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The Year of Discovery at Open City Docs

We are proud to support the screening of The Year of Discovery at Open City Docs Festival. The film proposes a counter-narrative to the official history of 1992, the year Spain hosted the Olympics in Barcelona.

Celebrate the #ArtofNonFiction at Open City Documentary Festival‘s 11th edition, which runs across London cinemas and venues 8-14 September. We’re delighted to partner with the festival to present a screening of The Year of Discovery / El año del descubrimiento (dir. Luis López Carrasco; 2020)

Shot entirely on Hi-8 videotape in a bar in Cartagena, The Year of Discovery is a monumental work which excavates the legacy of 1992, proposing a counter-narrative to the official history of the year that Spain hosted the Olympics in Barcelona, the universal exposition Expo’92 in Sevilla, and celebrated the quincentenary of Columbus’s arrival in the America. ⁠⁠

The Year of Discovery was hailed as one of the most important film works of 2020 and finally gets its first London cinema screening at the festival. ⁠⁠

Showing: 10 Sep | 20.00 | @ICAlondon ⁠⁠

To book tickets and find out more about the festival visit opencitylondon.com

Celebrating the centenary of Luis García Berlanga’s birth

This June we have been celebrating the centenary of Luis García Berlanga’s birth, one of the great filmmakers of Spanish cinema. His long and fruitful cinematographic career, his unmistakable signs of identity as a creator, his corrosive humour and his work in directing, make him one of the best classic filmmakers of 20th century Spanish cinema.

In our library, you can borrow some of his most iconic DVD movies such as «Placido», «El verdugo» and «Bienvenido Mister Marshall», among others, and some books about him.

In 1980, Luis García Berlanga was interviewed  in the TV programme A fondo:

We also recommend the consultation of Digitalia database – for users with a library card – where his name is mention in 140 books on Spanish cinema:

Digitalia (oclc.org)

Las grandes películas del cine español (oclc.org)

The 10th Spring Weekend of the London Spanish Film Festival is back

The 10th Spring Weekend of the London Spanish Film Festival comes back, 28 – 30 May 2021, after missing one very strange year, full of energy and positive vibes setting the mood for an exciting 17th edition in September.

To celebrate Spanish cinema and its artists, as part of this weekend, you’ll find the latest film by veteran Fernando Trueba, three impressive debuts by three promising women, a hopeful and moving reflexion on what life is… and a special screening of the latest treat from Maestro Almodóvar.

For the full programme go to www.londonspanishfilmfestival.com

dir. Pilar Palomero | with Andrea Fandos, Natalia de Molina, Zoe Arnao | Spain | 2020 | 97 min | cert. 15 | London premiere | In Spanish with English subtitles
Celia is an 11-year-old girl studying at a nun’s school in 1992. She’s a responsible student and a considerate daughter but the arrival of a new classmate will open a little window Celia is willing to look out from to discover about the outside world. Together with her group of friends she’ll give her first steps into adolescence and first-times even if that means confronting her mother and questioning everything that meant comfort and security. The film has won several awards among which Best Film, Best New Director, Best
Cinematography and Best Original Screenplay Goya Awards.
Fri 28 May | 6.30pm | £13, conc. £11

Memories of My Father
dir. Fernando Trueba, with Javier Cámara, Nicolás Reyes Cano, Juan Pablo Urrego | Colombia | 2020 | 136 min | cert. PG | In Spanish, Italian and English
with English subtitles | Distributed by Curzon
Trueba’s latest film tells the story of Héctor Abad Gómez, one of Colombia’s most beloved national heroes, through the eyes of his son. He balances a nuanced portrait of Abad Gómez’s family life in Medellín and the harsh reality of the country in the turbulent 1970s and 1980s, in which corruption is common and the government cannot be criticised. Based on the book written by Abad Gómez’s son, Memories of My Father is a memorable work, a love story and the portrait of a man fighting for the basic human rights of his
people: food, water and adequate shelter.
Fri 28 May | 8.35pm | £13, conc. £11
Sat 29 May | 5.50pm | £13, conc. £11

The Human Voice
dir. Pedro Almodóvar, with Tilda Swinton | Spain | 2020 | 30 min | cert. PG | In English and Spanish with English subtitles
Jean Cocteau wrote The Human Voice in 1928 and, since then, many artists have staged or filmed their own vision of this woman’s dramatic moments after her lover of the last few years leaves her to get married with to another woman. Almodóvar’s stunning version brings to The Human Voice his sense of aesthetics, of rhythm and his peculiar, subtle sense of humour, making the pièce his own. Chameleonic Swinton, in what seems a wonderful and perfect tuning with Almodóvar, captures the essence of his style bringing to it some
delightful British exquisiteness. A must.
The film will be followed by a 40 min video-Q&A with Pedro Almodóvar and Tilda Swinton with Mark Kermode. It will be preceded by a video-presentation by Prof. Maria Delgado
Sat 29 May | 4.15pm | £13, conc. £11

La inocencia | The Innocence
dir. Lucia Alemany | with Carmen Arrufat, Laia Marull, Sergi López, Joel Bosqued | Spain | 2019 | 92 min | cert. 15 | London premiere | In Catalan and Spanish with English subtitles
Lis is a teenager whose dream is to become a circus artist and go traveling. While she knows she’ll have to confront her parents and fight for it, she spends the summer playing around with her friends and with her boyfriend, a few years older than herself and the relationship with whom she tries to keep hidden from the constant gossip of the neighbours. Lucia Alemany’s impressive first feature film is a fresh coming-of-age story that captures perfectly the rural and festive mood without losing any realism nor honesty.
Sat 29 May | 8.45pm | £13, conc. £11

by Nuria Giménez | Spain | 2019 | 73 min | cert. PG | London premiere | In English
Giménez’s debut film offers, through archive footage of home made movies, a glimpse into the life of a wealthy European couple, Léon and Vivian Barrett, after WW2 and up to the 1960s. The quality of the footage is superb and is accompanied by text from Vivian’s diary offering details of their lives, her thoughts, gossip… Mesmerising and compelling, this is a clever work of direction and of editing by Giménez, and has won her, among others, the Found Footage Award at the Internation Film Festival of Rotterdam last year.
Sun 30 May | 6.10pm | £13, conc. £11

That Was Life
dir. David Martín de los Santos, with Petra Martínez, Anna Castillo, Florin Piersic Jr., Ramón Barea | Spain/Belgium | 2020 | 109 min | cert. PG | UK premiere | In Spanish and French with English subtitles
When María and Verónica end up meeting and sharing a hospital room in Belgium, the only thing they have in common is that they are Spaniards who came to work to this country with the hope to find more opportunities than back at home. Slowly a bond grows between them and one of them will start a
journey to Almería, where the roots of the other are, initially to meet her family, finally to discover principles beyond those on which she had based her whole life. The film is poignant in his humble and intimate approach. The subtly nuanced acting of Petra Martínez in the lead role as a woman pushing herself
out of the boundaries of the role in which she felt confined, adds emotion to this wonderful film.
Sun 30 May | 7.55pm | £13, conc. £11

The Galician Film Forum celebrates the Day of Galician Literature with its premiere of ‘Nación’ in the UK

  • The London-based organisation is continuing to hold its events despite the pandemic by screening the latest film from Margarita Ledo online
  • On Wednesday 19 May there will be a live online Q&A with the director
  • The film will be available from 15 to 23 May via Vimeo On Demand and only in the UK

The London-based Galician Film Forum (GFF) will be celebrating the Day of Galician Literature this year with the UK premiere of ‘Nación’, the latest film from Margarita Ledo. From 15 to 23 May, the film will be available on the platform Vimeo On Demand exclusively for viewers based in the UK. There will also be an online Q&A with the director on Wednesday 19 May at 7pm British time which will be shared live on the GFF’s social media channels. The event has been supported by the Office for Scientific and Cultural Affairs at the Spanish Embassy in London.

The film will be screened in Galician with English subtitles and viewers will be able to rent it for 48 hours for £3.95 (the number of tickets is limited). This screening takes place seven weeks after the film premiered at cinemas in Spain, where it is still showing. ‘Nación’ was shown for the first time at the 17 Festival de Sevilla where it won the prize for Best Direction of a Spanish Film. It has also received the Mestre Mateo 2021 award for Best Documentary.

A struggle without end

In this non-fiction film, Margarita Ledo looks into how long it took women to receive rights ‘not only to vote, but to attain a paid job and to have the opportunity to become independent. In summary, how long it took us to become Nation’. At the core of the film is the closure of the Pontesa ceramics factory in 2001 and how, twenty years after the long-awaited sentence on the pending debt claim, a group of workers recalls the symbol of their individual liberty, their economic freedom and their struggle as a union.

These workers have kept the fight for women’s rights in Spain alive in the twentieth century. Their life story is told through the presence of a sphinx, played by Eva Veiga, who seeks out the memories of the women working in the textile, ceramic and conserves industries and announces voices and archives that link different times and bodies together.

In ‘Nación’, archive images are interspersed with acted scenes from Mónica Camaño, Mónica de Nut, Laura Martínez Iglesias and Xoana Pintos. The film also includes some ex-workers from Pontesa including Nieves Pérez Lusquiños, Manuela Nóvoa Pérez, Ester García Lorenzo, Carmen Portela Lusquiños e Carmen Álvarez Seoane.

Margarita Ledo Andión (1951, Castro de Rei, Lugo) is a very important cultural figure who is known for her work as a filmmaker and a writer. She is also a professor in audiovisual communication at the University of Santiago de Compostela where she was also dean. Her first book, a book of poems called ‘Parloar cun eu,cun intre,cun inseuto’ was published in 1970 followed by further poetry, fiction essays and research.

She has founded and directed several publications that focus on the importance of the Galician language and tend to have a militant spirit behind them. Her filmography includes the two feature-length films ‘Santa Liberdade’ (2004), ‘Liste, pronunciado Líster’ (2007) and the fictional film ‘A cicatriz branca’ (2012) which was based on her novel ‘Porta Blindada’. She has also directed various experimental short films and documentaries. In 2017, the international film festival Documenta Madrid held a retrospective for her. She was awarded the National Prize of Galician Culture in cinema and audiovisual production in 2008 and the Otero Pedrayo award in 2017. She is also a fellow of the Royal Galician Academy.

Tickets ‘Nación’:https://vimeo.com/ondemand/nacion/

The most popular DVDs in our library

El 16 de enero de 2020 en Biblioteca/Library por | Sin comentarios

A very important part of Instituto Cervantes in London is our library and the movies available to borrow in DVD. We introduce in this post a selection of the most popular ones among our users:

All About My Mother is a film by Pedro Almodóvar. A Greek saying states that only women who have washed their eyes with tears can see clearly. This saying does not hold true for Manuela. The night a car ran over her son Esteban, Manuela cried until her eyes ran completely dry. Far from seeing clearly, the present and the future become mixed up in darkness.

Havana Blues is a 2005 Spanish and Cuban film by Benito Zambrano, which tells the story of two young musicians in Cuba. The film revolves around their music and contains criticism of problems in Cuba such as poverty and electricity outages.

To Hell With The Ugly is a film by Nacho Garcia Velilla. Eliseo (Javier Cámara) is ugly, lame and single. He still hasn’t found the woman of his dreams and he doesn’t really know what love is. Nati (Carmen Machi) is similarly ugly and is currently separated. She’s just met the man of her dreams but she doesn’t know what real love is either. Eliseo, on the other hand, fears that the worst is just around the corner, whilst Nati fantasises that the best is yet to come.

The Queen of Spain is a film by Fernando Trueba. Eighteen years after fleeing Nazi Germany, Spanish film actress Macarena Granada becomes a major Hollywood star. She returns to Spain to play Isabella I of Castille, surrounded by showbiz hype.

Selfie is a movie by Víctor García León. A privileged young man in Madrid gets a reality check when his father is arrested on corruption charges and all of the family’s assets are seized.

Skins is a film by Eduardo Casanova. Deformed, disfigured characters must find a way to deal with society shunning their differences.

Butterfly’s Tongue is a film by José Luis Cuerda. The heartwarming story of the relationship that develops between a shy young boy and his kind teacher in 1936 Spain. The boy, Moncho, is frightened about starting school, and it is up to the gentle, compassionate Don Gregorio to set the boy’s mind at ease. When the Spanish Civil War erupts, both individuals’ lives are changed forever. 

Los DVD más populares de nuestra biblioteca

Una parte muy importante de la biblioteca del Instituto Cervantes en Londres es la sección de películas en DVD. Os presentamos una selección de las más prestadas y las más populares entre nuestros usuarios:

Todo sobre mi madre es una película de Pedro Almodóvar. Un dicho griego dice que solo las mujeres que se han lavado los ojos con lágrimas pueden ver con claridad. Este dicho no es válido para Manuela. La noche que un automóvil atropelló a su hijo Esteban, Manuela lloró hasta que sus ojos se secaron por completo. Lejos de ver claramente, el presente y el futuro se mezclan en la oscuridad.

Habana Blues es una película hispanocubana de 2005 de Benito Zambrano, que cuenta la historia de dos músicos jóvenes en Cuba. La película gira en torno a su música y contiene críticas a los problemas en Cuba, como la pobreza y los cortes de electricidad.

Qué se mueran los feos es una película de Nacho García Velilla. Eliseo (Javier Cámara) es feo, cojo y soltero. Todavía no ha encontrado a la mujer de sus sueños y realmente no sabe qué es el amor. Nati (Carmen Machi) es también fea y actualmente está separada. Acaba de conocer al hombre de sus sueños, pero tampoco sabe qué es el verdadero amor. Eliseo, por otro lado, teme que lo peor esté a la vuelta de la esquina, mientras que Nati fantasea con que lo mejor está por venir.

La Reina de España es una película de Fernando Trueba. Dieciocho años después de huir de la Alemania nazi, la actriz española Macarena Granada se convierte en una gran estrella de Hollywood. y regresa a España para interpretar a Isabel I de Castilla, rodeada de exageraciones publicitarias.

Selfie es una película de Víctor García León. Un joven privilegiado en Madrid recibe una verificación de la realidad cuando su padre es arrestado por cargos de corrupción y todos los bienes de la familia son incautados.

Pieles es una película de Eduardo Casanova. Los personajes deformados y desfigurados deben encontrar una manera de lidiar con la sociedad evitando sus diferencias.

La lengua de las mariposas
es una película de José Luis Cuerda. La conmovedora historia de la relación que se desarrolla entre un niño tímido y su amable maestro en la España de 1936 . El niño, Moncho, tiene miedo de comenzar la escuela, y le corresponde al gentil y compasivo Don Gregorio tranquilizarlo. Cuando estalla la Guerra Civil española, las vidas de ambos individuos cambian para siempre

Five recent Galician short films to be screened at the 11th Galician Film Forum in London

The Galician Film Forum (GFF) will celebrate its 11th event, titled ‘Shorts Edition’, with a programme focused on Galician short films that have been released recently. The event will take place on Friday 22 November at King’s College London [19 h, Edmond J Safra Theatre, Strand Campus, WC2R 2LS]. The films that have been selected for the event are ‘A nena azul’ by Sandra Sánchez, ‘Marusía’ by Pedro Sancho, ‘Soy una tumba’ by Khris Cembe, ‘Limbo’ by Daniel Viqueira and ‘Beautiful Boy’ by Fran X. Rodríguez. After the screening, the audience will have the opportunity to speak with director and film editor Sandra Sánchez, who will be in London to participate in this event.

As is usual, all of the films will be screened in Galician with subtitles in English and the event will take place in English and Galician. Tickets are free, but it is essential to reserve them in advance at this link. The eleventh edition of the GFF has been made possible thanks to support from the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at King’s College London, sponsorship from ABANCA and collaboration from the Office for Cultural & Scientific Affairs at the Spanish Embassy in London.

This Shorts Edition will bring a range of recent Galician short films to London. With fiction as the main thread running through the selection of films, the audience will have the opportunity to watch films that are full of humour like “Beautiful Boy” and “Marusia”. There will also be space for poetic reflection, as in “A nena azul”, and even some short films which are quite unconventional for this genre in Galicia, like animation and terror, with “Soy una tumba” and “Limbo” standing as good examples.

Award-winning short films

As well as having been released recently, the films that will be screened at the Galician Film Forum share in having had significant success at film festivals. In this regard, the successes of ‘Limbo’ must be underlined. ‘Limbo’ has participated in more than a hundred festivals and has received twenty prizes to date, including best short film at Grimmfest Manchester’s Festival of Fantastic Films; best director at Cryptshow Festival; the Calaverita de Bronce at the Morbido Film Fest; the Young Jury award at the Festival Ibérico de Cinema, Best Short Film at Terroríficamente Cortos and the award for Scariest Film at the Desmond District Demons, amongst others.

The success of ‘Soy una tumba’ also deserves a special mention since, as well as having been nominated for Best animated short film at the Goya awards this year, it continues to win awards as it goes around different festivals. Some of these awards include Best Animated Short at the XVII Premios Mestre Mateo; Best Animated Short at the Festival de Cortometrajes La Fila de Valladolid; Best National Short Film at Cortoons Gandia 2019; Best National Short Film and Best Animated Short Film at the Festival Nacional de Ciudad de Ávila Ávilacine; Best Script at Anima Deba Animazio Zinemaldia; first prize at Ourense Film Festival; and best animated short film at the XX Festival de Cortometrajes Asier Errasti, to cite just a few.

‘A nena azul’ lands in London having won the Special Mention prize from the jury at Planeta GZ and the Premio award for best directing Gallega XV at the Curtocircuito International Film Festival (Santiago de Compostela); the Mestre Mateo award for Best Short Film at the XVII edition of this ceremony which is organised by the Galician Audiovisual Academy. It has also won prizes for Best Photography and Best Sound at the VI National Festival of Short Films in Talavera de la Reina (Madrid).

With regards to ‘Beautiful Boy’, it has been recognised on several occasions, winning the audience prize for example at the XVI Festival de Cans and Primavera do Cine. It has also received awards like the prize for Best Script at the Mostra de Curtas Vila de Noia. To close, ‘Marusía’, the most recent of the short films that the Galician Film Forum will be screening, won its first international award at the 8th Resistencia Film Festival de Chile and won, in October, the Audience Award for Best Galician Short Film at the XLI Semana del Cine de Lugo.

Atlantic Gaze

The guest of honour at this edition of the Galician Film Forum is the director and producer Sandra Sánchez. In 2011 she presented her most personal project, a documentary called “Tralas luces”, which took four years to make and was premiered in the section for new directors at the Festival de San Sebastián. Sánchez then continued working as a producer on a variety of series, documentaries and films like ‘Migas de pan’, ‘Esquece Monelos’, ‘Querida Gina’ and ‘Rafael’. She also directed the short films ‘Matías’, which appeared at Chanfaina Lab, and ‘A nena azul’.

Sandra Sánchez is currently working in the Laboratory for Audiovisual Production at the Scientific Museums of A Coruña and she is writing the script for what will be her first feature-length fiction film, ‘La nadadora’, a project intimately linked to ‘A nena azul’ because both films have the same protagonist.

Galician Film Forum

The GFF started in 2015 when a group of Galicians living in London came together to create a space for Galician cinema in the British capital. It functions in three different ways: as an exhibition platform, as an observatory for the new creative audiovisual diaspora in the UK and as a space for reflecting on Galician cinema and culture in universal terms.

«We film little, and in these times, it is also a declaration of principles»

We interview filmmakers Teresa Arredondo and Carlos Vásquez Méndez after the premiere of their movie The Crosses at Open City Documentary Festival in London. Arredondo is a psychologist and filmmaker, her work in cinema revolves around the autobiographical. Her first work is a portrait of the last years of her grandmother, writer Matilde Ladrón de Guevara. Her first feature film, Sibila, received numerous awards at festivals around the world. She is a FIDOCS programmer and is co-founder of the Laguna Negra studio with Vásquez, with whom she develops different experimental and essay documentary film projects.

In the case of Vásquez, he is an artist and researcher. He uses cinema and photography from documentaries and an experimental perspective, establishing constant correspondences between artistic practice, social sciences, analog and digital. His works have been exhibited in various exhibitions and festivals. In 2016 his film [Pewen] Araucaria received the Joris Ivens / Center National des Artes Plastiques (France). With a bachelor of Cinema, a Master of Creation Documentary (IDEC / UPF) and a Master of Contemporary Artistic Creation (UB), he is currently developing his doctoral research.


1. What does it mean for you to present Las Cruces in London?

It is our premiere in the UK, it is always interesting to hear the opinions of audiences other than Chilean and Latin American, who unfortunately share a dark part of our recent past and take the history of the film to our particular territories. That is why it is important to contrast the universality of this story about these heinous crimes, which although it arose in a particular context, speak of the banality of evil, about the economic sector as the factual power, about how the official history is written from the spheres of power.

2. What was the reception like in the United Kingdom?

In the Bertha DocHouse room all tickets were sold, we were surprised by the response of the London audience.

3. Las Cruces was recorded in 16mm, why this format?

We work in 16mm because we both learned cinema at film school – we understand cinema in this format and we are still trying to remain faithful to this material. More than a fascination for the plastic characteristics of the film image, we are interested in the methodology involved, the material is expensive, scarce and delicate, it forces us to prepare a lot every shot, rehearse, be very concentrated, film little. And in these times, it is also a declaration of principles: let’s say it is a conscious position as opposed to the banalization of images in the era of social networks.

4. Why did you decide to make this documentary?

This case has several peculiarities with respect to the totality of crimes of the dictatorship. The first is the participation of private in the crimes, the second is that there are confessions of the perpetrators, the third is the time that justice has been taken in issuing a sentence and this is a very symptomatic detail of the symbolic relevance of this case. Because it would be the first time that a company of a powerful family is imputed as a direct accomplice of crimes of disappearance and murder of Chilean citizens for their political ideas.


5. What was the response among the relatives of the 19 murdered?

They always agreed with the project, although we gave voice to the testimonies of the murderers instead of theirs. From the beginning they understood the central idea of ​​the film and collaborated in every world without impositions or any conditions. They helped in the election of the inhabitants of the town who read the judicial documents, since the only condition we put to the relatives was that we did not want to expose them or submit them for reading in front of the camera. Our intention was to take care of them, work alongside them, not use their suffering.

6. What are you working on now?

The next thing is an exhibition in Port Bou at the end of September around the figure of Walter Benjamin and his tragic death. I have prepared a film piece – experimental medium-length film – about his trip through the Eastern Pyrenees before his life was taken away. With Teresa, the co-director of Las Cruces, we are working on three new projects together. The new pieces focus on the treaties on colonial history in Chile, from Spanish colonization to the planned colonization of citizens of northern Europe in the 19th century and the current post and neo-colonization of the most peripheral provinces. We have a studio called Laguna Negra, after Las Cruces, we really want to get a new movie together soon, hopefully we’ll have something next year.


«Filmamos poco, y eso en estos tiempos es una declaración de principios»

Charlamos con los directores Teresa Arredondo y Carlos Vásquez Méndez con motivo del estreno en Londres de su documental Las Cruces en el Festival Open City Documentary Festival.

Teresa Arredondo es psicóloga y cineasta, su obra gira en torno a lo autobiográfico en el cine. Su primer trabajo es un retrato de los últimos años de su abuela la escritora Matilde Ladrón de Guevara. Su primer largometraje Sibila, recibe numerosos premios en festivales de todo el mundo. Teresa es programadora de FIDOCS y es cofundadora del estudio Laguna Negra junto a Carlos Vásquez, con quien desarrolla distintos proyectos cinematográficos de carácter documental experimental y ensayístico.

Carlos Vásquez Méndez es artista e investigador. Los medios que utiliza son el cine y la fotografía desde una perspectiva documental y experimental estableciendo constantes correspondencias entre la práctica artística, las ciencias sociales, lo analógico y lo digital. Sus trabajos se han exhibido en diversas muestras y festivales. En el año 2016 su película [Pewen]Araucaria recibió el premio Joris Ivens/Centre National des Artes Plastiques (Francia). Licenciado en Cine,  Máster de Documental de Creación (IDEC/UPF) y Máster de Creación Artística Contemporánea (UB), desarrolla actualmente su investigación doctoral.

¿Qué supone para ustedes presentar Las Cruces en Londres?
Es nuestro estreno en Gran Bretaña, siempre es interesante oír las opiniones de públicos distintos al chileno, al latinoamericano y al iberoamericano, quienes lamentablemente compartimos una parte oscura de nuestro pasado reciente y llevamos la historia de la película a nuestros terrenos particulares. Por eso, es importante contrastar la universalidad de esta historia sobre estos crímenes atroces. Aunque surgieron en un contexto particular, hablan de la banalidad del mal, sobre el sector económico como el poder fáctico y sobre como se escribe la historia oficial desde las esferas del poder.
¿Cuál está siendo la acogida en Reino Unido?
En la sala Bertha DocHouse se vendieron todas las entradas, nos ha sorprendido la respuestas del público londinense.
Las Cruces fue grabada en 16mm, ¿por qué este formato?
Trabajamos en fílmico desde que aprendimos cine en la escuela de cine -ya tenemos una edad-, entendimos el cine en este formato y aún seguimos intentando mantenernos fieles a este material. Más que por una fascinación por las características plásticas de la imagen fílmica, nos interesa la metodología que implica, el material es caro, escaso y delicado, nos obliga a preparar mucho cada toma, a ensayar, a estar muy concentrados, a filmar poco y esto en los tiempos que corren es toda una declaración de principios, digamos que es una postura consciente en oposición a la banalización de las imágenes en la era de las redes sociales.
¿Por qué decidieron hacer este documental?
Este caso tiene varias particularidades respecto a la totalidad de crímenes de la dictadura, la primera es la participación de privados en los crímenes, la segunda es que hay confesiones de los victimarios, la tercera es el tiempo que se ha tomado la justicia en dictar sentencia y este es un detalle muy sintomático de la relevancia simbólica de este caso, pues sería la primera vez que se imputa a una empresa de una familia poderosa como cómplice directa de crímenes de desaparición y asesinato de ciudadanos chilenos por sus ideas políticas.
¿Cuál fue la respuesta entre los familiares de los 19 asesinados?

Ellos estuvieron siempre de acuerdo con el proyecto, a pesar de que les dábamos voz a los testimonios de los asesinos en vez que a los suyos. Entendieron desde el inicio la idea central de la película y colaboraron en todo munido sin imposiciones ni condición alguna. Ayudaron en la elección de los habitantes del pueblo que leyeron los documentos judiciales, ya que la única condición que les pusimos a los familiares fue que no queríamos exponerlos ni someterlos a la lectura frente a cámara. Nuestra intención era cuidarlos, trabajar junto a ellos, no utilizar su sufrimiento.

¿En qué trabajan ahora?
Lo próximo es una exhibición en Port Bou a finales de Septiembre en torno la figura de Walter Benjamin y su trágica muerte. Preparo una pieza fílmica -mediometraje experimental- sobre su viaje por el Pirineo Oriental antes de que se quitase la vida. Con Teresa -la co-directora de Lss Cruces- estamos desarrollando juntos tres proyectos nuevos, los tres tratan sobre la historia colonial en Chile, desde la colonización española a la colonización planificada de ciudadanos del norte de Europa en el XIX y la post y neo colonización actual de las provincias más periféricas. Tenemos un estudio llamado Laguna Negra, después de Las Cruces tenemos muchas ganas de sacar pronto una nueva película juntos, ojalá ya tengamos algo el próximo año.

Cinema in Spanish stands out in the month of festivals in London

This September, Instituto Cervantes offers a range of events which highlight the support for the presence of Spanish-speaking films and filmmakers in the British capital’s most important festivals and artistic venues (BFI, Open City Documentary Festival, LUX, Tate Modern, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London Spanish Film Festival and Raindance Film Festival).

“The vitality of cinema in Spanish is one of the features that define the current state of cinema in the world. And a cinema with a global appeal, such as ours, must be shown in a global capital such as London,” says Ignacio Peyró, director of Instituto Cervantes in the British capital.

Thanks to Instituto Cervantes, Spanish and Latin-American filmmakers can be part of a range of prestigious festivals held in London, thus increasing the visibility of the productions shot in Spain – be it in Spanish or co-official languages ​​- and Latin America, Peyró adds. 


Open City Documentary Festival: A 40-year unsolved mystery

The month begins with the screening of the Chilean documentary feature «The Crosses» and the subsequent colloquium with the directors Teresa Arredondo and Carlos Vásquez Méndez, on Sunday, September 8 at 1:45 pm, in the Open City Documentary Festival program.

This will be the premiere of Las Cruces in the United Kingdom, which is set only a few days after the 1973 military coup against the Allende government in Chile, when a group of 19 union members in a paper mill disappeared without a trace.

The case was a mystery for 40 years, until a police officer involved in the massacre finally broke the pact of silence. Hearing his confession alongside the testimony of the families of the victims, the filmmakers decipher the events that led to the murders, using 16 mm photographs to represent the landscape as a crime scene.


LUX: Artists works based in the United Kingdom

On Sunday, September 15 at 7:00 pm, a screening of the new works of directors Carla Andrade and Gerard Ortín takes place, with a subsequent colloquium, in the context of LUX New Work screening series, showcasing recent work by artists based in the UK. 

Their work is concerned with ideas of landscape, but whereas Andrade is drawn to non-domesticated nature for its unattainability and unownability, Ortín Castellví’s work problematizes the idea of “nature” itself as well as its imagery, often looking at human and more-than-human relations. 

They both work across media, with a focus on the moving image. At LUX, a selection of recent works by both artists will be screened followed by a conversation between them and María Palacios Cruz (LUX). 


Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival 2019: A dialogue between cultures

Barcelona-based filmmaker Carlos Casas presents the film «Cemetery», a total and hypnotic immersion in the jungle, on the trail of the elephant graveyard, then participates in a colloquium at the Tate Modern contemporary art gallery next Wednesday, September 18 September, at 6:30 pm, at the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival 2019.

Artist Casas returns to Tate Modern to present the UK premiere of his award-winning feature Cemetery. This deeply sensory film follows an elephant, a mahout and the poachers in their pursuit as they move toward the mythical place known as the elephant graveyard. As the journey transitions from the jungle through stages of death, images begin to fall away, opening onto a rich sonic landscape.

Ten years in the making, Cemetery weaves together field recordings from around the globe, recorded and mixed by wildlife sound expert Chris Watson with the collaboration of professor Tony Myatt (spatialisation and Ambisonics). Finding a striking juncture between nature documentary, experimental film, road movie and soundscape, the film opens up questions about life cycles and memory, colonialism and extinction, conservation and the environment and interspecies relationships. 


ICA: The portrait of the youth of a Madrid neighborhood

Pontevedra director Carmen Bellas will participate in a colloquium at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London (ICA), after the screening of her acclaimed short film «When we were wild», on September 22 at 8:30 pm.

«Being able to screen the film in London is very exciting; it brings us closer to different audiences and thanks to them we can capture other nuances of our project,» explains Bellas.

Once we were wild, a portrait of the young people of a San Cristóbal neighbourhood on the outskirts of Madrid, won the prized Caracola in the feature film category at the 49th edition of the Reach Documentary Festival. This unique and suggestive representation of place progressively abandons a classic documentary structure to become a first person essay.


Raindance Film Festival: The life of Ara Malikian, uncovered

This year, the Cervantes Institute in London also collaborates with the Raindance Film Festival, a prestigious independent film festival, with the screening of the documentary «Ara Malikian: a life between the ropes» and subsequent colloquium with the director Nata Moreno, which takes place on Tuesday 24 September, at 6:00 pm.

The play portrays the versatile violinist Ara Malikian, whose life was saved by music when he fled the war and left Beirut at age 14. Since then he has lived as a nomad carrying his music all over the world. The spectator follows Ara Malikian and his entire team during their last symphonic tour of Spain and countries such as France, China, Argentina and Germany

Moreno is the stage director of the shows of the Malikian, as well as creator and producer of her [JR5] [PE-AT6] music videos and campaigns. In 2016, she set up her own production company Kokoro Films with whichs she carries out various advertising campaigns and personal projects.


Raindance Film Festival: A black comedy with a star cast

On Thursday, September 26, at 7:45 p.m., the UK premiere of the Catalan comedy «7 raons per fugir», by Gerard Quinto, Esteve Soler, David Torras, followed by a discussion with one of the filmmakers, which is part of the Raindance Film Festival.

Soler adapts his own theatrical texts to give way to a black comedy with a star cast in which the dehumanization of the society in which we live is treated through everyday situations that deform.

The family, the poor kid who appears on TV, the sixth-floor neighbours, the tenant and the real estate agent, the business couple, the guy progress has run over and the couple about to get married. Seven stories that intertwine horror and comedy. Seven scenes of black humour as strange as they are unexpected. Seven surreal perspectives on a society that can’t progress, a dysfunctional society. 


Showing at the London Spanish Film Festival

The month of September ends with the participation of the Cervantes Institute in the acclaimed London Spanish Film Festival through two screenings. First, on September 26 at 6:30 pm the documentary Peret will be screened, “Peret: the King of the Gypsy Rumba”, by Paloma Zapata, niece of the acclaimed and respected artist.

Winner of the Best International Film at the MUVI Music Film Festival 2019, it is a must for music lovers. This is an intimate portrait and at the same time a tribute to Pere Pubill Calaf, Peret for the whole world, the king of Catalan rumba for history raised in the humble neighborhood of Sant Antoni, in Barcelona.

Finally, on September 28, at 4:00 pm, the Galician screening of Trinta lumes and a colloquium with its director, Pontevedra Diana Toucedo, takes place. Recorded in the Galician region of O Courel, the director takes us to her roots and shows the reality of the Galician community from the eyes of Alba, the protagonist of this film. A work that foregrounds issues of life and death, delving into the past with a look at the present.


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