While female directors and actors reigned supreme at the San Sebastian Film Festival Awards tonight, Alina Grigo, who went from Romanian actor to director, received the Golden Shell for Best Film for her intimate debut feature “Blue Moon”. The film, a raw realistic study of a young woman’s attempt to free herself from an obscene rural family, was an unexpected winner, providing several high-profile author films in the main competition of the festival. Yet a full spectrum was covered: on the opposite end of the celebrity scale, Jessica Chastain was one of the two best actresses for “The Ice of Tammy Faye.”
This was the second year in a row that a woman filmmaker received the top award of the festival for the first time. Last year, Georgian writer-director De Coulombegashvili cleared the board for his debut “Beginning”, which won the Golden Shell in addition to Best Director, Actress and Screenplay. Coulombegashvili returned to the festival this year as head of a predominantly female jury যার including French director and recent Venice Golden Lion champion Audrey Diwan, Oscar-nominated Chilean dockmaker Maite Albardi, Spanish actor Susie Sanchez and US producer Ted Hope.
Kulumbegashvili’s jury was more inclined to spread the wealth than last year, even awarding a tie for the festival’s new gender-neutral acting award. Chasten was in attendance to receive a half-leading award for his promising star performance for controversial television journalist Tammy Faye Baker in Michael Schwalter’s biopic, vigorously launching the Oscar campaign for Best Actress for his performance. She shared the honor with the overwhelmed Danish teenager Flora Ophelia Hoffman Lindhall for the isolated family drama “As in Heaven”, which also won the Best Director award for T. Lindbergh – another new female filmmaker.
On stage, Chastain encouraged himself to share the festival’s first genderless acting award with another female actor. “The year of celebrating two female performances, it blew my mind,” she said before leaving to pay her respects to Baker herself: “I was very surprised to see her sympathy and her love and her friendship for what it was for her. The LGBTQ community, “he said, before describing the film as” a reminder to look beyond our first impressions and mascara. “
Achieving a female castle in the top competition prize, avant-garde French-Bosnian director Lucille Hadahihalilovich received the runner-up special jury award for her third feature, the dark surreal adult fairy tale “Yearwig”. (Her longtime colleague and husband Gaspar Nao, meanwhile, received the top award for her terrifying dementia study “Vortex” at the festival’s more experimental-based Jabaltegi-Tabkal sidebar.)
French DP Claire Mathen has won the cinematography award for the state-corruption thriller “Undercover” and the Spanish entry “Who’s Stopping Use” to collectively support the huge youth community. Veteran British director Terrence Davis won Best Screenplay for his aptly poetic Siegfried Sassoon biopic “Benediction”.
In other competitive sidebars of the festival, female dominance continued. In the new director’s division – somewhat overshadowed by the dominance of the first features of the top competition – Russian newcomer Lena Lanskih won “unwanted” for her teenage motherhood studies. And Mexican director Tatiana Huezo was the triple winner, winner of the festival’s Latin Horizons competition – and the Spanish Co-operation Award and TVE Another Look Award – for “Praying for Stealing”.
Hugo, who rose to fame through his documentary, was apparently inspired by the recognition of his first fictional feature, the story of a stranger who is regularly terrorized by cartel campaigns centered on a group of young women from a rural Mexican community. Hugo’s Doc “Tempestad” was nominated for an international Oscar in Mexico a few years ago; Tonight’s journey after a strong ear reception, his latest should be considered a strong possibility to be this year’s candidate.
Eventually, both the festival’s public-voted awards went to French production. Celine Sayamma received the major audience award for her delicate heartbreaker “Petit Maman”, a small but fully formed dual study of motherhood and childhood that has been a favorite of international critics since its premiere in Berlin in February. (It was also shot by tonight’s cinematography winner Matthew.) Emmanuel Carrier won a separate Audience Award for Best European Film, starring Juliet Binoche – a somewhat confusing difference this year, although perhaps some of the male directors had some kind of consolation.
Official Selection Prize
Golden Shell for Best Photo: “Blue Moon,” said Alain Gregor
Special Jury Award: “Earwig,” Lucile Hadžihalilović
Silver Shell for Best Director: “As in heaven,” said Lindeberg
Silver Shell for Best Leading Performance (tied): “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” Jessica Chastain; “As in heaven,” said Flora Ophelia Hoffman Lindahall
Silver Shell for Best Supporting Performance: “Who’s stopping us,” the costume said
Best Screenplay: “Benediction,” Terrence Davis
Best Cinematography: “Spy,” said Claire Mathen
New Director Award: “Unwanted,” said Lena Lanskih
New Director Award (special mention): “Karajita,” Sylvina Shiner, Ulysses Pora
Horizontes Latinos Award: “Pray for the theft,” Tatiana Huejo said
San Sebastian Audience Award: “Petite Maman,” said Celine Siam
Audience Award for Best European Film: “Between two worlds,” said Emanuel Carrier
Jabaltegi-Tabkal Award: “Whirlpool,” Gaspar no
Jabaltegi-Tabkal Award (Special Mention): “They carry death,” said Helena Giron, Samuel M. Delgado
TVE Another Appearance Award: Pray for the theft, ”Tatiana Huejo said
Spanish Cooperation Award: “Pray for the theft,” Tatiana Huejo said
Erieza Basque Film Awards: “Maxable,” Isaiah said
Erizar Basque Film Award (Special mention): “Quartak Valley,” Maider Olega