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Ten things to know about the festival: art, stars, commerce make a heady mix.

RED CARPET ROYALTY

Sigourney Weaver and Ethan Hawke receive career-achievement Donostia Awards from the San Sebastian festival. Gael Garcia Bernal will be honored with the fest's new Jaeger-LeCoultre Latin Cinema Award. Expected to be on hand are Javier Bardem, Jennifer Connelly, Richard Gere, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Ewan McGregor, and Hugh Grant.

AWARDS CONTENDERS

"Arrival" with Amy Adams, closes San Sebastian's Pearls section, while Liam Neeson-starrer "A Monster Calls" receives its European premiere.

TELEFONICA

If one company in Spain looks set to shake up the local film and TV scene, it's giant Telefonica's Movistar Plus. A Sept. 17 panel showcases its original series talent.

WORLD PREMIERES

Alberto Rodriguez's "Smoke & Mirrors" Jonas Trueba's "The Reconquest," and Rodrigo Sorogoyen's "May God Save Us" head

Spain's competition bows. Also world premiering are Pole Bartosz Kowalski's "Playground" and Argentine Emiliano Torres' "The Winter."

EUROPE FILM FORUM

San Sebastian's second European Film Forum, taking place Sept. 18, focuses on connecting with digital natives.

NAVARRE TAX BREAKS

Multiple "Game of Thrones" scenes were shot in Spain. More series and movies may follow as Spain's Navarre region talks up its supplementary tax incentives for big shoots.

BASQUE CINEMA

Film production is languishing in Spain. In the Basque country, by contrast, it is growing: in talent, with bigger features, and government support. San Sebastian will showcase a local initiative, promoting Europe's minority-language cinema, and new bank guarantee facilities for Basque companies.

FEMALE FOCUS

A recurrent San Sebastian film theme: "Women in fixes," says San Sebastian director Jose Luis Rebordinos, citing Nely Reguera's "Maria [and the Others]" and Maysaloun Hamoud's "In Between," about three Palestinian girls seeking love in Tel Aviv.

SNOW BOUND

Savage Cinema extreme sports highlights include Travis Rice's snowboarding adventure "The Fourth Phase."

THRILLERS

The fest's fave film form? "Thrillers, but with social or political heft, talking about corruption, religion, and so on," Rebordinos says, citing "Rage," from Japan's Lee Sang-Il.

Fresh Take on Love

Jonas Trueba on the set of his romantic drama "La Reconquista," which unspools in competition at the fest.

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Title Annotation:SAN SEBASTIAN FILM FESTIVAL
Author:Hopewell, John
Publication:Variety
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 13, 2016
Words:336
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