San Sebastian (Spain) (AFP)

After Cannes and the Mostra, the San Sebastian film festival in turn awarded its highest award on Saturday to a director, Romanian Alina Grigore, crowned for her first feature film at the end of a 69th edition at the during which the women won everything.

"I did not expect it at all," said the young director and actress, 36, very moved, receiving the Golden Shell for "Blue Moon".

She thanked "all the women and men who have taken our message so far".

Her film, which traces the journey of a young woman who tries to escape her family's violence, was one of the 17 films in competition this year, alongside in particular "Maixabel" by Iciar Bollain, inspired by a true story between the widow of a politician assassinated by ETA and two of his assassins, and "Arthur Rambo" by French director Laurent Cantet and "Benediction" by Briton Terence Davies.

The jury of this 69th edition, chaired by Georgian director Dea Kouloumbegachvili, awarded the prize for best achievement (the Silver Shell) to the Danish Tea Lindeburg for "As In Heaven", a film which depicts life in Denmark in the 19th century through the eyes of three women: Lise, aged 14, her aunt and her grandmother.

The main actress of this feature film, the Danish Flora Ofelia Hofmann Lindahl, won the prize for "best performance", tied with the American actress Jessica Chastain.

- Mixed reward -

This award was for the first time this mixed year, so as not to differentiate between men and women, like the Berlinale, the first major film festival to award this year a "non-gender" interpretation prize. .

"I love what I do and hope to continue for a very long time," said the 25-year-old actress receiving her award, holding Jessica Chastain's hand.

For her part, the American Jessica Chastain, twice nominated at the Oscars, was rewarded for the film "In the eyes of Tammy Faye".

She plays the televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker, a contested American personality who has often been parodied in television shows in the United States.

Danish director Tea Lindeburg ("As In Heaven") during the 69th edition of the San Sebastian film festival (Spain), September 19, 2021 ANDER GILLENEA AFP / Archives

The 44-year-old actress decided to make this film seven years ago after seeing a documentary showing another side of this woman.

"I hope this film teaches us to go beyond our first impressions," she said at the time of the award ceremony.

Considered a springboard for Latin American cinema in Europe, the festival honored Mexican-Salvadoran director Tatiana Huezo for "Noche de fuego".

The film, already noticed in Cannes in July in the section Un Certain Regard and awarded a Special Mention, takes place in a rural area in southern Mexico where women, mothers and daughters, live in fear of kidnappings.

A total of ten films were in competition in the "Latino Horizons" section.

More than 170 films were screened during the eight days of the Festival, including “A second” by Chinese director Zhang Yimou (“Wives and concubines”) presented at the opening ceremony.

© 2021 AFP