In a major reboot of its pix-in-post strands, which in turn forms part of a new streamlining, the San Sebastian Film Festival, the highest-profile film event in the Spanish-speaking world, has launched two new pix-in-post showcases, WIP Latam and WIP Europa.

WIP Latam replaces Films in Progress, launched in 2003 as a joint venture with the France’s Toulouse Latin America Film Festival. It will be endowed with a $33,000 (€30,000) cash prize, the Egeda-Platino Industry Award, adjudicated by Spanish rights collection society Egeda and carrying the name of Egeda’s annual Platino Awards.

The award’s announcement comes after an agreement sealed in February 2020 for the San Sebastian Festival to collaborate in the launch of a Platino Industria forum in the run-up to the Platino Awards.   

WIP Europa takes the place of Glocal in Progress, focused on movies made in minority European languages in Europe, but now open up to features from all of Europe, with a preference for first or second features or minority-language titles, the San Sebastian Festival announced Monday. 

The move reflects a gathering sea-change in producers’ access to high-standard post-production services which two decades ago could only be offered by the best-of-their-class facilities and came at a high price. 

Some of the cream of Spain’s post-production industry –  Ad Hoc Studios, Deluxe, Dolby, Laserfilm Cine y Vídeo, Nephilim Producciones and No Problem Sonido – look set to still offer service prizes at WIP Latam. Producers can now access much high-tech services at far more accessible prices, however. 

The current evisceration of state film funding in both Brazil and Argentina, exacerbated by the COVID-19, will convert a straight cash prize into manna from heaven for cash-strapped productions from both countries.

San Sebastian used Monday’s announcement of new pix-in-post sections to confirm a new streamlining of the festival along three axes, which kicks in with this year’s Festival’s 68th edition, running Sept. 18-26.

One is a films program, consisting of about 200 films selected for six competitive sections (Official Selection, New Directors, Horizontes Latinos, Zabaltegi-Tabakalera, Perlak and Nest) and seven non-competitive strands (Culinary Zinema, Made in Spain, Zinemira, Velodrome, Movies for Kids, Retrospective and Klasikoak).

Films To Be takes in industry showcases, whether focused on productions in post – WIPLatam, WIP Europa – or projects, the focus of an Ikusmira Berriak eight-week residency, a Europe-Latin America Co-production Forum, or a Zinemaldia Startup Challenge for new European companies with technology-based projects applied to the audiovisual sector. San Sebastian also collaborates in the Lau Haizetara Documentary Co-Production Forum, and organizes Proyecta – a presentation of film projects seeking co-production partners between Europe and Latin America– together with Ventana Sur, Latin America’s biggest film market, and the Cannes Festival’s Producers Network–Marché du Film.

A third section, Reflection and Discussion, promotes the analysis of cinema from an industrial, creative and vocational point of view, as well as programs generating opportunities of agreements and business for creators, producers and distributors. 

Activities include masterclasses, the Zinemaldia Meetings and Horizontes Breakfasts, industry-focused activities, the Zinemaldia & Technology presentations, the meetings between festival programmers and debates on the explosion of drama series.  

Festivals once showed finished films. Their role has now expanded in reach and extended in time: As a partner in the Elías Quetrejeta Zine Lskola, with Tabakalera and the Filmoteca Vasca, the San Sebastián Festival promotes Reflection and Discussion the whole year long.