Saint Sebastianmy city, it’s at the movies until September 30 and I have been invited to participate in different activities such as watching films and of course, eat. Nothing like sitting at the table, talking, connecting and, above all, sharing and exchanging information. At one of the two dinners I attended, on Thursday and Friday, with several judges from the different sections: Official, Horizontes Latinos, New Directors, among others, I learned, for example, that thousands of films are submitted annually. This 2023, more than 4,000, which were seen by a team of experts, each one had up to 300, of which they have selected 232. Some said that during these days their day will consist of seeing twelve films. Others will analyze five and some up to four a day.
The hot topics were the great absence of Javier Bardemwho would receive the Donostia awardDue to the writers’ strike in the United States. And the three Spanish directors who participate in the Official Section, a milestone in the film festival that this year celebrates its 71st Edition. He also highlighted the controversy over the documentary by Jordi Évolea renowned journalist, about Josu Ternera, a cold and calculating Basque terrorist, leader of ETAa armed group that sought to achieve the independence of the Basque Country with violence. Some organizations wanted to avoid its screening because they said it glorified the figure of the former leader, but the director of the SSIFF, José Luis Rebordinos, came out in defense of Évole’s work. He argued that it was part of the Spanish biography and he did not think it whitewashed Ternera, who prefers to be called Antonio Urrutikoetxea, in fact, The report is called ‘Don’t call me Veal’.
Faced with so many interesting topics, I listened attentively. ‘I ate popcorn‘, as I usually say when I observe without losing a bit of what was said. Likewise, I couldn’t believe that I was in the bowels of Zinemaldia and that before the opening, I drank champagne between actors, directors and producers at the emblematic María Cristina hotel. Nor that he had arrived at the appointment in one of the thirty black Mercedes that are designated for this purpose. Nor did I step on the recycled red carpet, with almost 2,000 square meters, which will be transformed into plastic bags for a food bank.
I saw media personalities dressed in impressive designs like the black and white of the beautiful Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, also part of the jury. She has returned to the spotlight after disappearing for a while due to a scandal. tax evasion. And, of course, I tried delicious things and talked about gastronomy, after among my classmates, the film topic had been exhausted.
I said that for me a dish was the landscape of a land, the history of a people. I explained that the starter, ‘Tomate y Tomatada’, served at chef Andoni Luis Aduriz’s Muka restaurant, which we attended the first night, was a short film about summer, the Basque obsession with fresh tomatoes, bathed in extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with flaked salt. That tomato was the grandmothers’ recipe for tomato sauce with refried garlic and onion, red pepper, carrot and many hours over low heat.
And I also evoked my country, of course, and the guacamole and its colors and ingredients. I said that served with tortilla chips was referring to nixtamalized corn. My colleagues, in turn, shared endearing anecdotes in the Guadalajara Film Festival and how Mexico He abducted them with his warmth. Without a doubt, I have spent two great nights of lights, cameras and emotion. The experience is being a great filming in my life.
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