In September, Donostia/San Sebastián is playing host to its big cultural event – and the driving force behind the tight bond between the city and the film industry: The San Sebastián International Film Festival. Big names in the history of motion pictures are associated with Donostia/San Sebastián and many actors and directors visiting the city on the occasion of the Festival have fallen in love with it. The list includes the names of Federico Fellini, Audrey Hepburn, Alfred Hitchcock, Jean-Luc Godard, Sophia Loren, Luis Buñuel, François Truffaut, Agnès Varda, and Orson Welles, among others.
During the Festival, international stars come to Donostia/San Sebastián every day, mingling with locals and tourists to create a vibrant atmosphere. Every year, hundreds of films are shown at Zinemaldia, whose various sections include the Official Selection, New Directors, Perlak, Culinary Cinema, Zabaltegi-Tabakalera, and others. Many of them vie for prizes, especially the Golden Shell in the Official Selection. In addition, the Festival’s organizers grant several honorary awards, the most important of which is the Donostia Award, this year going to actress Penélope Cruz.