The London Spanish Film Festival launches its 12th edition (22 – 29 September 2016) with an extraordinary line-up of recent Spanish films, most of them UK premieres and a unique opportunity to watch them in London.
The London Spanish Film Festival launches its 12th edition (22 – 29 September 2016) with an extraordinary line-up of recent Spanish films, most of them UK premieres and a unique opportunity to watch them in London. From enigmatic thrillers to fresh comedies, from poetic dramas to international co-productions, documentaries and promising shorts, this year’s line-up offers an insight into the compelling variety of Spanish cinema and its artists. Check the programme and see you there!
LA NOVIA** / The Bride
Dir. Paula Ortiz, with Inma Cuesta, Alex García, Asier Etxeandia, Manuela Vellés, Leticia Dolera, Luisa Gavasa | Spain/Germany | 2015 | 96 min. | col | cert. 12 | In Spanish with English subtitles | UK premiere
Based on Federico García Lorca’s play Blood Wedding, which is considered one of his best works, La novia tells us the story of a tragic love triangle set in the deep South of Spain. Ortiz’s treatment of Lorca’s play is respectful and very close to the original poetic dialogue, while the photography of Miguel Amoedo enhances a fable-like atmosphere with nuances of a catastrophe. All performances are powerful but special mention deserves that of Luisa Gavasa, worth of a Greek tragedy, in the role of the cold-hearted widow, mother of the groom.
The film will be followed by a Q&A (tbc) with Prof. Maria Delgado (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama)
Thu 22 Sep | 8.40pm | Ciné Lumière
Dir. Lydia Zimmermann, with Blanca Portillo, Agustí Villaronga, Colm Tóibín | Spain | 2016 | 59 min. | col | doc | cert. PG | In Spanish with English subtitles | UK premiere
Blanca Portillo has one of Spain’s richest, unstoppable acting careers in film, TV and theatre. She won the Cannes Film Festival’s Palm Award for her work in Pedro Almodóvar’s film Volver and her work has been awarded several times.Zimmermann’s documentary follows the actress’s creative process as she prepares to incarnate María of Nazareth in Colm Tóibín’s play Mary’s Testament under the direction of Agustí Villaronga. A privileged and enriching insight into the work of one of the most interesting Spanish actresses of all times.
The film will be followed by an on-stage conversation between Blanca Portillo and Prof. Maria Delgado (The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama).
Fri 23 Sep | 6.30pm | Ciné Lumière
Dir. Ana Rodríguez Rosell, with Emma Suárez, Birol Ünel | Spain/Dominican Republic | 2015 | 89 min. | col | cert. 12 | In Spanish, English, German and Turkish with English subtitles | European premiere
Alma and Aslan, now separated, meet in the place where they spent their best years married. While they remember their shared dreams and try to figure out what went wrong, Aslan tries to change Alma’s memories and make sense of them for a new life. Shot with a very small crew in the dream setting of the Dominican Republic, Falling is a very intimate film where the enormous talent of the actors thrives under the perceptive and sensitive direction of Rodríguez Rosell, who visited us with her debut film, Buscando a Eimish, also featuring Suárez and Ünel, a few years ago.
Followed by a Q&A with Ana Rodríguez Rosell, Emma Suárez and Birol Ünel
Sat 24 Sep | 6.30pm | Regent Street Cinema
LA PUERTA ABIERTA** / The Open Door
Dir. Marina Seresesky, with Carmen Machi, Terele Pávez, Asier Etxeandia | Spain | 82 min. | col | cert. 12 | In Spanish with English subtitles | UK premiere
Through the years, we have programmed Marina Seresesky’s shorts (La boda and El cortejo) and are delighted now to show her first feature film, the moving, at times even poetic, story of Rosa, an embittered middle-aged prostitute living with her mother – who was a prostitute as well. When Rosa accepts to take Lyuba, an orphan little Russian girl, it seems that redemption might still be possible. Machi’s is a poignant, memorable performance. The humour is brought by a superb Etxeandia in the role of a foul-mouthed transvestite.
Followed by a Q&A with the director
Sat 24 Sep | 8.40pm | Ciné Lumière
A PERFECT DAY
Dir. Fernando León de Aranoa, with Benicio del Toro, Tim Robbins, Mélanie Thierry, Olga Kurylenko | Spain | 2015 | 106 min. | col | cert. 16 | In English, French, Serbian and Spanish with English subtitles
Fernando León de Aranoa’s film revolves around the efforts of a group of aid workers to remove a corpse from a well in an armed conflict zone in the Balkans. What initially seemed like a relatively simple task turns out to be a nearly impossible mission complicated by bureaucracy and the stubbornness of the population in conflict. The director achieves with remarkable skill, consistency between the different yearnings of the international, polyglot array of characters in a frustratingly complicated context. Like a Russian doll, the film is a drama inside a comedy, inside a road movie, inside a war movie…
Followed by a Q&A (tbc)
Sun 25 Sep | 6.30pm | Regent Street Cinema
Dir. Pablo Hernando, with Julián Génisson, Ingrid García Jonsson, Vicenc Miralles | Spain | 2015 | 100 min. | col | In Spanish with English subtitles | UK premiere
When Hugo Vartán, a struggling writer, finds out that someone he vaguely knows was connected to a murder, the next thing he does is to set out to investigate the facts and use the story to write his next book – which needs to be delivered in a few weeks. As his investigation progresses, Hugo finds himself entering an enigmatic, dangerous world that doesn’t belong to him. Will he go ahead with the investigation for his new book or will he stay away beware of any consequences it may have in this life? Hernando’s second feature film is an accomplished and compelling thriller balanced with graceful suspense.
Preceded by the short EL CORREDOR / The Runner
Dir. José Luis Montesinos, with Miguel Ángel Jenner, Lluís Altés | Spain | 2014 | 12 min. | col | In Spanish with English subtitles | UK premiere
Five years ago the boss closed the company and fired 300 workers. The first day that he goes out to run he meets one of them.
Followed by a Q&A with Pablo Hernando
Sun 25 Sep | 8.40pm | Regent Street Cinema
LOBOS SUCIOS** / Dirty Wolves
Dir. Simón Casal, with Marian Álvarez, Ricardo de Barreiro, Manuela Vellés | Spain | 2015 | 105 min. | col | In Spanish and German with English subtitles | UK premiere
Manuela and the poor population of her small village in Galicia work in the mines retrieving and processing wolfram for the Nazis, who need this rare metal for the Third Reich’s war machine. When some of the miners plan a revolt against Franco’s military men and the Nazis, while her sister is helping Jews cross the border into Portugal, she must decide if she can remain neutral in a time of war. Inspired by real events in the early 1940s, Casal manages nonetheless to infuse the Galician mountains, forests and wolves with a mysticism and magic very much in line with the mythology of that part of Spain. Marian Álvarez, as usual, delivers here a powerful and nuanced performance.
Preceded by the short ECO | Echo
Dir. Xacio Baño, with Xosé Barato, Rocío González | Spain | 2015 | 20 min. | col | In Spanish and Galician with English subtitles | UK premiere
Echo’s voice was stolen and she was sentenced to repeat what everyone else said. Trapped, she decides to take shelter in a cave and to distance herself from human touch.
Followed by a Q&A with Lobos sucios’s Executive Producer and Scriptwriter Paula Cons and Nir Cohen, Film Programmer at UK Jewish Film
Tue 27 Sep | 8.40pm | Regent Street Cinema
NACIDA PARA GANAR** / Not What It Looks Like
Dir. Vicente Villanueva, with Alexandra Jiménez, Victoria Abril, Cristina Castaño | Spain | 2016 | 95 min. | cert. PG | In Spanish with English subtitles | UK premiere
Encarna, a thirty something girl from Móstoles (Madrid) traumatised from childhood by a joke made by the most successful comedy duo in Spain in the national TV, is trapped in a monotonous life between her selling mattresses and her hiding from her mother that her life-long lover is her old Geography teacher. For Encarna it seems impossible to change anything in her life… until she meets an old school friend whose life seems to be one success after another. Ironic, and cruel at times, Villanueva’s is a comedy with tinges of surrealism and esperpento in its most realistic way, which includes Victoria Abril playing a fictitious Victoria Abril.
Preceded by the short DETOUR
Dir. César Espada, with Eulàlia Ramón | Australia/Spain | 2015 | 11 min. | col | cert. 16 | In Spanish and English with English subtitles | UK premiere
The adventures of a Spanish nymphomaniac smuggling drugs in Australia.
Followed by a Q&A with Eulàlia Ramón
Wed 28 Sep | 8.40pm | Ciné Lumière
ENDLESS NIGHT / Nadie quiere la noche
Dir. Isabel Coixet, with Juliette Binoche, Gabriel Byrne, Rinko Kikuchi | Spain/France/Bulgaria | 2015 | 104 min. | col | cert. 12A | In English and Inuktitut with English subtitles | London premiere
Josephine Peary is trying to reach her husband, who is in a geographic quest to the North Pole. Upon the impending arrival of the Arctic winter, she finds herself stuck with an Inuit woman and trying to survive the impossible conditions of the harsh climate and the scarcity of food. Inspired by real events, the intimacy of the two women is superbly shown by the Catalan filmmaker and the two actresses are at their very best. The costumes by Clara Bilbao together with Jean-Claude Larrieu’s cinematography make for some really stunning images.
Followed by a Q&A (tbc)
Thu 29 Sep | 6.30pm | Ciné Lumière
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