International Film Festival of San Sebastian

Watching a movie at the cinema with friends or family is the best way to relieve yourself from the daily grind. But for true lovers of the big screen, one movie is not enough. You are in luck, the 2011 International Film Festival of San Sebastian, Donostia Zinemaldia 2011, from September 16 to 24, offers plenty of choice. It is the most important film event in Spain and the fourth largest film festival in Europe. There are ten cinemas, eleven categories and more than 20 awards. It is the perfect excuse for a short break or weekend to San Sebastián.


The International Film Festival of San Sebastian offers wide ranges of movie themes, including romantic, culinary, dramatic and thriller movies and also documentaries. This year there will be some amazing highlights.

Glenn Close will be at the San Sebastian Film festival to present her latest film "Albert Nobbs" directed by Rodrigo Garcia. In the film Glenn will be a woman passing as a man trying to get work in 19th-century Dublin. The San Sebastian Film Festival will be the European premiere of the movie. We know Glenn from her roles as Femme fatale, Cruela de Vil and for her Emmy winning role in the series Damages. And now she will receive the San Sebastian Film Festival's Donostia lifetime award for career achievement. The ceremony will be on September 18th at 21:30 in the Kursaal Auditorium. Previous recipients of this award were American actors Meryl Streep and Richard Gere, Spanish actor Antonio Banderas and the Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann among a large list.

Many people were planning their schedules for all the fall film festivals, hoping to see the documentary of George Harrison from the producer Martin Scorsese. But not one of the big film festivals had the premiere of the documentary, San Sebastian will have it!

The documentary has been co-produced with Olivia, the widow of Harrison and will feature home movies and interviews with surviving members of the Beatles. The title is the name of the second produced solo album by Harrison after the break up with the Beatles. This album was a revelation to his continuing mission to explore spiritual themes.

With a big wink to the Basque world there is the Culinary Zinema (Basque for cinema). What shows seven films, seven themes, seven restaurants and seven chefs. It will collaborate on a number of gastronomy-related activities. On 18 September, the restaurant of the Hotel de Londres will be one of the priviliged to host an event, the screening of the documentary "Wine Road" with the sommelier Charlie Arthur, accompanied by specilities prepared by chef Roberto Ruiz, a delight for all.

So where can you watch the films?

There are 10 cinemas, theatres and culture stages that are showing the different categories:

  • Velódromo de Anoeta the arena normally used for motor cross and concerts is now turned into an enormous cinema.
  • The 3 cinemas: Cines Antiguo Berri, Cenes Principe y Cine Trueba.
  • Sala de Cultura kutxa Arrasate; a popular event venue in San Sebastián.
  • Salón de Actos kuxa Andia; a hall normally used for seminars, lectures and presentations will now show a lot of great films during the International Film Festival.
  • Teatro Principal; the oldest theatre in San Sebastian opened in 1843.
  • Teatro Victoria Eugenia, located in the most central zone of the city. The Victoria Eugenia Theatre is one of the most amazing buildings in San Sebastian.
  • Centro Kursaal 1 & 2; the convention center in the middle of San Sebastian designed by Rafael Moneo.

After you watched a few movies or culinary documentaries you might have become hungry. There will be a lot of stands on the streets with plenty of food and drinks. But if you want to sit, relax and talk about the film you just saw, you should try our recommendations of Top 10 Pintxos places in San Sebastián.

Enjoy the movies!

Click here for more information about our Hotel in San Sebastian.

I hope you have a great experience during your stay in Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra and enjoy your time in San Sebastian.
If there is anything we can assist you with please do not hesitate to ask our staff.

Best Regards,

Elena Estomba Garín
Assistant General Manager at Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra.

Tags: Events, Festivals

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