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San Sebastian Fest Adds Six Films to Competition, Including ‘Fingernails’ With Jessie Buckley, Riz Ahmed

The San Sebastian Film Festival added six movies to its competition lineup on Friday. 

Joining the list of contenders for the Golden Shell award at the Spanish fest’s 71st edition are the latest films from directors Kitty Green (The Assistant), Isabella Eklöf (Holiday), Xavier Legrand (Jusqu’à la garde/Custody), Kei Chika-Ura (Complicity) and Christos Nikou (Apples), as well as the debut from Tzu-Hui Peng and Ping-Wen Wang. Nikou’s new movie features a star-studded cast, including Riz Ahmed, Jessie Buckley, Luke Wilson, Jeremy Allen White and Annie Murphy.

They join a competition program that includes two American titles in Ex-Husbands from director Noah Pritzker (Quitters) and Raven Jackson’s first feature, All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt.

In addition, Thomas Lilti’s Un métier sérieux (A Real Job) will be part of the special screenings in the San Sabastian official selection, fest organizers said. The new film from the director of Hippocrate (Hippocrates: Diary of a French Doctor) features François Cluzet, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Vincent Lacoste and portrays everyday life at a French school.

The 2023 San Sebastian Film Festival runs Sept. 22-30.

Below is a closer look at the new San Sebastian competition titles.

Chung xing (A Journey in Spring)
The first feature film from Taiwanese filmmakers Tzu-Hui Peng and Ping-Wen Wang follows a man overcome with remorse as he mourns his wife’s death.

“Following the critically acclaimed Apples, which was selected for Telluride, Toronto and Venice, director Christos Nikou (Athens, Greece. 1984) now showcases actors Jessie Buckley, Riz Ahmed, Jeremy Allen White, Luke Wilson and Annie Murphy in his second movie and first English-language film, Fingernails, a thought-provoking romantic drama about an institution that tests the presence of romantic love between couples,” San Sebastian said.

Great Absence
The second feature from Japan’s Kei Chika-Ura revolves around a young actor reconnecting with his father after the disappearance of his second wife.

Swedish filmmaker Isabella Eklöf second movie as a director follows a Danish nurse who moves to Greenland.

Le successeur (The Successor)
Xavier Legrand’s new movie is the tale of a designer who discovers a terrible secret in his family home when his father dies.

The Royal Hotel 
The second film from Australian director Kitty Green is about two backpackers, portrayed by Julia Garner and Jessica Henwick, who take jobs in a pub in the remote Australian Outback.



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