This festival offers the same general characteristics as most international film festivals in its category. Among the standout features of the San Sebastián International Film Festival are its public, who flock to the cinemas, and the fact that we have now become a gathering point for the Latin American and European film industries.
The outline and structure of recent years have functioned perfectly and we see no reason to change them, so for this year there is nothing new in particular to be implemented.
The audience is marvellous – our great pride. The cinemas are packed out for almost all screenings, and the response of our public causes an impression on all film crews at the end of the gala screening. While our event is up and running, the members of these audiences can easily come across actors and actresses taking a stroll in the city, riding a bike along the promenade or out for pintxos in the Old Town.
Rub shoulders with
The Festival is visited by all sorts of celebrities: people related to the world of fashion and glossy magazines, members of the political class, diplomats, et cetera. And, of course, people from the film world, such as Susan Sarandon, Richard Gere, Denzel Washington, Antonio Banderas, Isabelle Huppert, John Malkovich, Victorio y Lucchino, Ágatha Ruiz de la Prada and many more.
Every day there are cocktail parties and fiestas. Sometimes these are organised by the Festival itself, such as the opening party thrown by Jaeger-LeCoultre; or the Culinary Zinema dinners and parties, sponsored by Nespresso and Perrier-Jouët, which are prepared by some of the world’s most famous chefs: the Roca brothers from El Celler de Can Roca, Gastón Acurio from Astrid & Gastón, and Andoni Luis Aduriz from the Mugaritz, among others.
Recently refurbished, the Hotel Maria Cristina (Paseo Republica Argentina 4; +34 943 437 600; www.hotel-mariacristina.com ) opened in 1912 and has always been closely linked to the city’s history and cultural life. San Sebastián also has other very special hotels dating back to the belle époque, such as the Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra (Zubieta 2; +34 943 440 770; www.hlondres.com), a luxury hotel with a beachfront location on Concha Bay, one of the most beautiful places in Spain. During the days of the event, these establishments fill with film stars and members of the film industry from all over the world.
Our city, and its surrounding areas, offers one of the best gastronomies in the world. We have several three-Michelin-star restaurants and a number of others listed in S.Pellegrino’s World’s Best Restaurants.
The Festival has no dress code, however there are a number of private parties that have their own dress requirements. For these events, the city has some very fine shops and a huge selection of exclusive fashion.
There is so much guests “must do”. Attending the opening, closing or Donostia Award ceremonies (in 2014 this greatly appreciated award went to Denzel Washington and Benicio del Toro); enjoying our fabulous Basque gastronomy; taking a stroll around Concha Bay; and going to one of the marvellous Festival fiestas.