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You are in: Home > 2017. 65th Edition  > News > Thirteen first and second films by filmmakers from Argentina, Belgium, Chile, China, Colombia, France, Philippines, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan to compete for the Kutxabank-New Directors Award
Thirteen first and second films by filmmakers from Argentina, Belgium, Chile, China, Colombia, France, Philippines, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan to compete for the Kutxabank-New Directors Award
Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

At a news conference held today, the San Sebastian Festival Director, José Luis Rebordinos, and the Director of the Kutxabank Gipuzkoa Network, Ander Aizpurua, revealed the titles of thirteen first or second films by European, Asian and Latin American filmmakers to compete for the Kutxabank-New Directors Award in a section seeking to discover new filmmakers, i.e. new ways of thinking and making cinema.

A sect, a town with no men, a Swedish farm, the South Korean army, adolescence, disease or a father’s murder are some of the contexts taken up by these new helmers, several of whom can boast an acknowledged career in the field of short films.

Sweden’s Jens Assur is a well-known photographer and moviemaker whose shorts have premiered and landed awards at Cannes, Clermont-Ferrand, Tribeca and Sundance. His feature debut, entitled Korparna / Ravens, tells the tale of a young boy whose father is hell-bent on him continuing to run the family farm.

One of the shorts by the Belgian director and screenwriter Gilles Coulier, famous for the TV series Bevergem / The Natives, was selected at the Cinéfondation, while another competed at Cannes. In his first film, Cargo, he portrays the conflict between the three siblings of a family on the edge of the abyss.

The short films made by Colombian director Laura Mora have won numerous awards and in 2015 her feature debut, Antes del fuego, was selected for the Cartagena de Indias Festival. Her second film, Matar a Jesús / Killing Jesus, is her most personal project and takes its inspiration from events following her father’s murder in 2002.

Tigre is the first feature from the Argentine moviemaker Silvina Schnicer and Ulises Porra, Catalan director living in Buenos Aires, having formerly joined hands to co-direct and write the short film La bicha, winner of Argentina’s Fondo Nacional de las Artes Award. In their first inroads to feature films they look at a woman who returns, after a long absence, to an island in the Delta of the Tigre river.

Produced by Juan de Dios, Pablo Larraín and Fernanda del Nido, Princesita / Princess is the second feature film by Marialy Rivas. The Chilean director debuted with Joven & Alocada (Young & Wild), selected for Films in Progress 20 at the San Sebastian Festival (2011) and a competitor in Horizontes Latinos after winning the World Cinema Screenwriting Award at Sundance in 2012. Princesita / Princess, which was selected by Films in Progress 28, narrates the experience of a 12 year-old girl living in a sect.

After his first film, Jimmy Rivière (Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Angers, 2011), the French actor and moviemaker Teddy Lussi-Modeste turns his eyes in Le Prix du succès / The Price of Success towards an up-and-coming comedian whose success brings him into confrontation with his brother.

Le semeur / The Sower is the first film by Marine Francen, former assistant to Michael Haneke and Olivier Assayas. On the cast are the Belgian actress Pauline Burlet (Most Promising Actress Magritte in 2014 for Le passé / The Past), Géraldine Pailhas (Best Supporting Actress César nominée for Jeune & Jolie / Young & Beautiful) and Alban Lenoir (nominated for a Most Promising Actor Lumière in 2016 for Un Français), who tell the tale of a town brutally deprived of men.

Blue My Mind is the first work from the Swiss director Lisa Brühlmann, focused on a 15 year-old adolescent (Luna Wedler) as she deals with the radical changes taking place in her body.

Pok-ryuk-eui Ssi-at / The Seeds of Violence won the national competition at the Jeonju Festival. In this movie, director Lim Tae-gue follows the evolution of a soldier in the South Korean army as he tries to report the abuses by a superior.

The Taiwanese filmmaker Lai Kuo-an presents in San Sebastian his first feature, A Fish Out of Water, about a boy who demands that his parents help him to find his mother and father in a previous life.

In Pailalim / Underground, first film by Daniel Palacio, produced by the Philippine moviemaker Brillante Mendoza, the star is a homeless man who lives in a cemetery and has no money to pay for the medical treatment required by his daughter, who is seriously ill.

Wang Feifei, curator of the China Independent Film Festival, constructs his first feature, He ri jun zai lai / From Where We’ve Fallen, around four elements: a nightmare, an angry man, a sex scandal and a glass bracelet.

Nicolás Combarro (A Coruña, 1979), a well-known artist who uses different forms of expression including photography and sculpture, presents his first film, Alberto García-Alix.La línea de la sombra / Alberto García Alix. The Shadow Line, which looks into the universe of the Spanish photographer, whose work he has curated and with whom he has closely collaborated.

The remaining titles making up the New Directors section will be announced in the coming weeks.This section, forming part of the Festival’s commitment to upcoming film talents, is a platform that lends visibility to their films. The last two winners of the Kutxabank-New Directors Award have been released in Spain: Le nouveau / The New Kid (2015), later selected for festivals including Zagreb, Melbourne and Lisbon, where it landed the Audience Award, and Park (2016), acknowledged at the Geneva and Thessaloniki competitions as well as being proclaimed Best New Director by the Greek Film Academy.

The Kutxabank-New Directors Award, to be decided by an international jury, comes with €50,000 for the film’s director and distributor in Spain. Kutxabank’s sponsorship of the New Directors section comes as part of a wider participation, under which the financial institution continues to occupy its place this year as the Film Festival’s Official Collaborator.

The films screened in this section will also compete for the EROSKI Youth Award, to be decided by a jury of 300 students between the ages of 18 and 25.



A Fish Out of Water
Lai Kuo-An
Country(ies) of production: Taiwan

Yian, who has just started kindergarten, often asks his parents to help him find his past life parents. However, the doctors and his parents believe him to be suffering from psychosis. Meanwhile, his parents are negotiating their separation. His mom, Yaji, decides to move out with him while his dad, Haoteng, decides to look after Yian's sick grandfather...

© Morelli Producciones
Alberto García-Alix. La línea de sombra / Alberto García-Alix. The Shadow Line
Nicolás Combarro
Country(ies) of production: Spain

Alberto García-Alix. La línea de sombra is the portrait of one of the most important photographers on the Spanish artistic scene, reference of an entire generation. A direct testimony of the lights and shadows through which Alberto García-Alix has had to make his way in order to find his path. Narrated from the intimacy of his studio, the film takes the shape of a voyage between the present and the past. A dialogue between his life and work.

Blue My Mind
Lisa Brühlmann (Switzerland)
Country(ies) of production: Switzerland

Just before the summer vacation, 15-year-old Mia and her parents move to the suburbs of Zürich. She has long felt estranged from her parents, and when she asks whether she might be adopted her mother becomes offended - but doesn't reply. While Mia plunges into a wild teenager existence in an attempt to cope with it all, her body begins to change oddly. First hardly noticeably, but then with a force that threatens to drive her out of her mind. In her despair she attempts to numb herself with sex and drugs, hoping to halt the tidal wave that is overwhelming her. But nature is more powerful.

Gilles Coulier
Country(ies) of production: Belgium - Netherlands - France

In the cold waters of the North Sea, Leon Broucke falls overboard his fishing boat right before the eyes of his eldest son, Jean. The old man slips into a deep coma, leaving his son behind with a huge debt and the responsibility of the family business. The absence of his father sets off an aftershock of conflicts between him and his two brothers. Francis is torn between his family and leaving with his secret lover. William returns home to escape his life of crime, and redeem himself. Desperate to build a future for his 8-year-old son, Jean recriminates his brother for his criminal past. Cargo is a story about how desperation can bring a family to the edge of destruction.

© WANG Tianxing
He ri jun zai lai / From Where We've Fallen
Wang Feifei
Country(ies) of production: China

It's past midnight. Zhao goes down to smoke, leaving his drunken wife to murmur her erotic dream upstairs.Neighbour Lee jumps off the building in front of Zhao, and his suicide reveals a secret sex video taken by phone. Sanqing falls in love with her tutor. She wants to strengthen her relationship with Professor Sun on a seaside trip, but finally realises her efforts are in vain. Hai Long is an old acquaintance of Sun. He tries to bring Sanqing and his client Wang together, giving Sanqing the opportunity to take revenge. In the dark tunnel on the island, Wang tells Sanqing a nightmare that reveals the whole story...

Korparna / Ravens
Jens Assur
Country(ies) of production: Sweden

A hard-working farmer, desperate due to the harsh reality of his daily struggle, is determined to have his son take over the farm and continue his legacy. The mother tries her best to keep the family together, but with increasing horror the son witnesses his father's psychotic behaviour escalate. He seeks refuge elsewhere but he can't escape the inevitable.

Le prix du succès / The Price of Success
Teddy Lussi-Modeste
Country(ies) of production: France

Brahim is a successful stand-up comedian from a working-class family. His swift rise to fame has a price: Brahim is constantly under pressure, torn between his elder brother Mourad, who is also his manager, and Linda, his girlfriend and artistic director. Everyone has high expectations of him, from his family to the guys he grew up with. To fulfill his dream, write his second show, and find his own path, Brahim must break free of his brother’s grip, even if it means paying an even higher price. 

Le Semeur / The Sower
Marine Francen (France)
Country(ies) of production: France

Violette is old enough to marry in 1852 when her mountain village is brutally deprived of all its men following the repression of the Republicans ordered by Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte. The women spend months in total isolation. Desperate to one day see their men again, they take an oath: if a man comes, he will be for everyone. Life must continue in the belly of each and every one of them.

Matar a Jesús / Killing Jesus
Laura Mora (Colombia)
Country(ies) of production: Colombia - Argentina

Paula, a 22 year-old student, witnesses the murder of her beloved father, a popular political sciences professor at a public university in Medellin. From the distance, she catches a glimpse of the murderer as he beats a hasty retreat on a motorcycle. Devastated by the pain of their loss, Paula and her family will have to deal with official lethargy. The authorities will make no effort to clarify the events and the case is soon archived and abandoned. When Christmas comes round, a couple of months after the murder, Paula accidentally bumps into Jesús, the young man who killed her father. So what happens when revenge becomes a real possibility? Paula decides to approach the man, initially motivated by an almost primitive instinct to get answers and eventually to find the courage to cross the moral and ethical line of killing a man, thereby avenging her father’s death.

Pailalim / Underground
Daniel Palacio
Country(ies) of production: Filipinas

Bangis is a poor gravedigger living inside a cemetery mausoleum with his family. Everyday he fears being evicted by the government for illegally settling inside the cemetery. When his daughter falls ill, getting her checked in a hospital becomes a dilemma. The illness lingers for weeks and Bangis' desperation grows stronger. He knows he must do something or his daughter won't survive her ordeal. He decides to steal a newly buried corpse and sell it to a funeral parlor. He only hopes that everything goes well and that it's not too late for his beloved daughter.

Pok-ryuk-eui Ssi-at / The Seeds of Violence
Lim Tae-gue
Country(ies) of production: South Korea

Jooyong, a soldier serving his duty in the Korean army, attempts to expose the abuses of a senior soldier but fails. On the day Jooyong's platoon goes on a night out as a group, the senior soldier tries to find the culprit who attempted to report him. Yet another violent situation results in breaking a tooth of a second private soldier, and Jooyong takes him to his brother-in-law's dental clinic...

Princesita / Princess
Marialy Rivas (Chile)
Country(ies) of production: Chile - Spain - Argentina
Films in Progress 28

In a far-off country at the end of the world Tamara, aged 12, lives under the wing of charismatic cult leader Miguel, a man she adores. That summer the girl will be given a mission: to have a holy child with him immediately she has her first period. Tamara realises that the life she wants for herself is not the same as the fate imposed on her. Her disobedience will lead to her violent development from child to woman, forcing her to gain her freedom in a way she had never imagined. 

Silvina Schnicer Schlieman (Argentina), Ulises Porra Guardiola (Argentina)
Country(ies) of production: Argentina

After a long period of absence, Rina returns to her island deep in the Tigre river Delta. There she spent a large part of her life and raised her son. Now she wants to recover her home and return there with Facundo, who also left the island. Both, mother and son, will learn that nothing is like it was. Machines on the river are about to destroy everything. A girl is lost in the forest. The water is rising.

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