San Sebastian Competition First Wave Includes Terence Davies, Lucile Hadzihalilovic, Claudia Llosa Pics

The 69th San Sebastian Film Festival has confirmed its first crop of Competition titles, including Terence Davies’ Benediction starring Jack Lowden and Peter Capaldi.

The movie chronicles different moments in the life of Siegfried Sassoon, a soldier and anti-war poet who survived the First World War. This will be British director Davies’ third time competing for the Golden Shell – San Seb’s top award – following The Deep Blue Sea in 2011 and Sunset Song in 2015.

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Also on the early list is the latest film from Lucile Hadzihalilovic, who previously bagged the San Seb New Directors Award with her debut, Innocence, in 2004, while her second feature, Evolution, landed the Special Jury Prize in the Official Selection in 2015. She returns this year with Earwig. Based on the novel by Brian Catling, it tells the story of Albert, a man employed to look after Mia, a girl with teeth of ice.

Claudia Llosa, winner of the Golden Bear at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival with The Milk of Sorrow, which was Oscar nominated, brings Fever Dream to San Seb. Pic is co-written by Samanta Schweblin, author of the book of the same name – a tale of invisible fear and the power of motherly love.

Claire Simon will be at San Seb this year with Want to Talk about Duras, chronicling an interview between the journalist Michèle Manceaux and Yann Andrea, lover of the writer Marguerite Duras in her last years.

Inés Barrionuevo will bring her fourth feature to San Seb’s Competition. Camila Comes Out Tonight follows a young woman who must deal with the changes of moving to Buenos Aires and taking up her studies at a traditional private school.

Three debutants have also been selected for this year’s Competition: Alina Grigore with Blue Moon, Zhang Ji with Fire On The Plain, Tea Lindeburg with As In Heaven.

The festival said it could not 100% confirm which of the titles will be world premieres at this stage. As the festival calendar has continued to shift due to Covid, more events are moving later in summer and selections have become more complicated.

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