San Sebastian Festival Unveils New Directors Section Lineup

Courtesy of San Sebastian Film Festival

Films from up-and-coming directors from around the globe will compete for the $55,000 cash prize.

Thirteen promising directors from Europe, Asia and Latin America will vie for the Kutxa New Directors Award and a $55,000 (€50,000) cash prize at the 63rd San Sebastian International Film Festival, organizers said on Tuesday in unveiling the new directors section lineup.

Many of the section’s films deal with coming of age and love themes, such as Michal Vinik’s Barash, about a 17-year-old girl who seeks meaning outside her troubled home, and Hannah Skold’s Granny’s Dancing on the Table, which focuses on a girl raised in isolation by a father who taught her to fear.

Scotland’s Scott Graham, who reaped accolades for his directorial debut Shell, landing the British Independent Film Awards’ Most Promising Newcomer nod, returns to the festival with Iona. Named for the title character, the drama sees a woman and her teenage son seek shelter on the island where she grew up only to wrestle with a lifestyle Iona rejected years earlier.

Statements on modern society come in the form of Hans Christian Berger’s After Eden from Canada, which sees a college student track down his favorite porn star and follows her until he works up the courage to approach her, and Stephan Richter’s One of Us, about teenagers in the suburbs fighting against a meaningless existence.

Also in the new directors section, Olmo Omerzu’s Family Film shows a family’s destruction when the parents' boat sinks, and Sebastian Brahm’s The Sexual Life of Plants sees a young woman try to rebuild love and her life after an accident leaves the love of her life radically different.

Ben Sharrock’s romantic comedy Pikadero looks at how a broke, young couple must navigate a hot romance while living at home.

The San Sebastian festival runs in Spain’s northern Basque region from Sept. 18-26.

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