Taylor Russell, Ewan McGregor Title ‘Mother, Couch!’ to Bow at San Sebastian’s New Directors Sidebar

Starring “Bones and All’s” Taylor Russell, Ewan McGregor and Ellen Burstyn, “Mother, Couch!” the feature debut of Sweden’s  Niclas Larsson, features in a currently 11-title lineup of San Sebastian’s 2023 New Directors section, the most important sidebar at the highest-profile movie event in the Spanish-speaking world.

Of just announced titles, also in the mix is “The Other Son,” Juan Sebastian Quebrada’s anticipated coming-of-age drama picked up by Film Factory.

“Carefree Days,” the second feature from Chinese actor-director-screenwriter Liang Ming (“Wisdom Tooth”), will open New Directors.

More section titles will be announced before the festival. A brief drill-down on its titles, film descriptions supplied by the Festival. More to come.

“Achilles,” (“Ashil,” Farhad Delaram, Germany, Iran, France)

Delarem participates in New Directors with his first inroads to the world of feature films,”Achilles,” about a young moviemaker who works in a hospital and whose life changes after meeting a mysterious young girl.  

“Bahadour The Brave,” (Diva Shah, India)

Shah debuts with “Bahadur the Brave,” a film set during the early days of the pandemic in an Indian village on the border with Nepal, where a Nepali immigrant tries to find the money to cure his sick son.

“Beyond The Fog,” (“Kiri No Fuchi,” Daichi Murase, Japan)

Murase who, having directed several shorts and the feature-length “Roll” (2020), will now present “Beyond the Fog,” which will be the closing film of the New Directors section. The filmmaker proposes an intimate portrait of a family who have been running a boarding house in a remote mountain village for generations. 

“Bauryna Salu,” (Askhat Kuchinhirekov, Kazajstan)

First work of director, the name given to an ancient nomad tradition whereby the firstborn child is handed over to the grandparents for them to look after it instead of its parents. Prior to moving behind the camera, Kuchinhirekov has worked as an actor and assistant director on titles including “Tulpan” (2008) and “Aika” (2019), by Sergei Dvortsevoy, which won the Un Certain Regard Award and Best Actress Award at Cannes, respectively.

“The Blue Star,” (“La Estrella Azul,” Javier Macipe, Spain, Argentina)

The movie takes a fictional approach to the story of the musician from Zaragoza Mauricio Aznar, founder of bands such as Golden Zippes, Más Birras and Almagato. His first movie, “Los inconvenientes de no ser Dios” (2014), earned Macipe the best debut film award at Zaragoza Film Festival. He has also directed fiction shorts including “Gastos incluidos” (2019) and “Os meninos do rio” (2014), both finalists at the Goyas.  

“Carefree Days,” (“Xiao Yao You,” Jiang Ming, China)

Second full-length film, whose feature debut, “Wisdom Tooth” (2020), garnered acclaim at several international festivals. The moviemaker will open New Directors with “Carefree Days,” the adaptation of Ban Yu’s homonymous novel following a young patient as she tries to find her place in the world.

“Hi Mom,” (Ilia Malakhova, Russia)

Malakhova makes her feature film debut with “Hi, mom,” focused on the figure of Kira, a 38 year-old woman who has never recovered from her mother’s disappearance and who lives in the same house as her younger sister and her daughter.

“Last Shadow At First Light,” (Nicole Midori Woodford, Singapore, Japan, Slovenia, Philippines, Indonesia)

narrating the trip to Japan by a young girl who, tormented by repeated apparitions, sets out to find her missing mother. Her previous short films have participated in festivals including Busan, Clermont-Ferrand and Tokyo.

“The Other Son,” (“El otro Hijo,” Juan Sebastián Quebrada, Colombia, France, Argentina)

Quebrada presented his graduation film “Días extraños” (2015) at Bacifi and his short film “La casa del árbol”(2017) at Toronto Festival. He now shows his feature film debut, “The Other Son,” which participated in the Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum while at the project stage in 2020. The Colombian moviemaker follows the steps of a young boy as he tries to find the strength he needs to keep living after the death of his brother.

“Gamma Rays,” (“Les Rayons Gamma,” Henry Bernadet, Canada)

Bernadet participated in various international festivals including Rotterdam and Zurich. Now, in “Gamma Rays” he brings the audience a generational portrait of a group of youngsters who live in Montreal.

“Mother, Couch!” (Niclas Larsson, U.S, Denmark, Sweden)

The film begins when three estranged siblings are brought together when their mother refuses to move from a couch in a furniture store.

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