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Handia, winner of ten Goya Awards, is one of the films shot in San Sebastian in 2017, with the collaboration of the Film Commission


Last year, around 90 film, television and advertising projects were shot in our city, including five feature films. The film, ‘Handia’ (Giant), which was shot in different locations around the city with the collaboration of the San Sebastian Film Commission, appears on this list. The Deputy Mayor, Ernesto Gasco, has congratulated the Handia team for the 10 Goya Awards, and has taken advantage of the opportunity to point out that “we are extremely proud to have worked on the production of Handia because, with this film, San Sebastian has once more proven its solvency when it comes to undertaking projects of this type. In recent years, the city has not only been the location for shoots, but has also known how to consolidate a unique audiovisual industrial sector that is now reaping its rewards”.



Last year, the Fomento de San Sebastián Film Commission, entity reporting to the  Department for Economic Development, collaborated on the shooting of around 90 film, television and advertising projects undertaken in the city, including five feature films. In total, there were 274 shooting days in our city, (compared with 182 in 2016). It must be highlighted that the productions counted on local professionals and companies.


The link between film and the city of San Sebastian is still intense, according to data summing up the activities of the Film Commission, an entity devoted to the promotion of the film sector and the local audiovisual sector. It also facilitates audiovisual shoots in San Sebastian and its surroundings. Last year, five feature films were shot in different locations throughout the city:

  • ‘Handia’, winner of ten Goya Awards.
  • ‘Operación Concha’, by Abra productions, premiered at Zinemaldia.
  • ‘Cuando dejes de quererme’, which will be premiered on 16 th February.
  • ‘Oreina’, by the local production company, Txintxua Films and the director,
  • Koldo Almandoz.
  • ‘Paranormales’, fantasy comedy by Axel Casas and Gorka Ronquete.


Among the television projects filmed in the city, the following stand out:

  • ‘Masterchef’, by TVE.
  • ‘Goazen’, by ETB.
  • ‘Allí abajo’, by Antena3 (which filmed the third season and will film the fourth season this year).
  • ‘La Zona’, by Movistar (in which San Sebastian becomes the site of the Nogales nuclear plant).



The collaboration of the Film Commission with ‘Handia’ began in the film’s pre-production phase, `providing support in the search for locations to film different scenes in San Sebastian, as well as acting as a link to other institutions and providing city council furniture as props. Shooting began on 11 th April 2016 in Artikutza and in other locations in San Sebastian, such as the Miramar Palace, the Victoria Eugenia Theatre or the Arteleku facilities, which were the operations base of this feature film as various scenes of the film were created in this space, such as the interior of the “baserris” (farmhouses) or the London museum where the giant of Alzo was on display. In other words, much of the filming and work on Handia took place in San Sebastian. The film’s Gipuzkoa locations also include Zumaia beach or the municipality of Ezkio Itxaso.


San Sebastian is a city capable of becoming a versatile film set, which has been used in the three films by the Moriarti team and, always, in close collaboration with the Film Commission service, reporting to the Deputy Mayor's Office and the Department for Economic Development in San Sebastian.

  • “80 Egunean” 


Filmed almost entirely in the city and produced by Moriarti and Irusoin, it won the San Sebastián Film Commission’s 6 th City Award,

  • Loreak


It was pre-selected as a Spanish candidate to the Oscars in the foreign language category. Loreak was produced by Moriarti Produkzioak and Irusoin, premiered in the Official Section of the San Sebastian International Film Festival and has won awards at various international festivals.


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San Sebastián, the film industry city.

Much of the Handia team is from San Sebastian, residing in the city or surrounding area and, they all make up the city’s audiovisual sector chain. This is a remarkable fact as it is unusual for a medium sized European city to have the entire value chain for the audiovisual sector, one of the sectors that is contributing most to the creative industries.


The ‘Handia’ Team

On this occasion, the directors are Jon Garaño and Aitor Arregi, whilst Joxe Mari Goenaga appears as the scriptwriter.


Jon Garaño: born in San Sebastian in 1974. ‘Loreak’ (2014) Co-director and co-scriptwriter, the film was selected in the Official Section of the San Sebastian International Film Festival and nominated for Best Film at the Goya Awards 2015. It counted on the participation of ETB, TVE, Canal +, Euskaltel, ICAA and the Basque Government. ‘80 egunean’ (2010) Co-director and co-scriptwriter of the feature film, which was premiered in May 2010 and selected in over 100 festivals.


Aitor Arregi: born in Oñati in 1977. “Loreak” (2014). Co-scriptwriter, Executive Producer and second unit Director. “Zarautzen erosi zuen” (2014). Scriptwriter and Director of the short film selected in the Kimuak catalogue 2014.


For this project, the directors of Handia worked with most of their usual team, which has won 10 Goya Awards:

  • Best Original Script: Aitor Arregi, Andoni de Carlos, Jon Garaño and José Mari Goenaga. All of them are from Moriarti with the exception of Andoni de Carlos.
  • Best Original Music: Pascal Gaigne, who also composed the soundtracks for 80 EGUNEAN and LOREAK
  • Best Editing: Laurent Dufreche and Raúl López, whereby the latter worked on 80 EGUNEAN
  • Best Production Director: Ander Sistiaga, who was also the production director for 80 EGUNEAN and HANDIA and has also participated in several of the films shot in the city and has also been nominated for several Gaudí Awards.
  • Best Photography Director: Javier Agirre Erauso, who also worked on LOREAK, for which he received much international praise particularly in the USA, and 80 EGUNEAN.
  • Best Artistic Director: Mikel Serrano who also worked on the two previous projects.
  • Best Costume Design: Saioa Lara, who worked on Loreak
  • Best Make-up and Hairstyling: Ainhoa Eskisabel, Olga Cruz, Gorka Aguirre. Ainhoa worked on the two previous projects.
  • Best Special Effects: Jon Serrano, David Heras, who also worked on 80 EGUNEAN.
  •  Best New Actor: Eneko Sagardoy, (from Durango in Vizcaya) who has worked on other films shot in the city, such as: Amaren Eskuak (2012), The Night Watchman (2015), Cuando dejes de quererme (2017).


The Film Commission was the starting point for municipal institutional support for the audiovisual sector, which was later strengthened with the full sectorial strategy that has led to public-private collaboration with agents of the audiovisual sector, such as  IBAIA, Basque Association of Independent Audiovisual Producers; in the organisation of courses, conferences and workshops to support the training of professionals; in the Fomento San Sebastián Smart newsletter which includes key  information on the tendencies and opportunities in the sector; support for the creation of companies and it has also worked on attracting shoots to the city  through the organisation of business missions  which have brought British film producers and French advertising producers to our city. 


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