Francois Ozon's "In the House" Wins Top Honor at San Sebastian

Toronto In The House Still - H 2012

Special Jury Award went to the much-talked-about Spanish Snow White.

SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain –French filmmaker Francois Ozon’s In the House, about a teacher and his scheming student in a game that blurs reality and fiction, snagged the Golden Shell at the 60th San Sebastian International Film Festival Saturday.

Pablo Berger’s black and white, mute Snow White featuring Maribel Verdu and bullfighting dwarves earned a Special Jury Award, honoring what was one of the most loved and talked about films of the festival.

The jury also honored Ozon with the top screenplay, while Fernando Trueba took home the directorial honors for his The Artist and the Model during the closing ceremony at the futuristic Kursaal Auditorium.

But the ceremony started with a tearful Dustin Hoffman handed his Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award by Argentine actor and Official Jury member Ricardo Darin.

“The feeling you gave me as I came in is as important as the award,” a visibly moved Hoffman managed to get out after collecting himself. “You are a community of people that honor and encourage this art form and I feel truly honored to be in your presence.”

Katie Coseni from Foxfire and Macarena Garcia from Blancanieves shared the best actress honors, while Spain’s Jose Sancristan took the award for actor for his part in The Dead Man and Being Happy.

“I’d like to thank the jury at San Sebastian for a magnificent birthday present,” Sancristan said in a video from Caceres where he is playing Don Quijote in a theatrical production.

Paraguayan Fernando Guzzoni won the coveted 90,000 euro Kutxa New Director award for the much-anticipated follow-up to his 2008 La Colonia, called Dog Flesh which premiered worldwide in the section, depicting a complex moment in the life of a solitary many crushed by his past experiences.

Ben Lewin’sThe Sessions, which features Helen Hunt as a sex surrogate to help a man in an iron lung achieve his goal, won the Audience Award worth 60,000 euros.

Sebastian Lelio’s Gloria from Chile won this year’s Films in Progress Award, which foots the post-production costs of the unfinished project to deliver a 35mm copy with subtitles and a slot in next year’s San Sebastian lineup.