Pilar Palomero, Jaime Rosales, Mikel Gurrea and Fernando Franco will compete for the Golden Shell

The San Sebastian Film Festival turns 70, and it does so in a course where Spanish cinema stands out in all the contests where it is presented. Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, Karlovy Vary... they have all experienced the great moment of the industry. The Zinemaldia could not be less, and has already announced that its opening would be for a Spanish film. Model 77, the new title by Alberto Rodríguez, was chosen to kick off an Official Section that this Friday has seen the Spanish films that it will share for the Golden Shell.

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Four Spanish films, one of which is a debut feature, will compete for the festival's top prize. Two of them have already been in the Official Section of San Sebastián, and another two are making their debut. The veterans are Jaime Rosales and Fernando Franco. The former, a regular at Cannes, competed with his radical approach to ETA terrorism in Shot in the Head. He will now do so with Girasoles Silvestres, a social film starring Anna Castillo and Oriol Pla. The second, touched the Golden Shell with his excellent debut, The Wound and will try again with The Rite of Spring.

Promising debut is Suro, by Mikel Gurrea. It is rare for a debut feature to compete in the most important section of the festival, but this Basque director has achieved it with this film starring Vicky Luengo. Gurrea has just participated last year in the Venice Film Festival with his short film Heltzear. The other debutant at the Zinemaldia is Pilar Palomero, who after sweeping the 2020 Goyas with Las Niñas, her debut feature, arrives with her second film, La Maternal, a portrait of teenage motherhood in precarious conditions. Very much looking forward to seeing how her career, one of the most promising directors of our cinema, continues.

Although it is these four works that will fight for the Golden Shell, there will be much more Spanish cinema in the rest of the sections. Also in the official one, which will see the presentation of Apagón, the new Movistar series based on the podcast by José Antonio Pérez Ledo and which has brought together a stellar cast of directors: Rodrigo Sorogoyen, Alberto Rodríguez, Raúl Arévalo, Isaki Lacuesta and Isa Countryside. Out of competition will be the long-awaited documentary by Isabel Coixet on sexual abuse in the Lleida theater classroom.

In the second most important and also competitive section, Zabategi-Tabakalera, there will be two Spanish directors with two debut films that have already been seen at other festivals. Carlota Pereda will compete with Cerdita after going through Sundance, while Elena López Riera will be with El agua after visiting the Cannes Directors' Fortnight. Also the short Cuerdas, which was in Cannes. In new directors it will be possible to see To the books and to the women I sing, of María Elorza.

In Perlas, the section that shows the best presented in other contests or unreleased films will be As Bestas, the film by Rodrigo Sorogoyen and One Year, One Night, by Isaki Lacuesta. Both compete for the public award. A section that will close The crooked lines of God, by Oriol Paulo.

On the largest stage in all of San Sebastián, the Velodrome, you will experience the coming-out of Rainbow, the new film by Paco León that has brought together Telecinco Cinema and Netflix, where you can see this personal version of The Wizard of Oz; also the second part of Black is beltza, the animated film by Fermín Muguruza; and Feeling it a lot, the documentary about Joaquín Sabina shot by Fernando León de Aranoa. "In the eleven years I've been at the festival we haven't had such a strong presence of Spanish cinema," said festival director José Luis Rebordinos, who also announced that there are still one or two titles to be confirmed.

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