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Eight German productions and co-productions are competing in competition sections in San Sebastian


San Sebastian will be hosting its international film Festival for the 71st time this year. Around 200 films will be shown in six competitive and seven non-competitive sections in the Basque city between 22 and 30 September. A total of 16 German productions and co-productions will be taking part in the festival. German director Christian Petzold is part of the official jury in San Sebastian.

The competitive sections in San Sebastian include the Official SelectionNew Directors, Horizontes LatinosZabaltegi-Tabakalera, Perlak and Nest. The New Directors section will present director Farhad Delaram’s drama ACHILLES (Basis Berlin, Barrierifilm). After celebrating its world premiere in Toronto in early September, the film will now be in the running here for the Kutxabank New Directors Award. ACHILLES centres on a young filmmaker working in a hospital whose life is changed by an encounter with a mysterious woman.

AFIRE (Schramm Film Koerner Weber Kaiser) can be seen in the Perlak section. Director Christian Petzold won the Silver Shell for Best Director at San Sebastian in 2012 for BARBARA and then took part in the festival's official selection in 2014 when PHOENIX was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize. AFIRE, a drama about four people living together in a holiday home during a hot, dry summer, received the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Berlinale. A prerequisite for the Perlak section’s selection of the year's best feature films is that they have received critical acclaim and/or awards at other international festivals.

Zabaltegi-Tabakalera is San Sebastian Festival’s all-encompassing competitive section. Director Ion de Sosa will be showing his medium-length feature film MAMÁNTULA (Paola Alvarez Filmproduktion) here. The avant-garde fantasy film revolves around a much desired young man who is also secretly a giant tarantula in disguise as well as wreaking havoc in Berlin.

SLIMANE (Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin, DFFB) will be screened in the competitive section for short films. The short film by Carlos Pereira about the exclusion of and threat to queer people was selected from 421 submissions and is now competing with twelve other productions in the Nest section.

SHE CHEF (Horse & Fruit Filmproduktion) by Melanie Liebheit and Gereon Wetzel is being shown out of competition in the Culinary Zinema section. The documentary follows young chef Agnes on her way to an internship in some of the best restaurants in the world. The German production MOONBOUND (Brave New Work, Little Dream Entertainment) will also screen out of competition in the Movies for Kids section. Directed by Ali Samadi Ahadi, the children's film tells the story of little Peter's adventure to save his sister from the clutches of the evil Moon Man.

The WIP Europe initiative will be held during the festival from 25 to 27 September. The work-in-progress section is aimed at films that are in the post-production phase and majority European productions. German director Michael Fetter Nathansky will be presenting his second film, MANNEQUINS (AT, Contando Films, Studio Zentral), a romantic drama set against a social backdrop about the magic of falling in love and the painful process of abandonment in one of Europe's largest mining areas.

Chaired by French director Claire Denis, German director Christian Petzold will be part of the film festival's official jury. Likewise, Petzold will give a masterclass for the Nest film students and speak about the creative processes when making his films as part of the festival’s Thought and Discussion Area.


All of the German productions and co-productions at a glance:

Official Selection
SULTANA’S DREAM by Isabel Herguera (ES/DE, Fabian&Fred)
PUAN by María Alché, Benjamín Naishtat (AG/IT/DE/FR/BR, Pandora Film)
LA PRÁCTICA (THE PRACTICE) by Martín Rejtman (AR/CL/PT/DE, Pandora Film)

New Directors
ACHILLES by Farhad Delaram (DE/IR/FR, Basis Berlin, Barrierifilm)

MAMÁNTULA by Ion de Sosa (DE/ES, Paola Alvarez Filmproduktion)

SLIMANE by Carlos Pereira (Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie Berlin)

AFIRE (ROTER HIMMEL) by Christian Petzold (Schramm Film Koerner Weber Kaiser)
FALLEN LEAVES by Aki Kaurismäki (FI/DE, Pandora Film)

Culinary Zinema
SHE CHEF! by Melanie Liebheit, Gereon Wetzel (DE/AT, Horse & Fruit Filmproduktion)

Horizontes Latinos
THE ECHO by Tatiana Huezo (MX/DE, Match Factory Productions)

Made in Spain
LA SINGLA by Paloma Zapata (ES/DE, Inselfilm Produktion)

Movies for Kids
MOONBOUND by Ali Samadi Ahadi (DE/AT, Brave New Work, Little Dream Entertainment)
AINBO: SPIRIT OF THE AMAZON by Jose Zelada, Richard Claus (PE/NL/DE, cometfilm)


Co-Production Forum
MIL PEDAZOS by Sergio Castro San Martin (CL/AR/DE, Orinokia Filmproduktion)

WIP Europe
MANNEQUINS by Michael Fetter (Contando Films, Studio Zentral)
ON THE WATER SURFACE by Zeynep Köprülü (TR/DE)

WIP Latam
REAS by Lola Arias (AR/DE/CH)


Sylva Häutle (Head of Festival Relations & Producers Liaison)
Angela Sonntag (Head of Press & Public Relations)