Spain festival screens silent 'Snow White'

Spanish actresses Maribel Verdu, Inma Cuesta, Sofia Oria, Macarena Garcia and Angela Molina pose during a photocall to promote "Blancanieves" at the San Sebastian Film Festival

SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain - A Spanish filmmaker unveiled a new silent movie of "Snow White", another non-talkie Oscar contender, at the San Sebastian Film Festival Saturday.

Screening it at one of Europe's top international film events, director Pablo Berger said it was developed by coincidence at the same as Michel Hazanavicius made last year's silent Oscar-winner, "The Artist."

"In France at the same time Hazanavicius had written a script of the same kind," a movie with a musical soundtrack but no words, Berger told reporters at the festival.

"When I heard, about a week before the start of filming, that there was a film called 'The Artist' that had been a success at Cannes, it was a blow."

Nonetheless, Berger's film - "Blancanieves" in Spanish - has been selected as one of Spain's contenders for the best non-English language film at next year's Oscars.

Where Hazanavicius's film was a homage to old American silent movies, Berger's film evokes European cinema of the 1920s, setting the fairytale in the world of bullfighting in Seville with a flamenco soundtrack.

On Sunday the San Sebastian festival is to hand its lifetime achievement awards to US film star John Travolta and director Oliver Stone.

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