Seventeen films which have been awarded EU funding are competing in 63rd San Sebastian International Film Festival between 18 and 26 September. The European Commission has invested around € 1,2 million through the Creative Europe MEDIA programme to support the development and distribution of these films. San Sebastian will also host the fifth event of the European Film Forum, which explores the current and future role played by cinema audiences.

Picture from the film "El rey de la Habana"

Six films are in the official selection 21 nuits avec Pattie / 21 nights with Pattie,  El Rey de la Habana,  Eva no duerme; High-rise, Les chevaliers blancs / the white knights and Sunset Song;  three in New Directors, three Perlas,  two in Zabaltegi , and one in each of the Culinary Cinema, "Horizontes Latinos and Zinemira competitions. More details about the films and EU-investment. San Sebastian will also host the fifth event of the European Film Forum, which explores the current and future role played by cinema audiences.

Films in the Official selection

New Directors, for International competition for first or second feature films by a director; not yet released and recently produced.

Perlas  for the best films of the year not yet released in Spain to have received critical acclaim and/or awards at other international festivals.

Zabaltegi. Efterskalv / The Here After (Magnus Von Horn -  Poland /Sweden/France)  and Francofonia (Alexander Sokurov -  France /Germany/ Netherlands) are taking part in this non-competitive section open to the most varied, surprising and attractive film proposals of the year.

The Culinary Cinema section is in collaboration with the Berlin International Film Festival and jointly organised with the Basque Culinary Center to unite cinema, gastronomy and activities related to food in education, science and agriculture. Noma, my perfect storm (Pierre Deschamps -  UK/Denmark) has received EU support

Horizontes Latinos is for  feature films, not yet released in Spain, produced totally or partially in Latin America and directed by filmmakers of Latin origin or set in or on the subject of Latin communities across the world. El Botón De Nácar (Patricio Guzmán  -France/Spain) received Media programme investment

Zinemira is  dedicated to Basque film organised by the San Sebastian Festival, the Basque Government Department of Culture and the Filmoteca Vasc. Walls (Pablo Iraburu Allegue, Migueltxo Molina Ayestarán) is taking part and was awarded funding from the EU MEDIA programme.

About the festival

Since its creation in 1953, the San Sebastian Film festival has established itself as one of the most important cinema festivals in the world.  It has hosted major events in the history of cinema, such as the international premiere of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. It was the first festival attended by Roman Polanski and it was a key element to advance the professional careers of Francis Ford Coppola or Pedro Almodóvar, for instance. The 63rd San Sebastian Festival Official Selection will assemble important filmmakers from all over the world who offer their particular takes on man and society from widely differing points of view, from social drama to political film, from comedy to animated cinema.

The European Film Forum – Developing Audiences, Audiences in Motion

A European Film Forum event on the current and future role played by audiences will take place during the festival, bringing together film professionals, producers, business leaders and political representatives to explore how cooperation can help the future of the European film industry.

Audience development has become in recent years a buzzword in the audio-visual world. The relation between creators, works and audiences is changing considerably in recent years. Audiences are not happy anymore with their passive role as viewers. They want to interact, have their say, co-create. New forms of engagement, most of them using new technologies, help audiences fulfil this new, participatory role.  "Developing Audiences - Audiences in Motion" will deal with the profound changes brought by internet and digital technologies to existing models of creation, production, distribution and exhibition, and this powerful revolution is led by the audience, who demand a greatly enhanced active role in the new audiovisual paradigm. The conference will address, from different points of view, the new part played by the audience in the creation, production, distribution and exhibition of audiovisual contents. Discussion will also revolve around innovative formulas and practices emerging in relation to audience participation in the new audiovisual paradigm, offering a catalogue of new opportunities to share with professionals in the sector.

The European Film Forum provides a space for dialogue between policy makers and stakeholders at European Film Festivals and industry gatherings in order to help the European film sector address the challenges and opportunities brought about by the digital revolution.

EU investment

As part of its Digital Single Market Strategy, the Commission aims to strengthen the European cultural and creative sector further. This will include new initiatives to fight piracy, to facilitate access to legal online content across the continent and to ensure the promotion of European works. The EU will invest more than €100 million in the European film and audio-visual industries throughout 2015 through the Creative Europe MEDIA programme.

Support for films running in this year's San Sebastian International Film Festival has come from the Creative Europe - MEDIA development (single and slate funding) and the cinema Distribution automatic scheme. The Development funding schemes provides financing to companies for the costs of developing a single film or packages of film projects. The cinema automatic scheme provides access to a fund for companies who have successfully distributed European Films in the previous year, allowing them to reinvest this fund in the acquisition and distribution of new European films. A few films are international co-production and received grant from this specific scheme.

Since its creation in 1991, the MEDIA programme has invested in the training of more than 20,000 producers, film distributors, directors, and screenwriters to help them adapt to new technologies. Each year, MEDIA supports around 2,000 European projects in film, television, including series and other audio-visual works, which are distributed digitally in cinema, on television and through video on demand. Funding productions supports the exports of films and audio-visual works, their ability to compete on the global stage, and ultimately the creation of jobs in Europe