Monday, October 14, 2013

San Sebastian Film Festival

I've been to the beautiful city of San Sebastian a number of times. Always as a guest of the San Sebastian Horror and Fantasy festival, which I thoroughly enjoy. The Spanish have a great love of the weird and macabre, maybe that's why I'm so popular there.

But I've always dreamed of attending the main San Sebastian festival, which is the largest Spanish speaking festival in the world.  Fortunately this year, the main festival created a side program called "Animatopia", which spotlighted the greatest independent features from the last 20 years.  They selected "Hair High" and also used the "Hair High" image for their poster.

If you haven't been to San Sebastian, you should really check it out. It was at one time a vacation spot for Spanish royalty. It's a lovely harbor with a pristine beach surrounded by Grand Epoque architecture of long-ago splendor.  The old city is a maze of great restaurants and bars that people cruise long into the night.

The big event for me was opening night. And since I was the figurehead for Animatopia, I was selected to give the opening speech.  As I was waiting to go on, in the "green room", Annette Bening sat down beside me. She had her film there and was also selected to give a speech. She was very nice to me although she had no idea about what I did.

Then they escorted me up to the staging area where I ran into my good buddy, Terry Gilliam.  However, he was too busy chatting with Michelle Yeoh to notice me.  Finally, after my speech when I came off stage, he gave me a big hug and we chatted very quickly until he was asked to go on.

So I was left with the beautiful Michelle Yeoh, who is as nice as can be.  We began to chat and she talked about her experience making the film The Lady, which is about Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma. What a delightful conversation it was!

I give the San Sebastian Film Festival an A, go if you ever get a chance.


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