Those responsible for the San Sebastian Film Festival maintain the idea of holding the 68th edition on the dates set, from September 18 to 26, and although they know that this year may be different, what they are not considering is to make an online contest.
“We don’t want to do a digital festival, but we can still do it with some sections or activities. What is certain is that the Official Section and New Directors, whose films are absolute ‘premieres’, would never make them digital”, stated the Director of the Zinemaldia, José Luis Rebordinos, in a telephone interview with EFE.
He pointed out that sections such as Made in Spain, which brings together Spanish films already released, could be exhibited online to enable, in the probable case that the capacity is reduced, there are more passes for the films in the Official Section.
If the titles that compete for the Golden Shell and those that compete for the New Directors award cannot be scheduled in the venue on the scheduled dates, they will be transferred to other dates, he said.
“And if it cannot be done this way, it is not done,” said Rebordinos, who admits that right now they are analyzing “all the scenarios”, from the change of dates to a Festival “with restrictions”, and even the suspension.
“If suddenly the health authorities say that until December no festival or events can be held with crowds, because it is over. But today, we continue to work with everything open, making selection, in order to be able to do something It resembles the Festival, but with many doubts, “he pointed out.
For example, they have the probability that the 180,000 spectators that usually add up to each edition, at number 68, will become 40,000. With the fact that there are no sessions on the big screen of the Anoeta velodrome and that the Kursaal auditorium, with 1,800 seats, can only host 600 people per session.
“If in the Kursaal there can only be 30 or 50% of the public, then we would do it. Few or many, we want there to be public screenings. We would regulate the tickets to try to get something for everyone, although some may not see 40 films as they saw before. Our idea is that the public continue to enjoy the Festival in one way or another, “he said.
What he considers “easier” to organize electronically are the activities of the film industry, among other reasons because it assumes that “difficulties” will occur with the movement of guests from other countries.
“It seems that if there is no regrowth, people will be able to travel, but will they want to travel? From Europe and other parts of Spain they will probably come, but from the United States and Asia they will be afraid and maybe not as many people come,” he says.
The postponement of other competitions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Cannes postponed and still not knowing what plans it has, would nurture the autumn months of film dates, although Rebordinos believes that they will not be trodden on.
“I don’t think there will be simultaneity, but it could be that they are all very close, that suddenly in October, November and December there are a lot of festivals. I don’t know if it will be worse or better because there is such chaos in the production , in what Cannes was going to do and now it is not known … That Cannes will go in November I do not know if it influences us much more than the chaos that exists at the moment with respect to the movies, “he asks.
He says this 2020 is going to be “a year of survival for all festivals.” “We are going to have to adapt to a very rare situation and we will have to push forward and wait until everything is solved in 2021.”
A few days ago, in an interview with Variety, the director of Cannes, Thierry Fremáux, spoke of a possible alliance between the Gallic event and Venice, and revealed that festivals such as those of Locarno (Switzerland), Deauville (France) and San Sebastián also They had offered him their collaboration, which had “moved him very much.”
“We offered Cannes that if they needed anything, we were here, but there is nothing concrete,” Rebordinos explained.
The Zinemaldia itself is working to carry out some joint activity “with many festivals around the world”. “A small thing, not big things either, which we will announce”, he specifies.
“The trouble here is when we can each do the festival, if Venice can organize it on their dates or we can organize ours. Toronto, for example, is willing to do a lot of digital programming and not move the dates. But we, as I have That said, we are not going to do everything digital out of respect for the world premieres. Everything is unknown. Until the end of May or the beginning of June it will be very difficult to know how this is going, “he concludes.