San Sebastian Film Festival

The San Sebastian Film Festival began back in 1953. It is held every year in this Spanish city, and although originally it was intended to honour only films of the Spanish language, nowadays films from all over the world are eligible to receive the prestigious awards that are awarded at the ceremony. Most winners of the awards are determined by a jury although there is also an audience award at the ceremony for the category “most popular film.”

The 56th edition of the festival has just recently been held in San Sebastian which is situated in the beautiful Basque region of northern Spain. As always, there was star studded line up at the ceremony including Hollywood heavy weights Woody Allen and Meryl Streep. It is a film festival more for industry insiders and the media rather than everyday citizens and general fans, which is why it is less well known than other film festivals such as perhaps Venice or Cannes, and doesn’t attract as many crowds. Nonetheless it is a prestigious occasion and a great honour for artists who receive an award at the ceremony.

There were 15 films screened this year, most of which were done in the Palacio Kursaal convention center situated within the city. “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” was featured this year as was the latest Cohen Brothers film “Burn After Reading.” Additionally a film by Korean director Kim Ki-duk called “Dream” which is about a person whose nightmares become reality the following day was aired for the first time.

Streep who has taken two Oscars during her long standing career was awarded a lifetime achievement award as was Spanish actor Antonio Banderas. Both were delighted and honoured to accept this award. The red carpet this year was replaced by a fuchsia one that was one hundred meters long.

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