San Sebastian: 'Magical Girl' Wins Golden Shell

AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos
Carlos Vermut at the San Sebastian International Film Festival

Carlos Vermut's much-anticipated second feature takes best film and director

Spaniard Carlos Vermut’s much-anticipated second feature Magical Girl walked away with the Golden Shell for best film at the 62nd San Sebastian International Film Festival Saturday.

“Those who know my cinema know I like the characters more than the storylines, so I want to thank the person that has accompanied me,” Vermut said, thanking his girlfriend. “I make films with love.”

Official jury chairman Fernando Bovaira called the young talent, who also won the best director honor, “an unsettling voice” before announcing the festival’s top prize for the film about a single father’s quest to buy a gift for his dying daughter that traps him in a dark tale.

Cedric Kahn’s Wild Life from France earned a special mention from the official jury.

Paprika Steen from Bille August’s family drama Silent Heart snagged the Silver Shell for best actress and thanked all directors for still making films “for actresses my age,” while Javier Gutierrez from the Spanish film that impressed critics and audiences alike, Alberto Rodriguez's Marshland, landed the actor nod for his role as an aging detective investigating a murder.  

Director Michael Roskam thanked the jury in the name of Dennis Lehane, who won the best screenwriter award for The Drop.

Damian Szifron’s Wild Tales, the Argentine box-office sensation that wowed audiences in San Sebastian, won the audience award for best European film, while Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeira Salgado's The Salt of the Earth took the audience award for best film at the festival.

Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov’s The Lesson walked away with the coveted Kutxa new directors award. Jury chair Nicole Brenez said, in these tight times, the jury was happy “to give the money from a bank to a film that celebrates a bank robbery.”

And Mexico’s Alonso RuizpalaciosGueros picked up the Horizons Award. 

Read more San Sebastian: Benicio Del Toro Wins Donostia Award

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