Film Scouts Buzz

1995 San Sebastian Film Festival Buzz
Olé to Mexico and España at San Sebastian

by Janet Fine

San Sebastian, Spain - The festivities continues well into the night at the San Sebastian International Film Festival (September 14-24), showing no mid-life crisis at 43 years old. As the crowds line the cobble-stoned steps of this seaside resort to watch celebrities such as Catherine Deneuve receive the honorary Golden Shell for European Cinema, presented by Juan Luis Bunuel, son of legendary Spanish director Luis Bunuel who cast her as the "Belle du jour"; see the flamboyant entourage of Spanish director Pedro Almodovar now lauded for his new film, THE FLOWER OF MY SECRET or cheer the director's former feuding lead actress Carmen Maura as she marches down the red carpeted walkway for the premiere of well-known Spanish director Jaime de Arminian's new film, THE WOUNDED PIGEON. Producers behind the scene are busy pacing away.

After a co-production accord was signed between Mexico and Spain, There has been an influx of Mexican producers to the festival, showing films and meeting with Spanish companies for future co-ventures. Mexican films in competition, UNTAMED WOMEN by veteran director Alberto Isaac who weaves a feminist viewpoint of women leaving their macho husbands in Mexico.

Canal Plus, the largest sponsor of the festival, gave a glittering dinner on September 21 to highlight the bonding between TV and Film, with the producers from Bilbao to Barcelona working the crowds to help increase the market that has pumped funds into a European co-production finance plan for more Spanish-French cooperation. Although it is more "pleasure" than "business" at San Sebastian, producers' are trying to widen the small market appeal of Spanish cinema.

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