ES  Lacunza IH San Sebastián

City "of cinema"

68th International Film Festival of San Sebastián

With the change of the seasons, the ´Zinemaldia 2020´ is upon us. Every year in September the city transforms into a big stage for 9 days on which actors, directors, producers, critics, journalists, cinephiles, autograph chasers and many other people come and enjoy "the seventh art". The perfect combination for anyone who wants to learn Spanish and enjoy an international event. Walk around the city, visit different places, enjoy typical cuisine or join on of the festival´s sessions are fantastic experiences through which we sharpen our senses and abilities for learning: audition, reading and speaking interaction. 


68 editions have passed for the organisation of this event. Since the first time, year after year without any interruptions, the festival has mantained its enthusiasm and ability to surprise and therefore it´s been placed in orbit along the likes of : Cannes, Berlin and Venice...

The films shown, are very rich in variety so that anybody who would like to practice her or his knowledge of a language, or keep learning, can choose between different sections, cinema, short films from different countries and cultures in 3, 2, 1 ... ACTION!


The festival has 14 very diverse areas: the official area, new directors, zabaltegi-Tabakalera, culinary cinema, nest film student, velodrome, etc. (more detailed information can be found here

Out of all the areas we would like to highlight:

  • ´Horizontes Latinos´: where you can find all sorts of unpublished films from the Spanish speaking part of America that are produced entirely or partially in Hispanic America.
  • Made in Spain: an area where you can discover the Spanish cinema of the year and at the same time see, hear and understand the different realities of the Spanish society and culture.

The Donostia prize

Since 1986, the festival grants this award to people who have contributed to the history of cinema in the world. From the 58 award winners we would like to show you a few, receiving their honours:

Antonio Banderas (2008)

Carmen Maura (2013)

Benicio del Toro (2014)

A small sample of their emotions and feelings during this ceremony and a great way for you to practice and learn Spanish if you are interested in cinema. 

´Concha de oro´ and ´concha de plata´

Each festival has its own prizes and in the San Sebastián gala, due to its great variety of areas and presentations, there are several. After handing out the San Sebastián award, the different shells (la concha) are awarded in gold (oro) and silver (plata) for:

  • The best movie (gold)
  • The best director (silver)
  • The best actor (silver)
  • The best actress (silver)

But..... ¿why a shell? ¿what shell are they referring to? "A picture says more than a thousand words"

GALERIA: La Concha

This is what ´la Bahía de la Concha´ looks like. One of the touristic hotspots is this beach that nature has shaped like a giant shell.