French director takes top honors in Spain

French director takes top honors in Spain

SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain - Agence France-Presse
French director takes top honors in Spain

Spanish actress Macarena Garcia (R) and Canadian actress Katie Coseni celebrate after receiving the ex-aequo Silver Shell award for best actress. AFP photo

The San Sebastian Film Festival, the oldest and most prestigious event of its kind in the Spanish-speaking world, ended on Sept. 29, presenting the top prize to French director Francois Ozon for his psychological thriller “Dans la maison” (In the House).

Ozon’s film tells the story of the relationship between a world-weary French teacher and a disturbingly gifted student. It is based on the play “The Guy in the Back Row” by Spanish playwright Juan Mayorga. In addition to the Golden Shell for best film, Ozon also picked up the best screenplay prize.

The prize for best director went to Spain’s Fernando Trueba for “The Artist and the Model,” a drama set in Nazi-occupied France during WWII.

Shot in black and white, it tells the story of the relationship between an aging French sculptor and a Spanish girl fleeing Franco’s Spain.

Award to Ghobadi

Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi’s “Rhino Season,” which was shot in Turkey and is starring world-renowned actress Monica Belluci along with Turkish artists Beren Saat, Belçim Erdoğan, Yılmaz Erdoğan, Caner Cindoruk, and Ahmet Mümtaz Taylan, won the best cinematography award at the festival.
The special jury prize went to Spanish director Pablo Berger’s “Snow White.”

Spanish actress Macarena Garcia won the Silver Shell for best actress for her performance in the film, which has also been selected as Spain’s candidate for best foreign-language picture at the Oscars.

Garcia shared the best actress honors with Katie Coseni for her performance in the Franco-Canadian production “Foxfire,” by French director Laurent Cantet.

The best actor award went to veteran Spanish actor Jose Sacristan for his performance in “The Dead Man and Being Happy” by Spanish writer-director Javier Rebollo, a road movie set in Argentina.