'River,' 'Death Row' rep U.S. at San Sebastian
Festival selects 16 films for New Directors AwardMADRID -- The Argentinian romantic comedy "Lovely Loneliness" and U.S. titles "Frozen River" and "Letters From Death Row" will vie with 13 other films for the coveted New Directors Award at the 56th San Sebastian International Film Festival, organizers said Friday.
The 90,000 euro ($133,000) prize, to be split between the director and the Spanish distributor of the film, has helped launch some of international filmmaking's hottest fresh faces over the years.
This year's lineup is true to form, emphasizing such hard-hitting subjects as crime, drugs, old-age loneliness, missing children and prison life.
Courtney Hunt's "Frozen River, the Grand Jury prizewinner at Sundance this year, and Belen Macias' previously announced "My Prison Yard" will compete for the New Directors Award while also screening in the official competition.
One of the most anticipated titles is "Death Row," Chinese-American Kevin Feng Ke's directorial debut, a look at a maximum security Chinese prison through the eyes of the man assigned to record the prisoners' last will.
Arno Dierickx's "Blood Brothers," based on a real-life 1960s murder, and Cao Baoping's crime drama "The Equation of Love and Death" also made the cut.
The festival, which previously announced the Spanish titles in the section, is set for Sept. 18-27.
The films selected for 2008 are:
"Amateurs," Gabriel Velazquez, Spain
"Lovely Loneliness" (Amorosa Soledad), Martin Carranza, Victoria Galardi, Argentina
"Letters From Death Row" (Ba Bai Bang), Kevin Feng Ke, China-U.S.
"Blood Brothers" (Bloedbroeders), Arno Dierickx, Netherlands
"Ordinary Boys" (Chicos Normales), Daniel Hernandez, Spain
"Insignificant Things" (Cosas Insignificantes), Andrea Martinez Crowther, Mexico-Spain
"Derriere Moi," Rafael Ouellet, Canada
"Noise" (Entre Os Dedos), Tiago Guedes, Frederico Serra, Portugal-Brazil
"The Firm Land," Chapour Haghighat, Iran-France-India
"The Equation Of Love And Death" (Li Mi De Cai Xiang), Cao Baoping, China-Hong Kong
"Passion," Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Japan
"Thomas," Miika Soini, Finland
"El Truco Del Manco," Santiago Zannou, Spain
"Unspoken" (Le Non Dit), Fien Troch, Belgium-The Netherlands
Other Official Selection films eligible For The New Directors Award:
"Frozen River," Courtney Hunt, U.S.
"My Prison Yard" (El Patio De Mi Carcel), Belen Macias, Spain