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Georgian-French Drama ‘Beginning’ Wins Big At The San Sebastian Film Festival

Deadline

Georgian-French drama Beginning (Dasatskisi) was the big winner at the San Sebastian Film Festival, winning the top prize Golden Shell at last night’s awards ceremony.

The buzzed-about arthouse film from first-timer Dea Kulumbegashvili also won Best Director, Best Actress and Best Screenplay awards. We debuted first footage for the film earlier this month.

Kulumbegashvili wrote the script with Rati Oneli. Starring are Ia sukhitashvili (best actress winner), Rati Oneli and Kakha Kintsurashvili. Producers are Ilan Amouyal, Rati Oneli and David Zerat. Music comes from Dheepan and Ema composer Nicolas Jaar. Wild Bunch handles sales.

The film charts the story of a persecuted family of Jehovah’s Witness missionaries from the perspective of a wife and mother. Following a shocking act of arson on the place of worship she and her husband have established in a remote village outside of Tbilisi, Yana (Sukhitashvili) finds herself descending into a spiral of confusion and doubt, her suffering exacerbated by her debased treatment at the hands of the local police.

The Silver Shell for Best Actor went to the group of actors in Thomas Vinterberg’s well-received dramedy Another Round (Druk): namely Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Magnus Millang and Lars Ranthe.

Meanwhile, the Special Jury Prize went to the music documentary Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan, Julien Temple’s music documentary about the leader of The Pogues. In its decision, the jury stressed that the award was “for Julien Temple and Shane MacGowan for the beautiful, poetic, unflinching and unreconciled punk energy”. Pic is produced by Johnny Depp.

The Jury Prize for Best Cinematography went to Yuta Tsukinaga for his work in Any Crybabies Around? (Nakuko Wa Ineega). The Official Jury was chaired by Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino.

Other winners

Isabel Lamberti’s La Ultima Primavera / Last Days of Spring (Netherlands-Spain) won the Kutxabank-New Directors Award, and in the same section a special mention went to Gē shēng yuán hé màn bàn pāi / Slow Singing (China), by Dong Xingyi.

The Horizontes Award was presented to Sin Señas Particulares / Identifying Features (Mexico-Spain), by Fernanda Valadez, while the special mention went to Clarisa Navas for Las mil y una / One In A Thousand (Argentina-Germany). The Zabaltegi-Tabakalera Award was carried off by Catarina Vasconcelos with A Metamorfose Dos Pássaros The Metamorphosis of Birds (Portugal) and the special mention went to Domangchin Yeoja / The Woman Who Ran (South Korea), by Hong Sang-soo.

The Orona-Nest Award went to Catdog (India), by Ashmita Guha, with a special mention for The Speech (USA), by Haohao Yan. David Perez Sañudo’s Ane Ane is Missing won the Irizar Basque Film Award, while Non dago Mikel? / Where is Mikel? by Amaia Merino and Miguel Ángel Llamas landed a special mention. The City of Donostia / San Sebastian Audience Award went to The Father (UK), by Florian Zeller, and the Audience Award for Best European Film was carried off by El Agente Topo / The Mole Agent (Chile-USA-Germany-Netherlands-Spain), by Maite Alberdi. The TCM Youth Award went to Ben Sharrock for Limbo (UK).

The ceremony included the international premiere of El Olvido Que Seremos / Forgotten We’ll Be, the Colombian production directed by Fernando Trueba and starring Javier Cámara.

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