The San Sebastián International Film Festival
Poster by Xavier Esclusa Trias finalist in the Zabaltegi category
Spanish: Festival de San Sebastián; Basque: Donostia Zinemaldia) is an annual FIAPF A category film festival held in the Spanish city of Donostia-San Sebastián in September, in the Basque Country.
Since its creation in 1953 it has established itself as one of the most important cinema festivals in the world, being one of the 14 "A" category competitive festivals accredited by the FIAPF. It has hosted several important events of the history of cinema, such as the international premiers of Vertigo, by Alfred Hitchcock (who attended the Festival) or Melinda and Melinda by Woody Allen and the European premier of Star Wars.
Actors and directors such as Bette Davis, Gloria Swanson, Gregory Peck, Glenn Ford, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Charlton Heston, Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, Richard Gere, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mel Gibson, Demi Moore, Naomi Watts and Brad Pitt have attended the festival since its inception. It was the first festival attended by Roman Polanski and it was a key element to advance the professional careers of Francis Ford Coppola or Pedro Almodóvar, for instance.
In the current competitive context of international festivals, San Sebastian, which has one of the lowest budgets, has established itself as the most important in Spain and the Spanish-speaking countries.