Wednesday, September 30, 2020

68th San Sebastián Film Festival -Dea Kulumbegashvili’s “Beginning” bagged four of the jury’s seven prizes.


The 68th San Sebastián Film Festival helped revive the global festival circuit this season with a physical event held September 18-26 in Spain. The lineup, which kicked off with Woody Allen’s “Rifkin’s Festival,” concluded with the annual awards on September 26.Thirteen films were in the race for coveted awards for this rare physical film festival of the season.

Dea Kulumbegashvili’s debut feature “Beginning” took four of the jury’s seven prizes, including Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Actress for star Ia Sukhitashvili, and finally the Golden Shell for Best Film. It is a remarkable haul for a harrowing, avant-garde film that has taken critics by surprise this fall festival season, also landing the Fipresci critics’ prize in Toronto last week. The Franco-Georgian production centers on a close-knit community of Jehovah’s Witnesses in remote rural Georgia, and tracks the growing psychological torment of its leader’s wife (played by Sukhitashvili) in the wake of an extremist attack on their place of worship.

The Official Jury chaired by the Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino has decided that the Silver Shell for Best Actor should go collectively to Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Magnus Millang and Lars Ranthe, the group of actors from the film Druk Another Round (Denmark-Sweden-Netherlands), directed by Thomas Vinterberg.

In addition, the Special Jury Prize goes to Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan (UK), Julien Temple’s music documentary about the leader of The Pogues. The jury decided that the award is “for Julien Temple and Shane MacGowan for the beautiful, poetic, unflinching and unreconciled punk energy” transmitted by this film produced by Johnny Depp. 

The Jury Prize for Best Cinematography has gone to Yuta Tsukinaga for his work in the feature film Nakuko wa ineega / Any Crybabies Around? (Japan), directed by Takuma Sato.

Other awards

Isabel Lamberti’s La última primavera / Last Days of Spring (Netherlands-Spain) won the Kutxabank-New Directors Award, and in the same section a special mention went to Gē shēng yuán hé màn bàn pāi / Slow Singing (China), by Dong Xingyi. The Horizontes Award was presented to Sin señas particulares / Identifying Features (Mexico-Spain), by Fernanda Valadez, while the special mention went to Clarisa Navas for Las mil y una / One in a Thousand (Argentina-Germany). The Zabaltegi-Tabakalera Award was carried off by Catarina Vasconcelos with A metamorfose dos pássaros The Metamorphosis of Birds (Portugal) and the special mention went to Domangchin yeoja / The Woman Who Ran (South Korea), by Hong Sang-soo.

The Orona-Nest Award went to Catdog (India), by Ashmita Guha, with a special mention for The Speech (USA), by Haohao Yan. David Perez Sañudo’s Ane Ane is Missing won the Irizar Basque Film Award, while Non dago Mikel? / Where is Mikel? by Amaia Merino and Miguel Ángel Llamas landed a special mention. The City of Donostia / San Sebastian Audience Award went to The Father (UK), by Florian Zeller, and the Audience Award for Best European Film was carried off by El agente topo / The Mole Agent (Chile-USA-Germany-Netherlands-Spain), by Maite Alberdi. Moreover, the TCM Youth Award went to Ben Sharrock for Limbo (UK).

Dasatskisi / BeginningDruk / Another Round and Limbo come from the official selection of the Festival de Cannes, which cancelled its 73rd edition this year due to the pandemic.

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