Carlos Vermut cements his reputation with two top prizes

Madrid-born director Carlos Vermut, who just a few days ago told Cineuropa that he considered himself “a virgin” of the cinema world, joked after the closing ceremony: “This has been like taking part in a bukkake.” Indeed, his second film, Magical Girl, cleaned up at the San Sebastián Film Festival, winning out over huge names such as François Ozon, Bille August and Susanne Bier by earning the Golden Shell for Best Film and the Silver Shell for Best Director – which, according to Fernando Bovaira, the chair of the jury, he was awarded because he “had a unique and unsettling voice”.

The Spanish film industry also earned itself some other awards, with two prizes going to Marshland [+see also: film review trailer film focus film profile]: Best Actor for Javier Gutiérrez and Best Cinematography for Alex Catalán. Paprika Steen snagged the Silver Shell for Best Actress for Danish film Silent Heart [+see also: film review trailer film profile], while French movie Wild Life [+see also: film review trailer film profile], by Cédric Kahn, won the Special Jury Prize. The awards list for the Official Section was rounded off by the Best Screenplay Award, which went to Dennis Lehane for The Drop, Belgian director Michaël R Roskam’s first foray into US cinema.

Other awards at this outstanding edition included New Directors for The Lesson (Bulgaria-Greece), by Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov, with a Special Mention going to Modris (Latvia-Greece-Germany), directed by Juris Kursietis. The Irizar Basque Film Award went to Negociador, by Borja Cobeaga, while the audience, consisting of myriad viewers who totally packed out the screenings, voted for The Salt of the Earth (France), a documentary by Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado. The Award for Best European Film in the Pearls category was snapped up by the Spanish-Argentinian production Wild Tales.

The Youth Jury picked the daring Güeros, by Alonso Ruizpalacios (Mexico), which also came out on top in the Horizontes Latinos section, whose jury handed Special Mentions to two French co-productions: Natural Sciences, produced with Argentina, and Gente de bien, produced with Colombia. The FIPRESCI Award was picked up by Phoenix (Germany), and the Another Look Award (handed out by TVE) went to Girlhood (France).