San Sebastian fest kicks off


MADRID -- The 58th San Sebastian International Film Festival was set to kick off Friday night with Mexican director Felipe Cazals gracing the stage at the festival's inaugural gala to present his "Chicogrande," which is to open the Official Section.

Actress Olivia Williams will pick up the FIPRESCI Grand Prize for Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer," voted the best film of 2010 by the Federation of International Film Critics.

The inaugural ceremony, to be held in the futuristic Kursaal convention center, will be presented by Spanish journalist Edurne Ormazabal and actor Eduardo Noriega in Spanish, English and the local Basque language as is customary for the festival held in Spain's northern Basque region.

Members of the official jury, including chair Goran Paskaljevic, will be on hand for the opening ceremony. Actress Yun Junghee will present "Poetry," the opening movie of Zabaltegi-Pearls, while Diego Luna will introduce his directorial debut "Abel" with John Malkovich, screening in the Latin Horizons section.

Also scheduled to arrive Friday, Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia who just won Venice's Silver Lion for best director for his Spanish Civil War drama "A Sad Trumpet Ballad." He will pick up the Spanish National Film Award on Saturday.

Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem and Santiago Segura are some of the talent expected in town over the weekend.

San Sebastian runs in Spain's northern Basque region from Sept. 17-25.
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