|Our lineup for our 19th edition includes films from all corners of Spain, new feature films, documentaries, international co-productions, shorts and some wonders from the archives.|
Our opening and closing nights are devoted to two of the films we are bringing from Andalusia and, as for the past several years, films from the Basque Country and Catalonia will have special sections celebrating the wealth of Spain’s cultural diversity.
We’ve also partnered with Durham University’s Santiago Fouz-Hernández to bring to London audiences an essential part of their Bigas Luna Tribute. With the Tribute, a very small but very special exhibition that we will celebrate after the screening of Jamón, jamón with Alhambra beer and with our friends at Spanish Ham Master and… yes, jamón – the best!
Check our program and make the most of this special occasion to see some truly great films on the big screen and meet talents from Spain!
The London Spanish Film Festival Spring Weekend returns from 1 to 4 June to Ciné Lumière for its 12th edition with three wonderful debut feature films.
These include Juan Diego Botto’s magnificent as well as important On the Fringe, which features powerful performances by Luis Tosar and Penélope Cruz, as well as the latest film by Cesc Gay, Stories Not to Be Told.
As part of the program, two special screenings: one paying homage to the genius of Pablo Picasso on the 50th anniversary of his death, and one about a very special journey of discovery by flamenco singer Niño de Elche.
The 19th edition of the London Spanish Film Festival will take place from 20 to 28 September 2023.
La 17ª edición del Festival de Cine Español de Londres llega de nuevo con una selección de algunas de las películas más emotivas e interesantes realizadas recientemente en España. La mayoría de ellas son estrenos en el Reino Unido en una feliz combinación de realizadores noveles y de cineastas consagrados. El programa presenta una variedad de géneros que te harán reír, te mantendrán al borde de tu asiento y probablemente te invitarán a pensar en la vida y lo que significa tomar decisiones y asumir riesgos. ¡Disfruta de la selección!
The 17th edition of the London Spanish Film Festival comes again with a selection of some of the most exciting and interesting films recently made in Spain. Most of them UK premieres, they’re the product of new as well as established filmmakers and, in the variety their genres, they will make you laugh, keep you on the edge of your seat and probably invite you to think about life and taking decisions as well as risks. Enjoy the selection!
Joana Granero (Director) and Patricia Pérez Alvarez (Head of Programming)
La isla de las mentiras- The Island of Lies
dir. Paula Cons, with Nerea Barros, Ana Oca, Sergio Quintana, Celso Bugallo, Darío Grandinetti | Spain/Argentina/Portugal | 2020 | 93 min | cert. 15 | UK premiere | In Galician and Spanish with English subtitles. Fri 24 Sep | 6.30pm
En una mañana de invierno de 1921, en medio de la espesa niebla del litoral gallego, un barco con 260 emigrantes con destino a Buenos Aires se hunde en la costa de Sálvora, una diminuta isla a 3 km de tierra firme. Como esa noche todos los hombres de la isla habían estado en tierra firme para celebrar la Navidad, tres valientes mujeres usan un bote pequeño y remar de oído para tratar de salvar a la mayor cantidad de gente posible. Un periodista argentino se interesa por cubrir el caso y comienza a investigar las muchas coincidencias fatales que sucedieron la noche del naufragio. La productora, escritora y directora Paula Cons retrata magníficamente la fría tragedia en el magnífico litoral natural de esta isla del Atlántico, así como la terrible ignorancia de una comunidad desterrada del progreso.
On a winter morning of 1921, amid the thick fog of the Galician coastline, a boat with 260 emigrants bound to Buenos Aires sinks in the cost of Sálvora, a very small island 3km off the mainland. As that night the men of the island had all been to the mainland to celebrate Christmas, three courageous women use a small boat and row by ear to try to save as many people as they can. An Argentine journalist takes interest in covering the case and starts to investigate the many fatal coincidences that happened on the night of the shipwreck. Producer, writer and director Paula Cons portrays superbly the cold tragedy in the magnificent natural coastline of this island in the Atlantic as well as the terrible ignorance of a community banished from progress.
Un efecto óptico– An Optical Illusion
dir. Juan Cavestany, with Carmen Machi, Pepón Nieto, Luis Bermejo | Spain | 2020 | 80 min | cert. 15 | UK premiere | In Spanish with English subtitles. Sat 25 Sep | 6.30pm
Alfredo y Teresa, matrimonio burgalés, deciden emprender por fin su soñado y merecido viaje a Nueva York. Poco después de su llegada, Teresa comienza a sentirse extrañamente incómoda. Entonces, las imágenes de monumentos de Alfredo no coinciden con lo que recuerdan que vieron… La de Cavestany es una versión distintiva y atrevida del turismo, el provincialismo globalizado, la banalidad de la vida cotidiana de una pareja estable…y mucho más.
Alfredo and Teresa, a married couple from Burgos, decide to finally take their long-dreamed and well-deserved trip to New York. Shortly after their arrival, Teresa starts to feel strangely uncomfortable. Then Alfredo’s pictures of monuments don’t match what they remember they saw… Cavestany’s is a distinctive and daring take on tourism, globalised provincialism, the banality of a steady couple’s quotidian… and much more.
El sustituto– The Replacement
dir. Oscar Aibar, with Ricardo Gómez, Pere Ponce, Joaquín Climent, Bruna Cusí, Vicky Luengo, Pol López | Spain | 2021 | 117 min | cert. 18 | UK premiere | In Spanish with Engish subtitles. Sat 25 Sep | 8.30pm Mon 27 Sep | 6.05pm
In 1982 a young father and hardened police officer moves with his family from Madrid to a small Mediterranean sea town where he is to replace an inspector that has been murdered in mysterious circumstances. As he keeps going on with his work, strange links between the inspector’s assassination, drugs and property speculation come up. Based on real facts, Oscar Aibar’s beautifully made thriller takes us to a heavenly and happy retirement spot on the Mediterranean coast that Nazi elders got thanks to the Franco regime and kept throughout the Transition.
En 1982, un padre joven y un policía empedernido se traslada con su familia desde Madrid a un pequeño pueblo del mar Mediterráneo, donde sustituirá a un inspector que ha sido asesinado en circunstancias misteriosas. A medida que continúa con su trabajo, surgen extraños vínculos entre el asesinato del inspector, las drogas y la especulación inmobiliaria. Basado en hechos reales, el thriller bellamente realizado de Oscar Aibar nos lleva a un lugar de retiro celestial y feliz en la costa mediterránea que los ancianos nazis obtuvieron gracias al régimen de Franco y mantuvieron durante toda la Transición.
El Planeta – Planet
dir. Amalia Ulman, with Ale Ulman, Amalia Ulman, Nacho Vigalondo, Zhou Chen | USA | 2021 | 79 min | cert. 15 | London premiere | In Engish and Spanish with Engish subtitles. Sun 26 Sep | 6.20pm
Una joven desempleada se ve obligada a dejar Londres y regresar a casa después de la muerte de su padre para vivir con su excéntrica madre. Aunque están a punto de enfrentar el desalojo, no pueden renunciar al estilo de vida que aman y creen que se merecen, uniéndose por su tragedia común y viviendo y disfrutando el momento. Ambientada en Gijón, El Planeta explora la pobreza contemporánea, la conciencia de clase y los deseos femeninos, así como las relaciones madre-hija en la España poscrisis con un encantador y sutil sentido del humor.
A jobless young woman is forced to leave London and return home after the death of her father to live with her eccentric mother. Although they are on the verge of facing eviction, they can’t renounce the lifestyle they love and believe to deserve, bonding over their common tragedy and living and enjoying the moment. Set in Gijón, El Planeta explores contemporary poverty, class awareness and female desires as well as mother-daughter relationships in post-crisis Spain throughout with a charming and subtle sense of humour.
Sentimental– The People Upstairs
dir. Cesc Gay, with Javier Cámara, Griselda Siciliani, Alberto San Juan, Belén Cuesta | Spain | 2020 | 82 min | cert. 15 | UK premiere | In Spanish with English subtitles. Thu 23 Sep | 8.30pm
Ana y Julio son pareja y, aparentemente, pasan la mayor parte del tiempo que están juntos, discutiendo. Salva y Laura parecen pasar su tiempo teniendo sexo ruidoso, razón por la cual Julio se molesta mucho cuando Ana los invita a cenar. Durante la turbulenta velada afloran secretos, miedos e inseguridades, todo aderezado por un ingenioso diálogo escrito por el director, Cesc Gay. El resultado es una comedia íntima y muy agradable que explora las complejidades de las relaciones modernas.
Ana and Julio are a couple and apparently, they spend most of their time together arguing. Salva and Laura seem to spend their time having noisy sex, the reason for which Julio is extremely annoyed when Ana invites them for dinner. During the turbulent evening secrets, fears and insecurities come to the surface, everything spiced up by a witty dialogue written by the director, Cesc Gay. The result is a highly enjoyable and intimate comedy exploring the complexities of modern relationships.
Nieva en Benidorm – It Snows in Benidorm
dir. Isabel Coixet, with Timothy Spall, Sarita Choudhury, Anna Torrent, Carmen Machi, Pedro Casablanc | Spain/UK | 2020 | 117 min | cert. 15 | UK premiere | In English and Spanish with English subtitles. Fri 24 Sep | 8.35pm
Cuando a Peter le «conceden» una jubilación anticipada del banco de Manchester para el que siempre ha trabajado, decide visitar a su hermano en Benidorm. Sin embargo, una vez allí se entera de que ha desaparecido y este viaje resulta lejos de lo que había imaginado. Una toma poética de la veterana Isabel Coixet sobre la particular belleza de Benidorm, su lado lúgubre y sus mafias inmobiliarias “no poéticas”, así como sobre el amor a una edad avanzada.
When Peter is “awarded” an early retirement from the Manchester bank he’s always worked for, he decides to visit his brother in Benidorm. However once there he finds out he’s disappeared and this trip turns out to be far from what he had imagined. A poetic take by veteran Isabel Coixet on Benidorm’s particular beauty, its gloomy side and its “unpoetic” real estate mafias as well as on love at an older age.
Un blues para Teherán –Tehran Blues
dir. Javier Tolentino, with Golmehr Alami, Sina Derakhshan, Pezhman Dishad | 2020 | 80 min | cert. PG | doc | UK premiere | In Spanish, Persian and Kurdish with English subtitles. Sun 26 Sep | 4:10pm
De la mano de Erfan, un joven kurdo que canta, escribe poesía y quiere ser director de cine, visitaremos algunos de los rincones más remotos de Irán descubriendo una cultura verdaderamente sofisticada a través de su música. Tehran Blues es una producción del siempre sorprendente Luis Miñarro de la primera película de Javier Tolentino. Es uno de los periodistas y críticos de cine más consagrados de España y este documental es un verdadero poema a una cultura omnipresente que no se puede borrar ni ignorar.
By the hand of Erfan, a young Kurdish man who sings, writes poetry and wants to be a film director, we’ll visit some of Iran’s remote corners discovering a truly sophisticated culture through its music. Tehran Blues is a production by the always surprising Luis Miñarro of Javier Tolentino’s first film. He is one of Spain’s most established journalists and film critics and this documentary is a true poem to an ever-present culture that cannot be effaced nor ignored.
Chavalas – Girlfriends
dir. Carol Rodríguez Colás, with Vicky Luengo, Carolina Yuste, Elisabet Casanovas, Cristina Plazas, José Mota | Spain | 2021 | 91 min | cert. PG | UK premiere | In Spanish with English subtitles. Tue 28 Sep | 8.45pm
Tras una primera etapa como fotógrafa profesional, Marta sin trabajo se ve obligada a volver a vivir con sus padres en un piso suburbano en Barcelona, el barrio obrero en el que creció. Allí encuentra a sus novias de la infancia Desi, Soraya y Bea, con quien compartió un vínculo muy especial en su adolescencia. Beneficiándose de las nuevas interpretaciones de las actrices, el primer largometraje de Carol Rodríguez Colás es una toma sincera y tragicómica de la amistad y las raíces a través de las decisiones de vida que Marta toma para convertirse en la mujer que quiere ser.
After an initial stint as a professional photographer, jobless Marta finds herself having to go back to live with her parents in a suburban flat in Barcelona, the working-class neighbourhood she grew up in. There she finds her childhood girlfriends Desi, Soraya and Bea, with whom she shared a very special bond in their teenage years. Benefiting from the fresh performances of the actresses, Carol Rodríguez Colás’s first feature film is a sincere and tragicomic take on friendship and roots through the life decisions Marta takes to become the woman she wants to be.
La reina de los lagartos – The Queen of Lizards
dir. Burnin’ Percebes (Juan González and Nando Martínez), with Javier Botet, Bruna Cusí, Miki Esparbé | Spain | 2019 | 63 min | cert. 15 | UK premiere | In Catalan and Spanish with Engish subtitles. Fri 24 Sep | 4.45pm Sat 25 Sep | 4.30pm
Berta, una madre soltera independiente y decidida, y Javi, un extraterrestre, se están preparando para poner fin a su romance de verano, ya que una nave espacial debería venir a recogerlo pronto. Sin embargo, la nave espacial no aparece y Berta comienza a preguntarse sobre sus posibilidades mientras se enfrenta a una relación estable. La reina de los lagartos es una memorable y absurda historia de amor bellamente filmada en Super-8 y de una manera sorprendente y poco convencional.
Berta, an independent and determined single mother, and Javi, an alien, are getting ready to end their summer love affair as a spaceship should come to pick him up soon. However, the spaceship does not appear and Berta starts wondering about her possibilities as she faces a steady relationship. La reina de los lagartos is a memorable, absurd love story beautifully shot in Super-8 and in a surprising and unconventional way.
Ane – Ane is Missing
dir. David Pérez Sañudo, with Patricia López Arnaiz, Jone Laspiur, Mikel Losada, Luis Callejo | Spain | 2020 | 100 min | cert. 15 | UK premiere | In Basque and Spanish with English subtitles. Tue 28 Sep | 6.30pm
Cuando Lide descubre que su hija adolescente, Ane, está desaparecida, se une a su exmarido, Fernando, para tratar de encontrar su paradero. A medida que crece la determinación del atribulado Lide, el miedo de Fernando a Ane se hace más evidente. A lo largo de la mayor parte de la película, Ane se siente como un fantasma y una presencia invisible opresiva y espectral. Después de varios premios por sus cortometrajes, David Pérez Sañudo logra a la perfección pasar del misterio al drama familiar y luego al thriller político.
When Lide discovers that her teenage daughter, Ane, is missing, she teams up with her ex-husband, Fernando, to try to find her whereabouts. As the troubled Lide’s determination grows Fernando’s fear of Ane becomes more evident. Throughout most of the film, Ane feels like a ghost and an oppressing and spectral unseen presence. After several awards for his shorts, David Pérez Sañudo succeeds perfectly in moving from mystery to family drama and then to political thriller.
Preceded by the short: Quebrantos – Breaches
dir. Koldo Amandoz, Maria Elorza | Spain | 2021 | 7 min | doc | cert. PG | In Basque with English subtitles
Living with fear… Based o an interview on Euskadi Irratia Radio.
dir. Lara Izaguirre, with Ane Pikaza, Héctor Alterio, Ramón Barea, Itziar Ituño | Spain | 2020 | 100 min | cert. 15 | UK premiere | In Spanish, Basque and French with English subtitles and English. Wed 29 Sep | 8.30pm
Una torpe entrevista de trabajo, un viaje nunca hecho a Argentina, la muerte de su abuelo, las llaves del viejo Dyane 6 azul … Así comienza el viaje que cambiará la vida de Nora. Después de dar la bienvenida a Lara Izaguirre con su primer largometraje en nuestra edición de 2016, nos enorgullece programar su apasionante segundo largometraje, realizado por un equipo creativo liderado por mujeres, que es una reflexión fresca y optimista sobre la vida y el coraje para tomar decisiones y riesgos. Como dice el refrán, “mal tiempo, buena cara” (en español, “al mal tiempo, buena cara”).
A clumsy job interview, a trip never made to Argentina, her grandfather’s death, the keys to the old blue Dyane 6… That’s how the trip that will change Nora’s life begins. After welcoming Lara Izaguirre with her first feature film in our 2016 edition, we are proud to program her gripping second feature film, made by a creative team led by women, which is a fresh and optimistic reflection on life and the courage to take decisions and risks. As the saying goes, “bad weather, good face” (in Spanish, “al mal tiempo, buena cara”).
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
EL OLVIDO QUE SEREMOS
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
LA VOZ HUMANA
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
MY MEXICAN BRETZEL
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
LA VIDA ERA ESO
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
This week, we continue a series of interviews with personalities from the Spanish-British sphere. Our fifth guest, Joana Granero, is the director of the London Spanish Film Festival in London.
Granero was born in Tarragona (Catalonia). After graduating in Law from the University of Barcelona she spent a couple of years in Italy and then moved to London, where she worked in publishing and got a MSc in Political and Social Theory from Birkbeck College.
Out of a passion for cinema Granero created the London Spanish Film Festival in 2005, an event that was to fill a gap in London’s cultural panorama by bringing contemporary Spanish cinema in a well-defined context.
In 2008 the Ambassador of Spain in London awarded her with the civil merit medal (Orden de Isabel la Católica) in recognition of her work with Spanish cinema. Granero also works as an independent curator and producer.
– Out of a passion for cinema, you created the London Spanish Film Festival in 2005, how did the idea come up?
The idea came up seeing the few opportunities to watch Spanish cinema in the UK, particularly in London, a city so rich culturally, where it was possible to watch such a wide variety of films, from so many different countries. Spain was underrepresented. Then it was only possible to watch a few films at the international festivals and only Almodóvar, Amenábar and Medem got distribution of their films with few exceptions. I thought there was so much more to watch and, having always been a cinephile, I missed it. Hence at the moment in my career in which I was looking for a change, I put myself to work and here we are!
– How have these 15 years at the LSFF been?
All in all, they’ve been exciting and enriching. They’ve been exciting because it’s never been boring or plain. We’ve lived many challenges, stressful situations alternated with moments of jubilation seeing the happiness of an audience, moments of joy with a full house and an impressed guest from Spain. Also some embarrassing and uncomfortable situations, like having to announce a guest’s last minute cancellation to an expectant audience. But every year we feel enriched with all the films, their contexts and conversations with guests, following the work of young and not so young filmmakers, and we feel extremely happy and proud to share it with audiences.
– Could you share with us a couple of anecdotes that you remember from all these years?
One of my favourite moments ever is when Jorge Coira came to present his film «18 comidas«. We introduced it briefly to a full or nearly full house, which was surprising because he was not one of the best-known directors. We went for dinner while the audience watched the film and came back to do the Q&A and as people were leaving the cinema so many were approaching him to thank him for the film and tell him how much they had enjoyed it. In English, in Spanish and in Galician. Some were even thanking me for having brought the film over. Coira was moved. I was moved and trying not to cry. It was magical. That feeling of having gifted something that had made people happy even if only for an evening.
There have been many great moments behind the scenes too, like having very informal drinks at the end of the evening in the salons of the cinema with Fernando Trueba or Javier Cámara, the Festival’s team and the projectionist. Also some delightful surprise, like when Geraldine Chaplin was our guest and a gorgeous Oona Chaplin came looking for her mother, when Olga Kurylenko came to see her friend Jordi Mollà, who was our guest, or when we spotted among our audience Mike Lee, Steve Buscemi or Elle Macpherson.
– How do you describe the general picture of Spanish cinema in the UK? Do you think our film industry is in good shape?
Since we started, the position of Spanish cinema in the UK has improved generally because there have been more films distributed and home cinema and streaming have contributed to this but there is still much room for improvement. Nevertheless we are very happy to see that the Festival and its Spring Weekend have become a regular, solid and anticipated window to the cinema from Spain in London.
As per the health of our film industry, I think more should be done in terms of promotion and distribution but of one thing we are convinced: there’s much talent in Spain and it’s being channeled.
– You are now working on the round off the 16th edition of the festival, what do you plan on showcasing?
It’s difficult to say anything about the next edition due to all the uncertainty surrounding COVID19 and public gatherings. We keep working in a program but we’ll have to see what is possible and what is not. So far our 10th Spring Weekend scheduled for May has had to be cancelled but we may be able to have a short «summer weekend». We have to wait a bit and see. But we keep working with the cinemas and our supporters towards a solution.
– The audience loves your Q&A featuring very diverse guests in the programme. Who would you like to have in the next upcoming months?
Hard to say without a program in hand but we’ve recently watched the latest film by Alejandro Amenabar, Mientras dure la guerra / While at War, and we’d very much like having him with us to talk about this film and his work as filmmaker but also about his music work. We’d love to have back Carlos Saura but this time with his daughter, Anna Saura, who has been producing his latest theater and film productions. I first met her when she was 9 years old and she’s become a great and determined producer. We’d also love having back Alvaro Longoria to talk about his tireless work as a director and producer.
Dream guest would be Pedro Almodovar. We’ve featured some of his work along the years and we’d love having him with us to talk about anything. He has so much to offer. We’d also like to talk cinema with Alberto Rodriguez. And books, films and food with Isabel Coixet. I could go on for a good while….
– Could you suggest the title of 5 Spanish films to our audience so they can get a good introduction to Spanish cinema?
As I’ve mentioned Pedro Almodovar, I’d start with Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. I think there’s a before and an after that film. At the time it came out I could not get tired of watching it. I was completely fascinated by that refreshing way of looking at cinema and at women. And I think it has a timeless quality about it.
La tia Tula, by Miguel Picazo, illustrates very well with its realist approach provincial society in 60s Spain and it’s been a point of reference for Almodovar himself.
El extraño viaje, by Fernando Fernán Gomez, is one of my favorites. It is illustrative of the very Spanish tradition of esperpento. It’s fun. It’s crazy. It’s daring. It’s absurd. One can’t but wonder how it went through Franco’s censorship in 1964.
Te doy mis ojos, by Iciar Bollain, is another gem I think with two fantastic actors, Luis Tosar and Laia Marull. In a realistic and delicate way shows a dark side of Spain’s society.
Que Dios nos perdone / May God Save us is a film by Rodrigo Sorogoyen, from a younger generation. I think it is a terribly good film and representative of a maturity in Spanish cinema.
These are only a few of the many, many films I think could provide with a good introduction to Spanish cinema. This is perhaps just one of many ways to start.