The San Sebastian Festival expels a director for refusing to wear a mask

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One of the great news of the San Sebastián Film Festival was that Viggo Mortensen presented Falling, his directorial debut.

The three-time Oscar nominee received the Donostia Award and showed his film, a family drama that addresses issues such as memory, the difficulty of communicating and caring for the elderly.

Everything seemed impeccable for the organizers of this festival, which is the second to be held in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic (the first was “the Mostra” of Venice). But… conflicts related to this new normality arrived.

The organizers of this 68th edition expelled the film director Eugène Green for refusing to wear a mask during the screening of the film Atarrabi and Mikelats, from the Zinemira section.

In what they described as an “unpleasant incident”, those who carry out this annual move (which began on the 18th and will end on Saturday the 26th) decided to launch a statement.

As reported by the agency DPA, in the letter it was detailed that the event took place “the night of Wednesday 24” in room 9 of the Principe Cinema, at the screening of the film Atarrabi and Mikelats.

The same sources explained that the director of the film, the French born in the United States Eugène Green (La sapienza, The living world, Memories), “he was required up to five times by the Festival staff to put on the mask and put it on correctly. “

Finally, Due to his lack of collaboration, the Festival management asked him to leave the room and two Ertzaintza agents informed him that a complaint will be processed administrative, for which you could receive a fine.

After these events, Green’s accreditation of the festival was withdrawn, so that he lost his status as a guest “due to his lack of respect for the measures adopted in accordance with the health authorities and the Festival staff, and for putting the health of viewers and film crew during and after the screening. “

Green was born on June 28, 1947, in New York. He is also a filmmaker, playwright and teacher. He has educated hundreds of actors in declamation and other disciplines.

Trial and error, the world adapts to protocols and the film industry is no stranger to that. The Venice Film Festival was the great pilot test on how to go ahead with an annual event of great display without giving up certain rites despite the virus that lurks.

What seemed like science fiction, happened in Venice: access was not allowed in case of body temperature higher than 37.5 degrees and social distancing was established during the red carpet. A protocol for photographers and videographers was also generated.

The San Sebastián Festival had its first edition September 21, 1953. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious in Europe.

In 1955 the Festival awarded the first Silver Shell as the contest’s distinctive prize (the winner was Giorni d’amore, by Giuseppe de Santis), the first award granted by the Festival to a foreign film.

In 1957 it was awarded the highest category, the “A” (as a competitive festival). In said first edition under these rules, another Italian film, La nonna Sabella, by Dino Risi, was proclaimed the winner. In the next edition, in 1958, Ewa chce spac, by Tadeusz Chmielewski, was awarded.


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