Blessed receives plaudits at San Sebastian Festival

28 September, 2009 by IF

Press release from CG Publicity

BLESSED is the only Australian film screening In Competition at the 57th San Sebastian International Film Festival and had its first official screening last Thursday, winning the Special Jury Prize for Best Screenplay.


Speaking from San Sebastian, Ana Kokkinos said " To say that it was an extraordinary experience is a bit of an understatement. The film recieved a 5 minute standing ovation  – I know it went that long because it started as soon as the credits rolled and didnt stop until the credits finished –  and the immediate emotional response from the Spanish public was truly amazing, very emotional and very moving. We were then applauded all the way out of the cinema by the hundreds and hundreds of people who were there."

In the link below you can see the press conference, arrival for the screening, and Ana, Al and Miranda being applauded all the way out of the cinema down into the foyer after the screening by the hundreds of people coming out of the cinema. (about 13 minutes into the "Sept 23 at a glance" package)
Inclusion in the Official Selection at San Sebastian makes BLESSED eligible for 7 major festival awards: Golden Shell for Best Film, Special Jury Prize, Silver Shell for Best Director, Silver Shell for Best Actress, Silver Shell for Best Actor, Jury Prize for Best Photography and Jury Prize for Best Screenplay.

Blessed is one of only 18 feature films in the Official Selection at this 57th edition of the festival which closes 26 September 2009. Ranking as one of the worlds premier film festivals, San Sebastian is the most prestigious festival in the Spanish speaking world.
Blessed is the first Australian film to screen in Official Competition at the Festival since Lantana in 2001. The San Sebastian screenings follow the film’s International Premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. Blessed is now in national release in Australian cinemas through Icon Film Distribution.

BLESSED stars Frances O’Connor, Miranda Otto, Deborra-lee Furness and Victoria Haralabidou in a powerful and compelling story about mothers and children, about being lost and finding your way home.

Seven children from five different families wander the streets in an urban odyssey through a day and a night. As the children move deeper into peril, they make choices that will affect the rest of their lives. Dawn breaks and it’s the same day, but now we follow the mothers as they struggle to keep their kids safe. Blessed is a beautiful and intensely moving film about the life force that connects us all.

The four actresses lead an outstanding ensemble cast which includes William McInnes (Unfinished Sky), Monica Maughan (AFI Best Actress winner for The Damnation of Harvey McHugh), Wayne Blair (Bell Shakespeare’s Othello, Mullet, Wildside), Tasma Walton (Blue Heelers), Sophie Lowe (Beautiful Kate), Eamon Farren (The Pacific, Lucky Country, All Saints), Harrison Gilbertson (Australian Rules, Accidents Happen), Eva Lazzaro (Underbelly, Jindabyne, Tangle), Reef Ireland (Tangle) and standout newcomer Anastasia Baboussouras.
BLESSED was directed by AFI Award winning director Ana Kokkinos (Only the Brave, Head On), produced by Al Clark (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Chopper) and written by Andrew Bovell (Lantana), Melissa Reeves, Patricia Cornelius and Christos Tsiolkas (award-winning novelist The Slap, Loaded),  Blessed is a Screen Australia and Wildheart Zizani production in association with Film Victoria, The Melbourne International Film Festival Premiere Fund and Head Gear Films.