Mariana Rondón’s Bad Hair / Pelo malo won the Golden Shell at the 2013 San Sebastian Film Festival, which wrapped up today, September 28, in northern Spain’s coastal city also known as Donostia (in Basque). The Venezuelan / Peruvian / German co-production tells the story of a nine-year-old boy (Samuel Lange Zambrano) with "bad hair," who decides to have his unruly curls molded pop-singer style (Justin Bieber’s?) for his yearbook picture. His mother (Samantha Castillo), however, is against it — the boy’s new hairdo is just not manly enough. Family conflicts ensue.
The San Sebastian Film Festival’s Special Jury Prize went to newcomer Fernando Franco’s Wounded / La herida, a Spanish drama about a 30-year-old ambulance driver whose life falls to pieces as a consequence of her undiagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder. Wounded also earned star Marian Álvarez the Silver Shell for Best Actress.
The Silver Shell for Best Director was given to Mexican filmmaker Fernando Eimbcke for Club Sandwich / Club Sándwich, about an adolescent’s sexual and romantic stirrings that are about to radically change his close relationship with his mother. In the Club Sandwich cast: Lucio Giménez Cacho, María Renée Prudencio, and Danae Reynaud.
San Sebastian Film Festival 2013 Awards: Best Actor Jim Broadbent, Bertrand Tavernier movie wins Best Screenplay
Veteran British actor Jim Broadbent — a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award winner for Iris (2001) — took home the Silver Shell for Best Actor for his performance in Roger Michell’s British drama Le Week-end — which is not a remake of Jean-Luc Godard’s 1967 classic of sorts. Also featuring Lindsay Duncan and Jeff Goldblum, Le Week-end follows a couple of British teachers attempting to rekindle their moribund marriage while visiting Paris, the site of their honeymoon. Screenplay by Hanif Kureishi (My Beautiful Laundrette, Venus).
Veteran director Bertrand Tavernier’s Quai d’Orsay received the Jury Prize for Best Screenplay. Written by Tavernier, Antonin Baudry, and Christophe Blain, Quai d’Orsay is based on a graphic novel by Baudry and Blain (as Blain & Lanzac). Nope, there is no Iron Man, The Dark Knight, or The Avengers in this one. Instead, Quai d’Orsay is a political satire about French Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexandre Tallard de Vorms (Thierry Lhermitte), "a man who calls on the powerful and invokes the mighty to bring peace, to calm the trigger-happy, and to cement his aura of Nobel Peace Prize winner-in-waiting." Besides Lhermitte, the Quai d’Orsay cast features, Niels Arestrup, Julie Gayet, Didier Bezace, Thomas Chabrol (son of Claude Chabrol and Stéphane Audran), Anaïs Demoustier, Raphaël Personnaz, Thierry Frémont, Joséphine de La Baume, and veteran Jane Birkin.
Additionally, Quai d’Orsay won the International Film Critics’ FIPRESCI Prize.
More 2013 San Sebastian Film Festival Awards: Serial killers, clever horses, ETA members
Pau Esteve Birba was the winner of the Jury’s Prize for Best Cinematography for his work on Manuel Martín Cuenca’s Cannibal / Caníbal. This international co-production — Spain / Romania / Russia / France — is described as "the tale of love with a demon: Carlos is not only Granada’s most reputed tailor, he’s also a closet murderer." Unlike most other closet cases, Carlos (Antonio de la Torre) performs his deeds without any feelings of guilt — that is, until he meets a woman named Nina (Olimpia Melinte).
The New Directors Award went to actor-turned-director Benedikt Erlingsson for the well-received Of Horses and Men / Hross í oss, a German / Icelandic dramatic comedy about the strong bond between humans and horses. Among Erlingsson’s acting credits is Lars von Trier’s The Boss of It All.
The San Sebastian Film Festival’s Horizontes Award, for films produced in Latin America, went to first-timer Fernando Coimbra’s Wolf at the Door / O Lobo Atrás da Porta, a Brazilian drama sharing elements in common with the current Hugh Jackman / Jake Gyllenhaal movie Prisoners: following the kidnapping of a child, the victim’s parents (Milhem Cortaz and Fabiula Nascimento) and the main suspect — the father’s lover (Leandra Leal) — give contradictory evidence, slowly revealing the complex relationships among the involved parties.
And finally, the Irizar Basque Film Award went to Amaia Merino and Aitor Merino’s Asier AND I / Asier ETA biok, a documentary about a man who joins the Basque separatist organization ETA (the word "eta" also translates as "and" in Basque); while the Otra Mirada ("Another Look") Award went to François Ozon’s Cannes Film Festival entry Young and Beautiful / Jeune et jolie, described as the "portrayal of a 17-year-old girl in four seasons and four songs." Last year, Ozon took home the San Sebastian Film Festival’s Golden Shell for In the House / Dans la maison.
Samuel Lange Zambrano Bad Hair photo: San Sebastian Film Festival.