction. The gifted songwriter’s ersatz band Pedro the Lion was perhaps the most successful Christian indie rock act of its time, and the first to significantly cross over to secular fans. Then he ditched that persona (and [...]

  • Bluebird review

    SXSW Film Review: ‘Bluebird’

    As affectionate as a love letter but as substantial as an infomercial, Brian Loschiavo’s “Bluebird” may be of most interest to casual and/or newly converted country music fans who have occasionally wondered about the songwriters behind the songs. There’s a better than even-money chance that anyone who’s a loyal and longtime aficionado of the musical [...]

  • ‘Wonder Park’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad

    ‘Wonder Park’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending for the Fourth Week in a Row

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv, Paramount Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the fourth week in row with “Wonder Park.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.18 million through Sunday for 1,718 national [...]

  • Michael B. Jordan Jordan Vogt-Roberts

    Film News Roundup: Michael B. Jordan, Jordan Vogt-Roberts Team for Monster Movie

    In today’s film news roundup, Michael B. Jordan is producing a creature feature, billiards champ Cisero Murphy is getting a movie, the sixth Terminator movie gets a title, and Graham King receives an honor. PROJECT UNVEILED New Regency and Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society are partnering on an untitled monster movie from “Kong: Skull Island” [...]

  • Nicolas Cage

    Nicolas Cage to Star in Martial Arts Actioner 'Jiu Jitsu'

    Nicolas Cage will star in the martial arts actioner “Jiu Jitsu,” based on the comic book of the same name. The cast will also include Alain Moussi, who stars in the “Kickboxer” franchise. Dimitri Logothetis is producing with Martin Barab and directing from a script he wrote with Jim McGrath. Highland Film Group is handling [...]

  • Chinese success of Thai film "Bad

    Chinese, Thai Shingles Pact for Co-Production Fund at FilMart

    A deal to establish a 100 million yuan ($14.9 million) co-production fund between China and Thailand was struck at FilMart on Tuesday to help launch TV and film projects that will appeal to Chinese and Southeast Asian audience. The deal that was struck by China’s Poly Film Investment Co., TW Capital from Thailand and Thai [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content