San Sebastián International Film Festival
The San Sebastián International Film Festival (SSIFF, Spanish: Festival de San Sebastián; Basque: Donostia Zinemaldia) is an annual FIAPF A category film festival held in the Spanish city of Donostia-San Sebastián in September, in the Basque Country.
Basque Country, Spain
|Hosted by||Festival Internacional de Cine de Donostia-San Sebastián, Sociedad Anónima|
|No. of films||200-250|
Since its creation in 1953 it has established itself as one of the most important cinema festivals in the world, being one of the 14 "A" category competitive festivals accredited by the FIAPF. It has hosted several important events of the history of cinema, such as the international premieres of Vertigo, by Alfred Hitchcock (who attended the Festival) and Melinda and Melinda by Woody Allen and the European premier of Star Wars. Actors and directors such as Bette Davis, Gloria Swanson, Gregory Peck, Glenn Ford, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Charlton Heston, Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, Richard Gere, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mel Gibson, Demi Moore, Naomi Watts and Brad Pitt have attended the festival since its inception. It was the first festival attended by Roman Polanski and has helped advance the professional careers of Francis Ford Coppola or Pedro Almodóvar, for instance.
In the current competitive context of international festivals, San Sebastián, which has one of the lowest budgets, has established itself as the most important in Spain and the Spanish-speaking countries.
The festival was founded in 1952. Although it was originally intended to honour Spanish language films, films of other languages became eligible for consideration in 1955, when the festival was specialized in color films. It has been acknowledged by the FIAPF as an A category festival since 1957, with the exception of the 1980–1984 period, when no major awards were given.
These are the main sections of the festival:
- Official Selection: According to FIAPF regulations, a selection of recent cinematographic works, which have not been shown in other festivals, compete for the major awards. Some films are included out of competition.
- New Directors: First or second movies of new talents.
- Horizontes Latinos: A selection of films from Latin America, unreleased in Spain.
- Pearls: A selection of the best movies screened at other international festivals throughout the year.
- Zabaltegi - Tabakalera: A competitive section aiming for heterogeneity with no formal norms.
- Made in Spain: A showcase of the year's Spanish movies for their international launch.
- Zinemira: A showcase of movies produced or directed by Basques.
- Retrospectives: Retrospectives are included in the program to present the works of a renowned filmmaker or works that represent a particular theme.
- Culinary Cinema: A non-competitive selection of gastronomy-related films.
- Velodrome: Projections of movies for a big audience in a giant screen installed at the Velódromo de Anoeta.
- Nest Film Students: Selected shorts, mostly graduation projects, from film schools around the world.
An international jury evaluates the films in the Official Section and awards the following prizes:
- Golden Shell for Best Film
- Special Jury Prize
- Silver Shell for Best Director
- Silver Shell for Best Actress
- Silver Shell for Best Actor
- Jury Prize for Best Cinematography
- Jury Prize for Best Screenplay
- Donostia Award
The following are the main awards for films in the pararell sections:
- New Directors Award: decided by a special jury, the films in the New Directors section compete for this prize.
- Audience Award: The audience chooses a film from among those in the Pearls section.
- Youth Award: A jury composed of 350 youngsters aged between 17 and 21 chooses a film from those competing for the New Directors Award".
- Horizontes Award: A specific jury chooses the best film in the Horizontes Latinos section.
- "Otra Mirada" Award: TVE gives the Another Look award to the film, from any section, that best reflects the female world.
- Sebastiane Award: a jury chooses the film, from any section, that best reflects the values and reality of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.