Clive Owen monster film opens San Sebastian

16th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

A psychological terror film starring British star Clive Owen opened a cash-strapped San Sebastian festival here Friday.

Owen was one of the few big names at the 59th edition of the festival, which says it has been forced to weigh the cost of each invitation because of the financial crisis.

He stars in the out-of-competition "Intruders", a tale of parents trying to protect their children from a monster, which won an ovation from the audience in this coastal city of northern Spain's Basque Country.

"I wouldn't really call it a horror film, it's much deeper, more psychological," he told a news conference.

"All the fear and trepidation, the danger in the movie, it's within the characters, so it's a pleasure acting in a role like this," Owen told reporters.

"It was an ambitious thing to tie all the elements together and to bring them back on an emotional way. I was hugely excited by the posibilities and that's why I have done it."

Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo said he was helped by his own childhood fears.

"My mother told me family secrets that were a bit troubling, those secrets ended up becoming nightmares. I am very interested in the way parents transmit their fears to their children," he said.

Jose Luis Rebordinos, who is running the Spanish-speaking world's oldest and most prestigious film festival for the first time this year, said in an interview with AFP that money was tight.

Sponsorship income had climbed by just over 300,000 euros this year, boosting an overall budget of more than seven million euros.

But the number of stars at the September 16-24 festival was up, too, he said, and the extra money would go on their travel and hotels.

"Of course the crisis affects us but we have to fight to get more money because this festival needs a bit more money. So we have to look for sponsors, we will have to see what we can do," Rebordinos said.

The tight budget had no impact when selecting films for the festival, which has been shortened by a day since 2009 because of the economic crisis, he said.

But "it influences you when it comes to bringing people in -- people from the films who get noticed as much as people from the industry," the festival director said.

Both the stars who give the festival publicity and industry workers such as distributors were important to the festival, he said.

"Bringing these people means a lot of money and that is the problem for San Sebastian -- that we need an extra two, three million euros to be able to operate comfortably, to be able to invite a lot of people and bring everything possible," Rebordinos said.

"We cannot do that at the moment, we have to really weigh the invitations because if suddenly, like this year, a lot of people say yes then we could have a budget problem."

San Sebastian is a "good festival," he said, but it could only allow itself two or three big stars for the festival and then a lot of others from the cinema industry.

Glenn Close, 64, one of Hollywood's most feted actresses, will receive a lifetime achievement award at the festival and present her latest film, "Albert Nobbs", set in 19th century Ireland, in which she plays a woman who disguises herself as a man to get a job in a hotel.

Others attending include French actress Catherine Deneuve, who will join a retrospective of the work of Jacques Demy.

American film and stage actress Frances McDormand, who won an Academy Award for "Fargo", will chair the official selection jury at the 59th edition of the festival.

© 2011 AFP

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