BARCELONA— Tasos Gerakinis’ “A Simple Man,” Pelin Esmer’s “Queen Lear” and Ignas Jonynas’ “Invisible” compose the pix-in-post selection for the upcoming Glocal in Progress sidebar at September’s San Sebastián Film Festival.

Greek director Tasos Gerakinis will attend with his feature debut, a Greece-France co-production following a convict who flees prison and manages to arrive in the neighbor country where he holds up at a farm, taking a winegrower hostage. The relationship between the winegrower, his daughter and the convict will evolve in divergent directions.

Turkish director Pelin Esmer has previously participated in San Sebastián’s main competition with “10 to 11,” a Special Jury Prize winner in Istanbul festival in 2009. She was also part of the Zabaltegi-New Directors section with her feature debut “The Play,” turning on three women aiming to stage a play in a small village. That feature earned kudos at Tribeca in 2006. “Queen Lear” is a follow-up to “The Play,” exploring the impact that theater had on the lives of those women that now host Shakespeare’s plays in mountain villages. Esmer’s second feature, “Watchtower,” was sold to Film Movement for U.S. distribution.

Lithuanian helmer Ignas Jonynas also presented his debut “The Gambler” at New Directors. His sophomore outing tells the story of a man faking blindness in order to participate in a TV dance contest. There he meets Saule, his dancing partner, and they become the most popular participants on the show. The project is structured as a co-production between Lithuania, Latvia and Ukraine.

The three features will be offered to an industry audience of potential co-producers, sales agents, festival programmers and distributors.

Two completed features from the Glocal in Progress showcase last year, Tesmo Esnal’s “Dantza” and Hadrian Marcu’s “A Decent Man,” come back as part of the Festival this year. “Dantza” receives a Special Screening in San Sebastian’s Official Selection; ”Man” participates in New Directors.

The first edition of Glocal in Progress was launched last year with the aim of giving a greater visibility to work-in-progress productions shot in none of the most-spoken languages – Spanish, German, French, English, Italian and Russian – in Europe. In 2017, Basque-language “The Giant,” directed by Aitor Arregi and Jon Garaño, took the Special Jury Prize and Bogdan Dumitrache snagged Silver Shell for best actor in Constantin Popescu’s “Proroca.”

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Glocal in Progress selected films will compete for the Glocal in Progress Industry Award granted by Ad Hoc Studios, BTeam Pictures, Deluxe Spain, Dolby Iberia, Laserfilm Cine y Video, Nephilim Producciones and No problem Sonido. The award includes post-production and DCP subtitles in English and Spanish, and a distribution option for Spain.

This is in addition to the Glocal in Progress Award of €10,000 ($11,380 USD), which will go to the lead producer of the Glocal in Progress Industry Award winner.

This initiative is backed by the Basque Government Department of Economic Development and Infrastructure and Creative Europe Media Program, with the collaboration of the Basque Government Department of Culture and Language Policy.

Glocal in Progress will take place Sept. 24-26, running parallel to the festival’s 34th Films in Progress and the 7th Europe-Latin America Co-production Forum.


“A Simple Man,” (Tasos Gerakinis, Greece, Spain)

“Queen Lear,” (Pelin Esmer, Turkey)

“Invisible,” (Ignas Jonynas, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine)

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San Sebastian Film Festival

Pictured, top to bottom: “Queen Lear,” “A Simple Man,” “Invisible.”