San Sebastian Adds Kitty Green’s ‘The Royal Hotel’ And Riz Ahmed Pic ‘Fingernails’ To Competition Lineup

Aussie filmmaker Kitty Green’s latest pic, The Royal Hotel, starring Julia Garner, and Fingernails, the latest film from Christos Nikou, with Riz Ahmed and Jessie Buckley, have been added to San Sebastian’s competition lineup.

Overall, six films have been announced as late additions to proceedings in San Seb. The other titles are Kalak (Isabella Eklöf), The Successor (Xavier Legrand), Great Absence (Kei Chika-Ura), and the debut from Tzu-Hui Peng and Ping-Wen Wang, A Journey in Spring. Additionally, the French pic A Real Job, directed by Thomas Lilti, will play the fest’s special screenings section.

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The Royal Hotel is Kitty Green’s first feature since her 2019 breakout, The Assistant. The film tells the tale of two backpackers (Garner and Jessica Henwick) who take a job in a pub in the remote Australian Outback. Neon has acquired North American rights to the film. Following his debut Apples, which played Telluride, Toronto, and Venice, director Nikou assembled an A-list cast including Jessie Buckley, Riz Ahmed, Jeremy Allen White, Luke Wilson, and Annie Murphy for his second movie and first English-language film, Fingernails. The film has been described as a thought-provoking romantic drama about an institution that tests the presence of romantic love between couples.

A Journey in Spring is the first feature film from filmmakers Taiwanese Tzu-Hui Peng and Ping-Wen Wang. The pic follows a man overcome with remorse as he mourns his wife’s death. Legrand returns to San Seb following Custody, which played the fest after winning Best Director at Venice. The Successor is the tale of a designer who discovers a terrible secret in his family home when his father dies. Kei Chika-Ura’s Great Absence follows a young actor who reconnects with his father after the disappearance of his second wife. Eklöf’s Kalak follows a Danish nurse who moves to live in Greenland.

Today’s announcement adds to the list of eleven previously announced for the San Seb Official Selection. The lineup includes María Alché and Benjamín Naishtat, Jaione Camborda, Robin Campillo, Isabel Coixet, Isabel Herguera, Raven Jackson, Joachim Lafosse, Noah Pritzker, Cristi Puiu and Martín Rejtman. Also programmed, out of competition, is the series La Mesías by Javier Ambrossi and Javier Calvo and the special screening of They Shot the Piano Player, by Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal. Hayao Miyazaki will open the 71st edition with The Boy and The Heron and James Marsh will bring it to a close with Dance First.

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