Thirteen productions from 15 countries are in the running for this year’s Kutxabank-New Directors Award at the San Sebastian Festival, Spain’s premiere film festival.
San Sebastian on Thursday unveiled its New Directors lineup of titles from first and second-time directors. The 2022 program features 12 debuts from across Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Indian moviemaker Parth Saurabh heads to San Sebastian with On Either Side of the Pond, a drama that follows a couple forced by the economic difficulties caused by the pandemic to return from Delhi to their hometown, who sees their relationship start to unravel.
European first-timers in the lineup include the 90s-set black comedy Carbon from Moldovan director Ion Borș, which won last year’s WIP Europa Industry and WIP Europa awards; The Great Silence from Danish director Katrine Brocks, the story of a novice nun who receives an awkward visit by her twin brother in the convent; Tobacco Barns from Spain’s Rocío Mesa, a magical realist tale set in tobacco drying rooms; Carmen Jaquier’s period drama Thunder, about woman’s emancipation in early 20th-century Switzerland; the survivalist feature Grand Martin by French-based Russian actor-turned-director Dinara Drukarova, who also stars as a woman who leaves everything behind to set sail on a fishing boat in the northern seas; and Carbide, the feature debut of Croatian director Josip Žuvan. San Sebastian previously announced that To Books and Women I Sing, the first feature from Basque director Maria Elorza, the story of an anonymous and unarmed legion of women who take care of books, will premiere at the festival this year.
Turkish director Jeanne Aslan and French moviemaker Paul Saintillan will present their co-directed debut Spare Keys, the tale of a teenager who establishes a relationship with her girlfriend’s brother, in San Sebastian, as will Nicaragua’s Laura Baumeister, at the 2022 festival with her first movie, Daughter of Rage, a story about an 8-year-old girl who lives in a trash dump. Baumeister’s feature took the best project award at the VIII Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum (2019) and the WIP Latam Industry Award (2021) and was made with support from the San Sebastian Festival.
Asian entries include Jeong-sun, a Korean drama about a woman who becomes embroiled in a covert affair with a colleague at the factory, from director Ji-hye Jeong; Nagisa, a story of two siblings driven apart by death, from Japanese filmmaker Takeshi Kogahara; and Roleless, from directing trio The directing trio Masahiko Sato, Yutaro Seki and Kentaro Hirase, which follows the trials and tribulations of a cable-car operator who side-lines as a film extra.
All thirteen films will compete for the Kutxabank-New Directors Award, which comes with a cash prize of $56,000 (€50,000) to be divided equally between the director and the film’s Spanish distributor.
The 70th San Sebastian Film Festival runs Sept. 16-24