Magazine article Variety

Young Talents, Dark Visions

Magazine article Variety

Young Talents, Dark Visions

Article excerpt

While the San Sebastian festival ranks - with Buenos Aires' Ventana Sur - as one of the world's two biggest Europe-Latin American meet-marts, 2016 looks to also be a standout fest for young talent.

This year, nearly half (47%) of San Sebastian's 17 competition entries are first features or made by directors under 40, vs. 9.5% of Cannes' and 15% of the Venice Festival's. That figure rises when factoring in two other San Sebastian sections: New Directors and Horizontes Latinos, a Latin America showcase.

This bold bet on a new generation of filmmakers looks set to help define this year's San Sebastian Intl. Festival.

"This year, there are six first features [in competition] which will certainly get people talking," says San Sebastian director Jose Luis Rebordinos. "Many films are not only made by young people, but talk about youth and its problems with social integration."

Some movies, such as Rodrigo Sorogoyen's "May God Save Us" rage against the system. But the major takeaway from San Sebastian's new generation of filmmakers in the lineup is an unsettling one of a disaffected, disenfranchised or simply disorientated youth that can erupt with sudden violence or frustration.

Take, for instance, three San Sebastian competition movies, in which the young protagonists are thrown out of school (Miles Joris- Peyrafitte's Sundance winner "As You Are"), their petanque club (Swede Johannes Nyholm's "The Giant"), or their home (Fernando Guzzoni's father-son drama "Jesus").

And the dark visions continue. In "Lady Macbeth," U.K. playwright William Oldroyd's feature debut, a young bride reacts with primal violence to her much older husband's aggression.

Polish freshman Bartosz Kowalski's debut, "Playground," which has its world premiere in competition, re-creates a true-life case of teen pathology so appalling that one scene may prove unwatchable for some audience members. …

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