San Sebastian, Zurich Film Festivals to Share Movies

The latest collaboration between festivals is also designed to give filmmakers and other attendees increased access to additional markets.

MADRID – The San Sebastian International Film Festival and the Zurich Film Festival on Monday unveiled a partnership between the two events, which run almost simultaneously.

The collaboration is a nod to the growing trend of festivals teaming to strengthen symbiotic relations.

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Zurich will launch a "San Sebastian Window," offering a look at contemporary Spanish cinema by gleaning highlights from San Sebastian's program. In return, San Sebastian will feature a "Zurich Window" with  gems from German-speaking countries, particularly Switzerland.

While the move could be seen as "if you can't beat them, join them" as San Sebastian has often wrestled with the reality of being placed at the end of the festival season and seeing titles get picked for earlier festivals, Monday's news comes amid an increase in festival collaborations and sharing of films. For example, Sundance is sharing movies with Berlin, which starts just a little over a week after it ends, and Toronto and Venice are also formally sharing titles.

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"We consider ourselves fortunate to have found a kind of bridge in the ZFF, a festival that has developed into an important platform for cinema within a very short period of time," said San Sebastian director Jose Luis Rebordinos. "It will significantly pave the way north for emerging cinema from the south."

One of the veteran events on the European festival circuit, San Sebastian, which will see its 61st edition run Sept. 20-28, is generally recognized as the gateway to Europe for Latin American films. Zurich's organizers said they were happy to join forces in time for the Swiss festival's ninth edition, scheduled to run Sept. 26-Oct. 6.

"San Sebastian is considered amongst other things as an outstanding forum for Latin American films," said co-directors Karl Spoerri and Nadja Schildknecht. "As such, it enables the ZFF to remain in permanent contact with a region of the world boasting extraordinary creativity."