Held in a seaside village in the Basque Country that is renowned for its gastronomy and stunning beaches, the San Sebastian International Film Festival remains the world's most important Spanish-language film festival. It is renowned for its glamorous ambiance, high-profile competition, evening events, the large number of films presented and high audience numbers. In 2009, the festival's accredited guest list included 1,077 production companies, distributors, and representatives from festivals and cultural organizations from 53 countries, as well as 1,053 journalists from 36 countries.
The festival includes the following sections: the Official Competition, the Zabaltegui section (with the Kutxa-New Directors prize of €90,000), the Horizontes Latinos section (with a €35,000 prize), as well as prestigious retrospectives.
The TCM Audience Prize, given to films in the Perlas sub-section of the Zabaltegui Panorama, offers €70,000 to the Spanish importer of the winning film
and a second prize of €35,000 for the European film with the largest number of votes.
The Films in Progress section, organized in collaboration with the Latin American Film Meetings in Toulouse, offers aid for the completion of Latin American film projects.
The festival's most recently created section, put together in partnership with the Amiens Film Festival and the Fribourg Film Festival, the Cinema in Motion sidebar focuses on projects from North Africa, Portuguese-speaking and Arabic-speaking African countries.
The festival also hosts meetings between film schools from around the world.
The San Sebastian International Film Festival's representative in France is Alex Masson
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