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)

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