'Los pasos dobles' named best film at San Sebastian festival

25th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Spanish filmmaker Isaki Lacuesta's "Los pasos dobles" was on Saturday named best film at the San Sebastian festival.

"Los pasos dobles" (The Double Steps) takes its inspiration from the biography of French artist and author Francois Augieras (1925-1971) who painted the walls of a military bunker in the desert and let it sink into the sand.

The jury, chaired by US Oscar-winning actress Frances McDormand ("Fargo"), named Greek-born Filippos Tsitos as best director for his thriller "Adikos kosmos" (Unfair World). The film's star, Antonis Kafetzopoulos, picked up the prize for best actor.

"Adikos kosmos" (Unfair World) is the story of a policeman who helps delinquents until the day he finds himself implicated in a murder case and starts to question his ideas of justice.

The special jury prize went to French actress and director Julie Delpy for her film "Le Skylab", a tribute to her late mother.

In "Los pasos dobles", which had divided critics, Lacuesta, accompanied by painter Miquel Barcelo, follows the path of Augieras and the story of his bunker sunk in the desert.

His award provoked surprise, especially as "Kiseki", a film by Japan's Hirokazu Kore-eda on the tsunami which hit his country in March, had been tipped as a favourite to win. It took home the the prize for best screenplay.

Delpy's film "Le Skylab" is a humorous family chronicle set against the backdrop of her grandmother's birthday in 1979.

The autobiographical screenplay focuses on the divergent political beliefs and the first loves of some younger members of the family.

The best actress prize went to Spain's Maria Leon for her role in "La voz dormida" by Benito Zambrano in which she plays a young woman who must help her sister locked up in a Franco jail.

A total of 16 films were in the official competition, which opened with a showing of the film "Intruders" with British actor Clive Owen.

Owen was one of the few big names at the cash-strapped 59th edition of the festival, which said it had been forced to weigh the cost of each invitation.

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

© 2011 AFP

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