The latest project from Spanish filmmaker Alberto Rodríguez, “Modelo 77” (“Prison 77”), will open the 70th edition of San Sebastian this fall.
The pic, which will play out of competition, is a political thriller set in Spain. The film stars Miguel Herrán — who is best known for playing the characters Rio and Christian Varela in “Money Heist” and “Elite,” respectively — and Javier Gutiérrez (“Marshland,” “The Motive”). The movie marks Rodríguez’s fifth time in San Sebastian’s Official Selection.
“Modelo 77” will screen following the festival’s opening gala in the Kursaal Auditorium on Sept. 16.
Inspired in true events, the story follows Manuel (Herrán), a young accountant who is awaiting trial for embezzlement and faces a sentence of 6-8 years, a disproportionate punishment for the crime committed. Together with cellmate Pino (Gutiérrez), he joins a group of ordinary prisoners fighting for their rights in the dawn of democracy in Spain following 40 years of dictatorship.
Rodríguez made his debut at San Sebastian with “El factor Pilgrim” (2000), a feature film co-directed with Santi Amodeo, which landed a special mention in the New Directors section. With “El traje” (“The Suit”) in 2002, he once again appeared in the same section. Three years later, in 2005, Rodríguez made his debut the Official Selection with “7 vírgenes” (“7 Virgins”), for which the actor Juan José Ballesta won the Silver Shell for best actor.
The director returned to San Sebastian’s official competition in 2014 with “La isla mínima” (“Marshland”), which, prior to carrying off 10 Goya awards, bagged the Silver Shell for best actor for Gutiérrez as well as the Jury Prize for best cinematography for Álex Catalán. Rodríguez later competed in the festival again with “El hombre de las mil caras” (“Smoke and Mirrors”) in 2016, which garnered the Silver Shell for Eduard Fernández.
In 2017, Rodríguez presented the series “La peste” (“The Plague”) in the Official Selection, out of competition.
San Sebastian runs from Sept. 16-24.