It’s been a while since we last wrote an entry about the San Sebastian Film Festival (Zinemaldia).  Normally, the world’s media covers the event, quite well, but since they all focus on the same films, artists, and awards, the information we find tends to be repetitive, even here at home.  Though we do appreciate how wonderful a showpiece it is for us Basques before the world.

But this year we came across articles that were a bit different.

When one thinks about the Film Festival, it’s normal to see images of stars on the red carpet, art films’ debuts, and awards for people who have shone the most in their field, or even the award-winning films and actors, all with a healthy dose of glamour.

But it goes so far beyond that.  Perhaps it’s due to all that star power outshining other aspects, but there are facets to this polyhedron event that offer experiences that complement the films so well.

In this entry, we bring you two of them, thanks to two articles.  The first is by Liza Diño-Seguerra, and was published in the Manila Times.  The second is by Eliane Guereni and was found on the Brazilian news site Neofeed.

The Movie Industry

We start with the “business” aspect of film because, after all, we’re talking about a global industry that moves outrageous amounts of money, and which is currently undergoing a profound structural shift.

This article chronicles what came out of the second annual Conference of Creative Investors at the San Sebastian Film Festival.  This meeting raised quite a stir, and covered all aspects of the business, from the Hollywood strikes to the world of streaming.

The world of cinematography, in its widest sense (including movies, TV, digital platforms, etc.) is once again undergoing a paradigm shift of the rules, business models, and ways of working.  As the author writes at the end of the article: “The world of cinema is evolving, and as streaming platforms, international alliances, and new voices continue to reshape the landscape, the industry must adapt and innovate to thrive.”

The second article shows us one of those “parallel” activities to the films, which, though they may be at the heart of the festival, they’re not the only art to be enjoyed.

We all know people related to the world of film get to enjoy the amazing cuisine on offer in town.  Everyone who visits knows.  After all, it’s one of the best places in the world to come to eat, and you don’t even have to go to one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants to enjoy the best.  Perhaps it’s better to say that the hardest thing in San Sebastian, and indeed the whole of the Basque Country, is to find a place where the food is “mediocre.”


But there is another activity within the festival, called Culinary Zinema, organized by the film festival and the Basque Culinary Center, which select films and series for the audience to enjoy, followed by a dinner prepared by a chef inspired by what was shown.

Entry to the show and dinner is €80, and as the article explains, they always sell out.  We think it’s an amazing project that joins together these two “arts” and really highlights just why we are the Culinary Nation.

By the way, we do have one niggle: the Basque Culinary Center is not “one of the best cooking schools in Europe,” it’s one of the best in the world.

Manila Times – 1/10/2023 – Philippines

Navigating the changing tides of the global film industry

The San Sebastian International Film Festival’s (SSIFF) Creative Investors’ Conference took center stage anew, bringing together industry giants to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the global film industry. The event proved to be a dynamic forum for insightful discussions on the state of the US and global film industry. Industry experts, executives, and producers converged to delve into pressing issues and emerging trends.

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Neofeed – 30/9/2023 – Brazil

Em San Sebastián, a essência de um jantar cinematográfico em “18 estrelas” Michelin

Os foodies de San Sebastián adoram se gabar dos atributos gastronômicos da cidade basca, no norte da Espanha. Em um raio de 25 quilômetros, ao redor da prefeitura, seus restaurantes somam 18 estrelas Michelin, representando um dos lugares do mundo com a maior concentração de distinções do guia por metro quadrado.

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Header photo: Still from the Culinary Cinema presentation film at the 2023 San Sebastian Film Festival

Last Updated on Feb 12, 2024 by About Basque Country

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