San Seb makes it official


The latest works from directors John Sayles, Nick Broomfield and Simon Staho will screen alongside 13 other films in the official competition lineup of the 55th annual San Sebastian International Film Festival, organizers said.

Organizers said Friday that Sayles' segregated South feature "Honeydripper," Broomfield's Iraq documentary "Battle for Haditha" and Staho's motherhood balancing act "Daisy Diamond" will vie for the festival's Golden Shell.

Hans Weingartner's third feature, the Germany-Austria co-production "Reclaim Your Brain," and Manuel Poirier's Sergi Lopez starrer "The House" also have found slots in the official competition, while Wayne Wang's Chinese-American drama "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers" and Hong Kong helmer Pang Ho-Cheung's female conspiracy feature "Exodus" will keep the steady flow of Asian features in the official lineup intact.

San Sebastian, which runs Sept. 20-29 in Spain's northern Basque region, prides itself on a healthy mix of veteran directors and fresh talent, and this year's lineup is no exception.

U.S. newcomer Paolo Barzman's "Emotional Arithmetic," which stars Susan Sarandon, Christopher Plummer and Gabriel Byrne, and Roy Dupuis and Esteban Schroeder's Chilean kidnapping yarn "Matar a Todos" will help provide a counterbalance to the returning veterans. Those two titles will run in the official competition in addition to competing for the €90,000 ($110,000) Altadis-New Directors Award.

Also going for double honors are Anahi Berneri's "Embodiment," about a middle-age sex bomb's return home; Christopher Zalla's "Our Father"; Kim Mee-jeung's "Shadows in the Palace"; and Hana Makhmalbaf's Iran-France co-production "Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame."

Previously announced features for the official section include jury chair Paul Auster's "The Inner Life of Martin Frost," which will run out of competition; Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield's documentary film "Earth"; Iciar Bollain's "Mataharis"; and Gracia Querejeta's "Seven Billiards Tables."

David Cronenberg's "Eastern Promises" will open and Michael Radford's "Flawless" will close the official section.