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San Sebastian Film Festival to Spin off 'Pearls' Showcase

San Sebastian Film Festival

The rest of the "Open Zone" sidebar will look to provide a free-wheeling spirit with an anything-goes lineup.

MADRID - Organizers of the San Sebastian International Film Festival said Thursday that they will spin off the annual "Pearls" showcase from the rest of the Zabaltegi Section, allowing the sidebar to regain its free-wheeling, anything-goes spirit.

The change will take place at the upcoming 61st edition of the festival, which will take place Sept. 20-28.

"Pearls" screens a selection of gems from previous festivals, not yet released in Spain, that compete for an audience award. "Zabaltegi," which means "Open Zone" in the local Basque language, will now be a non-competitive section and remain open to "the most varied, surprising and attractive films" of the year. The festival describes it as the portion of its lineup where anything goes.

The "Pearls" audience award goes to the distributor of the winning film in Spain and consists of two different cash prizes. One is a $96,000 (60,000 euros) best film prize, and the other is a $32,000 (20,000 euros) best European film prize for a film totally or partially produced in a European country.