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article imageHugh Jackman to get lifetime-achievement award at San Sebastián

By Anne Sewell     Sep 20, 2013 in Entertainment
San Sebastian - San Sebastián is the place to be in Spain on Friday, as the San Sebastián Film Festival kicks off, with 13 movies lined up for the best film award. Hugh Jackman is due to receive a lifetime achievement award during the event.
San Sebastián is a picturesque coastal city in the Basque region of northwest Spain and hosts the festival each year.
Originally the event was intended to honor Spanish language films, but it has grown to be one of the most important movie festivals in the world.
Lifetime Achievement Awards
Australian actor, 44-year-old Hugh Jackman, famous for his recent appearance in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," will be handed the festival's Donostia award (the Basque name for San Sebastián) on September 27.
In his latest film "Prisoners," directed by Canada's Denis Villeneuve, Jackman plays a distraught father, who holds captive a troubled young man he believes has kidnapped his six-year-old daughter.
Spanish actress Carmen Maura will also receive a lifetime achievement award at the festival. Maura is best known for her starring role in Oscar-winning director Pedro Almodovar's "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown."
Other famous recipients of the award in the past include Richard Gere, Ian McKellan, Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro.
San Sebastián Film Festival's Golden Shell award for best film:
Included in the race for the prestigious Golden Shell award is "Devil's Knot" directed by Canadian director Atom Egoyan. The film is about a private investigator played by Colin Firth whose detective work helps to release three men convicted of murder from a prison in Arkansas.
Firth won the Oscar for best actor in 2011 for his role in "The King's Speech," and he also stars in another movie in line for the competition at the festival. He plays a part in Australian director Jonathan Teplitzky's "The Railway Man" about a British train enthusiast profoundly damaged by his experience as a prisoner of war.
Another film in the running is French director Bertrand Tavernier's "Quai d'Orsay," a political satire about a dashing French foreign minister whose charm masks his incompetence.
And British director Roger Michell's "Le Weekend," the story of a long-married couple who revisit Paris for the first time since their honeymoon to try and revitalize their marriage is also up for the prize.
Festival director José Luis Rebordinos told the media, "In the official selection we tried to have all types of movies, radical movies, commercial movies."
The jury of the 61st edition of the film festival will be chaired by US director and screenwriter, Todd Haynes. Haynes' films include the Oscar-nominated "Far From Heaven" and "The Karen Carpenter Story."
At the 2012 San Sebastián Festival, the Golden Shell for best film was awarded to French director Francois Ozon's "In the House," an account of a high school teacher's friendship with an unusual pupil.
It is anticipated that around 150,000 people will attend the event, which draws around €18 million ($22 million) into the local economy, mostly in income related to tourism.
Europa Press is reporting (in Spanish) that despite the crisis, advance ticket sales, which began on Sunday amid long lines, have been a success with sales figures actually higher than in previous years.
However, the crisis did affect the Festival, in that its budget was reduced by 200,000 euros to 7.2 million euros.
"It was much more difficult to get financing," said Rebordinos. "This is what has forced us to be very cautious in our expectations."
As for recommendations, Rebordinos opts for 'Zipi y Zape y el club de la canica' ("Zip and Zap and the Marble Club"), calling it "one of the great surprises of this year's Spanish Cinema (...) which refers to a certain film about teenage adventures in America in the 80's."
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