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San Sebastian Announces Spanish Titles in Competition

Alex de la Iglesia and David Trueba top the list of Spanish veterans and newcomers marking the renewed Spanish flavor of Spain's top festival.

MADRID -- Alex de la Iglesia, David Trueba and Manuel Martin Cuenca will see their latest works screen in the 61st San Sebastian International Film Festival’s official section, as Spanish films take center stage again at Spain’s A-list festival.

De la Iglesia’s Las Brujas de Zugarramurd, starring Carmen Maura in a racy comedy about a group of desperate thieves; Cuenca’s love story drama Cannibal; and Trueba’s life-altering friendship drama Vivir es Facil about three lives that cross in a Spanish coastal town will be featured in the official section of the festival, which runs Sept. 20-28.

Organizers announced Wednesday the 21 Spanish productions or co-productions figuring into the festival’s lineup, including Denis Villenueve’s Spanish-Canadian Enemy, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, and Fernando Franco’s directorial debut Wounded, both competing for the top Golden Shell prize.

Another four young talents will compete for the largest monetary prize given at any festival, the €50,000 ($66,000) Kutxa-New Directors Award in the New Directors section: Fran AraujoErnesto de NovaIsabel Ayguavives and Aaron Fernandez. Fernandez’s Empty Hours, about a young man forced to run his uncle’s motel by renting rooms by the hour, made waves at last year’s Films in Progress in its unfinished state.

Zabaltegi will include a selection of feature films and documentaries produced this year. Veronica Chen’s unconventional combining of anime and real images in Rabbit Woman, Luiso Berdejo’s Polaroid-inspired love quest Violet and Liliana Torres Exposito’s coming home tale Family Tour are three of the standouts in the anything-goes section.

The premiere of Oskar Santos' film, Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang; the three co-productions competing in Horizontes Latinos, featuring the latest harvest of noteworthy films from Latin America; and the winner of the Films in Progress Award at last year's San Sebastian and the Silver Bear for best actress at the last Berlin Festival, Sebastian Leilo’s Spanish-Chilean feature Gloria from the Pearls section, round out the Spanish movies being represented.