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San Sebastián Film Festival: This year's stars and 'shells'
29 September 2021 @ 12:27

BACK to almost normality and the first 'genderless' edition in history, San Sebastián Film Festival has wound up for another year with gold and silver shells dished out to one of its most international selections of screen stars from either side of the camera.

Céline Sciamma's Petite Maman won the Premio del Público, or ‘Audience Prize’. (All photos, except pictures two and eight, from FilmAffinity)

And it came with a hefty dose of controversy for various reasons in 2021, the 69th in the history of the Basque Country's answer to Cannes. Whilst the overwhelming theme among winning films was the struggle faced by women in a patriarchal society, the Concha de Oro, or 'golden shell' for lifetime achievement, went to Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp, who has been in the headlines constantly in recent times over domestic violence allegations.

But the festival organisers said that nothing had been proven, Depp had not been charged or formally placed under suspicion of gender or domestic violence, and his innocence must be assumed unless and until this situation changed.


First-ever 'gender-free' film awards

Also, the move to scrap the division between 'Best Actress' and 'Best Actor', or eliminating any mention of gender from awards, left nobody indifferent – everyone in the industry and on the street had a strong opinion of it.



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