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2023 San Sebastian Film Festival Competition

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2023 San Sebastián: Cristi Puiu, Joachim Lafosse, Raven Jackson & María Alche + Benjamín Naishtat in Comp

2023 San Sebastián: Cristi Puiu, Joachim Lafosse, Raven Jackson & María Alche + Benjamín Naishtat in Comp

Before Venice gets into go mode and unveil their line-up, Artistic Director José Luis Rebordinos has given us a sampling of the films that will premiere in the competition section for the 2023 San Sebastian Film Festival (Sept. 22nd-30th). Two American films with the item out of Sundance in Raven Jackson‘s All Dirt Roads Taste Of Salt is joined by strong>Noah Pritzker‘s Ex-Husbands. These two are in in some major auteur company with Argentinian filmmaker Martín Rejtman confirming that his long-gestating La práctica is in the can while neighboring tandem in Maria Alché and Benjamin Naishtat bring their comedy Puán (shot by Hélène Louvart) to the comp as well. French filmmaker Robin Campillo will indeed receive a big fest preem for Red Island and Joachim Lafosse‘s A Silence (which is dated domestically in France for a January release) will likely shore up at TIFF just beforehand for his world premiere. And last but not the least (in total there’ll be around 16-17 titles) we find Cristi Puiu’s latest film MMXX. Here are the seven from the comp for the Golden Shell.

ALL DIRT ROADS TASTE OF SALT
RAVEN JACKSON (USA)
Country(ies) of production: USA
Cast: Charleen McClure, Reginald Helms, Jr., Moses Ingram, Zainab Jah, Sheila Atim, Chris Chalk
A lyrical, decades-spanning exploration across a woman’s life in Mississippi, the feature debut from award-winning poet, photographer and filmmaker Raven Jackson is a haunting and richly layered portrait, a beautiful ode to the generations of people and places that shape us.

EX-HUSBANDS
NOAH PRITZKER (USA)
Country(ies) of production: USA
Cast: Griffin Dunne, James Norton, Miles Heizer, Rosanna Arquette, Eisa Davis
Peter’s parents divorced after 65 years, his wife left him after 35, and his sons, Nick and Mickey, are off leading their own lives. When Peter flies to Tulum, crashing Nick’s bachelor party hosted by Mickey, he realizes he’s not the only one in crisis.

LA PRÁCTICA
MARTÍN REJTMAN (ARGENTINA)
Country(ies) of production: Argentina – Chile – Portugal
Cast: Esteban Bigliardi, Mirta Busnelli, Manuela Oyarzún, Camila Hirane, Gabriel Cañas
Gustavo and Vanessa separate and have to revise their projects together. Both are yoga teachers. Gustavo is Argentinian, Vanessa is Chilean. The trip to India is cancelled.Vanessa takes the apartment and leaves the studio they shared, leaving Gustavo homeless. As a result of the accumulated stress, Gustavo injures his knee and replaces yoga: first with quadriceps exercises and then with the gym. But gradually he gets his life back on track and starts practising again.​

L’ÎLE ROUGE
ROBIN CAMPILLO (MOROCCO)
Country(ies) of production: France – Belgium
Cast: Nadia Tereszkiewicz, Quim Gutiérrez
L’île rouge / The Red Island is set in Madagascar in the early 1970s, on one of the last air bases of the French army, where military families live the last throes of colonialism. Influenced by his reading of the intrepid comic book heroine Fantômette, ten-year-old Thomas sweeps with a curious glance what surrounds him, while the world gradually opens up to a different reality.

MMXX
CRISTI PUIU (ROMANIA)
Country(ies) of production: Romania
Cast: Bianca Cuculici, Laurențiu Bondarenco, Otilia Panaite, Florin Țibre, Igor Babiac, Roxana Ogrendil, Adelaida Perjoiu, Dorian Boguță, Dragoș Bucur, Marin Cumatrenco
Oana Pfifer, a young therapist, gradually slips into the net of the questionnaire she submits to her patient. Mihai, Oana’s brother, worrying about his birthday, is stuck in a story far bigger than what he can handle. Septimiu, Oana’s husband, concerned about his health, vaguely listens to a strange story his colleague was caught in a while ago. Narcis Patranescu, an organized crime detective, deals with an unsettling dark story while interrogating a young woman at a funeral.

PUAN
MARÍA ALCHÉ (ARGENTINA), BENJAMÍN NAISHTAT (ARGENTINA)
Country(ies) of production: Argentina – Italy – Germany – France -Brazil
Cast: Marcelo Subiotto, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Julieta Zylberberg, Alejandra Flechner, Mara Bestelli, Andrea Frigerio
Marcelo has devoted his life to teaching at the Faculty of Philosophy. When Professor Caselli, his mentor, dies unexpectedly, Marcelo expects to inherit the Department´s kingdom. However his plans turn upside down with the unexpected arrival of Rafael Sujarchuk, a charismatic and seductive colleague, whom returns from his pedestal in European universities to claim the philosophy Department for himself. Marcelo’s clumsy efforts to prove that he is the right candidate will trigger a hilarious philosophical duel, while his life -and the country- enter a spiral of chaos.

UN SILENCE
JOACHIM LAFOSSE (BELGIUM)
Country(ies) of production: Belgium – France – Luxembourg
Cast: Daniel Auteuil, Emmanuelle Devos, Matthieu Galoux, Salomé Dewaels, Jeanne Cherhal
Astrid is the wife of an acclaimed lawyer. Silenced for 25 years, her family balance suddenly collapses when her children initiate their search for justice.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at IONCINEMA.com (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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