56th Donostia-San Sebastian
Spain, September 18 - September 27 2008
One of the oldest and most charming festivals on the planet, the San Sebastian IFF completed its 56th edition under the team headed by the director Mikel Olacuregui. The competition program included 15 features from such directors as Samira Makhmalbaf, Hirokatzu Kore-Eda, Kim Ki-duk, Michael Winterbottom, Yesim Ustaoglu and Lea Pool. The classic retrospective this year was dedicated to Mario Monicelli. The thematic retrospective was called Japon Noir and presented 43 Japanese gangster films from the 1920’s to the 1990’s. The works of the British director Terence Davies were the subject of the modern retrospective.
Mario Monicelli himself was on stage at the opening ceremony of the festival. Also present were Woody Allen, Javier Bardem and later on Pedro Almodovar. Antonio Banderas and Meryl Streep received the Premia Donostia for their life achievement in cinema.
As usual at the San Sebastian film festival, FIPRESCI awarded its Grand Prix to the film its members had voted the best of the year. This year the prize went to There Will Be Blood and its director Paul Thomas Anderson received the award at the closing ceremony.