Festival de San Sebastian – SSIFF 2009
57ème édition



Laurent CANTET, Chairman


At a time when the situation is being painted in excessively grey hues and the foreseeable future would seem to require a tightening of the belt, cinema can help us to hint at far more encouraging prospects.
Despite the fact that times are difficult, as if they haven’t always been, the movie world continues to seethe with contradictory ideas, endless styles, a permanent contrast between ways of thinking and
living, of creating awareness and entertainment. That’s why, true to the vitality of cinema, we refuse to give up on colour of any kind, to narrow any paths. The image of this edition endeavours to represent
them all.

The opening film, « Chloe », sparks off a whole play on fictions and realities set to multiply as the Official Selection unfolds. Its director, Atom Egoyan, will open the way to a host of famous directors including François Ozon, Bruno Dumont, Juan José Campanella, Fernando Trueba, Jeon Soo-il, Javier Rebollo, Isaki Lacuesta, Christoph Honoré, Rodrigo García and so many more, all moviemakers who fight off defeatist tendencies with talent, imagination and passion.

The enthusiasm of youth can be felt in the proposals of Zabaltegi-New Directors, Zinemaldia’s second competition which, after over 20 years of introducing names now commonplace on the festival circuit, continues to propose the exciting adventure of discovering new talents in perfect cohabitation with the big names coming together in Zabaltegi-Pearls and Specials.

The Latin-American cinema which has always been a weighty mainstay at San Sebastian is now recognised as one of the most important sources of creativity worldwide and is thus reflected in the
Horizontes Latinos selection. Here we will also find some of the works resulting from Films in Progress, movies which, having passed through its aid programme, are now completely finished and ready to take on the world.

This creative effort similarly imposes itself in Backwash, with its reflection on ten years of groundbreaking French cinema, in the idealism of Richard Brooks, in Made in Spain, the Spanish movie overview, and in the Zinemira-Basque Film Showcase section, demonstrating, more than ever this year, the diversity of languages and cultures that these geographical areas are capable of bringing together.

A diversity also flowing over into the technical field: the increase in digital screenings, the special 3D showings in the Velodrome or the organisation of a digital forum all point towards a Film Festival committed to the hilt to the new ways of watching and transmitting cinema. In times of cutbacks and frugality, let’s celebrate this extravagance of ideas, sensations and colours.
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