SAN SEBASTIAN - Venezuelan Mariana Rondon's "Bad Hair" won San Sebastian's top Golden Shell on Saturday at a 61st edition galvanized in biz terms by its 2nd Europe-Latin America Co-production Forum.
Sold by L.A FiGa Films, and Rondon's follow-up to "Postcards From Leningrad," "Bad Hair" is a coming-of-age tale in which a boy explores his nascent homosexuality.
Mexico's Fernando Eimbcke took fest's director nod for mother-son relationship drama "Club Sandwich," the third film from one of Mexico's best-known on-the-rise directors.
Already a best actress winner at Locarno in 2007 for "The Best of Me," Marian Alvarez won best actress for her turn in "Wounded," where she plays 30-year-old ambulance driver woman suffering from a borderline personality disorder which drives her to alcohol abuse and self-destructive habits.
Jim Broadbent scooped actor for his performance in Roger Michell's "Le Week-end," Spanish critics' favorite at San Sebastian.
Kudosfest prized most titles -- save David Trueba's "Living is Easy With Eyes Closed" -- talked-up by the local press at this year's 61st edition of the most important festival in the Spanish-speaking world.
The Pathe-produced "Quai d'Orsay," Bertrand Tavernier's satire on high-jinks at France's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, took screenplay (Tavernier, Antonin Baudry, Christophe Blain) plus the Intl. Federation of Film Critics (Fipresci) Prize.
Pau Esteve Birba won cinematography for Manuel Martin Cuenca's "Cannibal," a love story between a flesh-eating tailor and his prospective next victim which had fans at San Sebastian.
Benedikt Erlingsson's Sundance player "Of Horses and Men" won the new director award.
Of other major prizes outside the main competition, sold by Mundial, the new sales venture of IM Global and Canana, Fernando Coimbra's "A Wolf at the Door," won the hotly contested Horizontes section, a showcase for the best in recent Latin American fiction.
A drama-thriller produced by Gullane Filmes, "Door" is judged in some quarter to be the strongest Latin American debut in some time.
Of unofficial prizes, Bertrand Tavernier won the Intl. Federation of Film Critics (Fipresci) prize for political satire "Quai d'Orsay," already lauded by critics at Toronto.
"Wolf," picked up by XYZ Films for world sales, won San Sebastian's coveted Youth Award, by Desigual, a sign for distributors of a movie's audience lure.
Helmed by Holland's Jim Taihuttu, who caught heat with his co-directed "Rabat," a sleeper in Holland, "Wolf" is a hard-hitting noirer of a kickboxer courted by organized crime.
Thanks to its Co-production Forum, attended by a mass of young Latin American directors and producers, and most of Europe's top sales agents for non-mainstream titles, San Sebastian's large merit this year was to consolidate its position as a must-attend event for a broad base of players in the Latin American arthouse and crossover business.
2013's San Sebastian was low on glam, with only two career-achievement Donostia Awards given out this year, to Almodovar muse Carmen Maura and Hugh Jackman.
Stars flights to San Sebastian cost serious money.
Given Spain's crisis, San Sebastian did very well, via private sponsorship, to make up most of the slack from a fall in public funding, with its budget falling just 2%-3% to Euros 7.25 million-Euros 7.3 million ($9.6 million-$9.7 million).