Laura Mora, Marian Mathias, and Pilar Palomero are the only women who will be competing for the Golden Shell at this year’s San Sebastián International Film Festival. The festival has added 12 Competition titles to the four it announced a few weeks ago, Across the 16 films, just three are helmed by women, or about 19 percent. That’s a disappointing figure on its own, but it especially stings when you consider the 2021 figures: in the first wave of Competition selections alonethere was twice the number of women-directed films.
Mora’s “The Kings of the World” is a surreal tale about five boys who live on — and rule — the streets of Medellin, Colombia. Mathias’ “Runner” sees a young woman bonding with a stranger after her father dies, and Palomero’s “La maternal” follows a pregnant 14-year-old rebel who is sent to a center for teen mothers.
Isabel Coixet’s non-fiction film “El sostre groc” is, thus far, the only feature directed by a woman set to screen Out of Competition at San Sebastián 2022. It tells the story of nine women who filed a complaint against two of their former teachers, claiming they were sexually abused between 2001 and 2008, as teenagers. Even though the statute of limitations had lapsed, the women discovered they were still able to make a difference.
Also screening Out of Competition is the Movistar Plus+ sci-fi series “Apagon (“Offworld”). Isa Campo is among the project’s five directors.
The full Competition and Out of Competition slates can be found on San Sebastián’s website, The 2022 edition will take place September 16-24.