San Sebastian International Film Festival
In mid-September each year the city plays host to some of the film industries most prominent figures, in the San Sebastian International Film Festival, one of the most important film festivals in the world. The festival was created in 1953 and with the highest grade (A) of the international circuit of film festivals.
The stars stay at the city’s best hotel, the Hotel Maria Cristina, and ceremonies are held at the Palacio de Congresos and the Kursaal auditorium, just across the Urumea river.
The International Film Festival of San Sebastian has been graced with the presence of some of the biggest film stars ever. Alfred Hitchcock, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Steven Spielberg, Luis Buñuel, Bette Davis, Gregory Peck, Al Pacino, Michael Douglas, Francis Ford Coppola, Anthony Hopkins, Robert De Niro, Bernardo Bertolucci and Woody Allen, whose film Melinda & Melinda (2004) had its world premiere at the festival. Many of those mentioned, including Allen, received the Donostia Prize, the festival's lifetime achievement award of appreciation to his film career.