DIFF Artistic Director Grainne Humphreys (pictured third from left in the line-up above) reflects on an intensive few months at film festivals - both online and in person - in Cannes, Toronto and San Sebastian. As told to Sarah Hughes.

This is my 10th year coming to the San Sebastian Film Festival, so I know it extremely well.  For me, it’s a great festival of discovery and it’s still a place where first-time directors get to shine. 

San Sebastian is a beautiful city with a wonderful beach and amazing food - both in person and on screen! - as well as some lovely cinemas in the old part of town. There's a great focus on Spanish language cinema too, which is unusual in terms of the big ‘A-list’ festivals. 

The official competition is always really interesting and regularly attracts high profile guests.  On opening night this year, Marion Cotillard was presented with an award by Penelope Cruz. Javier Bardem (Cruz’s husband) was also here with a film that a lot of people liked called ‘The Good Boss’. 

'The Good Boss', starring Javier Bardem screened at San Sebastian.

There's a lot of overlap with some of the films that were in Cannes and Toronto, including ’Titane’, ‘The French Dispatch’ and ‘The Velvet Underground’.  Some of my favourite discoveries at San Sebastian were the fantastic Belgian film ‘Playground’, ‘Mi Ubita Mon Amour’ from France and ‘Unclenching the Fists’, a very tough film from Russia .

It was also lovely to catch up with the Mexican film ‘The Box’, which was screened in Venice, the very highly regarded Danish film ‘As In Heaven’ and ‘I Want to Talk about Duras’, a two-hander with Emmanuelle Devos about the French novelist Marguerite Duras. 

The main talking points of the festival were the number of Netflix deals being made and the controversy over the Donostia Award being given to Johnny Depp, but for me, it's actually about catching up with people, many of whom I haven't seen in nearly two years, and getting the insider scoop on the films that are coming up over the next couple of months.