Catalan and basque Window at London Spanish Film Festival

by Brit Es Magazine

A glimpse into Cinema from Catalonia and Basque Country at 11th London Spanish Film Festival. Next September.

Once again and for the 11th year, the London Spanish Film Festival returns with a selection of some of the best recent films from Spain including feature films as well as documentaries and shorts. This year some of the feature films (marked **) will be in competition and the winner will be decided by a Jury. Filmmakers and actors from nearly all corners of Spain will come to present their work and bring to the screenings some extra background and insight. The Festival will take place at Ciné Lumière in South Kensington and at the recently opened Regent Street Cinema, a cinema full of history at the very heart of London.[fancy_box]

CATALAN WINDOW: A glimpse into Cinema from Catalonia.
The 7th Catalan Window,
Included in the festival program, brings us a very exciting selection of films made in Catalonia showcasing its richness in terms of talent and craft.



 MARSELLA**  / Marseille
Dir. Belén Macías, with María León, Noa Fontanals, Goya Toledo | Spain-France | 2014 | 95 min. | col | cert. 15 | In Spanish and French with English subtitles | UK premiere

Sara is a young mother who had her daughter Claire taken from her and put up for adoption while she was spending some time in jail. Now Sara is out and determined to take Claire with her and raise her. The first thing they do is to set off to France in search of Claire’s father. In the format of a road movie, Belén Macías’ second feature film after El patio de mi cárcel, is a brave exploration of the relationship between the irresponsible and defiant biological mother, the bourgeois adoptive mother and the mature daughter.

Introduced by director Belén Macías. Thu 24 Sep | 8.45pm | Ciné Lumière

Requirements to Be a Normal Person

Requirements to Be a Normal Person

REQUISITOS PARA SER UNA PERSONA NORMAL** / Requirements to Be a Normal Person
Dir. Leticia Dolera, with Leticia Dolera, Manuel Burque, Silvia Munt | Spain | 2015 | 90 min. | col | cert. 12 | In Spanish with English subtitles | UK première

María is an unemployed thirty-something that has to go back to live with her mother and intellectually disabled brother. She feels she’s not normal and sets out to achieve “normality” following a list of “requirements” for what she thinks normality is. Well-known in Spain for her work as an actress, Leticia Dolera has been writing and directing shorts for several years, always with a very personal, clever and well- defined style. Requisitos… is a fresh, off-beat and brave film about being true to oneself with a deliciously subtle sense of humour.

Preceded by an introduction by actor Manuel Burque. Fri 25 Sep | 8.30pm | Ciné Lumière

Death in La Alcarria

Death in La Alcarria

LA MUERTE EN LA ALCARRIA** / Death in La Alcarria
Dir. Fernando Pomares Piñol, with The Cubero Brothers | Spain | 2015 | 83 min. | b&w | cert. PG | In Spanish with English subtitles | UK premiere

A mix of musical western and road movie, La muerte en La Alcarria takes us on a spiritual journey through this splendid and captivating natural region in Castille as well as through a lost childhood world and a way of life that has disappeared. The travellers, of course, are The Cubero Brothers who enrich the film and exalt that sense of a time lost with their wonderful music. With deadpan humour and dazzling black and white photography, the film is reminiscent of Jim Jarmusch, Sam Peckimpah or even John Ford’s westerns.

The film will be introduced by the director. Sat 26 Sep | 4.30pm | Regent Street Cinema


BASQUE WINDOW: A glimpse into cinema from the Basque Country.
The 6th Basque Window will celebrate the strength of Basque cinema and its artists.

Spanish Affair

Spanish Affair

Dir. Emilio Martínez Lázaro, with Clara Lago, Dani Rovira, Karra Elejalde, Carmen Machi | Spain | 2014 | 98 min. | col | cert. 12 | In Spanish and Basque with English subtitles

Veteran Emilio Martínez Lázaro delights us in this screwball comedy with the cultural challenges and prejudices in the love story between Andalousian Rafa and Basque Amaia. Scriptwriters Diego San Juan and Borja Cobeaga (see film Negociador in programme) treat audiences with a wealth of a sparkling and witty Spanish sense of humour while actors engage us with exuberant performances.

The film was an enormous success in Spanish cinemas last year becoming a must-see. Fri 25 Sep | 6.30pm | Regent Street Cinema




Away Dir. Mikel Rueda, with Germán Alcarazu, Adil Koukouh, Joseba Ugalde | Spain | 2014 | 96 min. | col | cert. 15 | In Spanish and Arabic with English subtitles UK premiere In Mikel Rueda’s second feature film racism and gender issues overlap in the story of the friendship between Rafa and Ibrahim. Rafa is a 14 year-old learning about his own sexuality as well as about life and the importance of having a view of one’s own. Ibrahim is also 14, lives illegally in Spain and is constantly under the threat of aggression in a way or another. With an appealing indi pop score, Rueda explores relevant issues in a close society and the effects on teenagers of concealing emotions both at home and at the school-yard.

The film will be introduced by director Mikel Rueda. Sun 27 Sep | 4.15pm | Ciné Lumière

When Bette Davies Bids Farewell

When Bette Davies Bids Farewell

EL ÚLTIMO ADIÓS A BETTE DAVIES / When Bette Davies Bids Farewell
Dir. Pedro González Bermúdez | Spain | 2014 | 76 min. | doc | col/b&w | cert. PG | In Spanish and English with English subtitles | UK premiere

González Bermúdez records in this documentary Bette Davies’ final days at the San Sebastian International Film Festival and the intricacies and improvisations behind all of Davies’ demands and the enthusiasm with which Spaniards received such a glamorous Hollywood star. A fascinating and impressive work by the director, who interviewed practically everyone who had any direct contact with Davies, many of whom were not aware at the time of the cultural significance of Bette Davies’ last public appearance and farewell.

Introduced by the director (tbc). Mon 28 Sep | 6.30pm | Regent Street Cinema



Dir. Borja Cobeaga, Ramón Barea, Josean Bengoetxea, Carlos Areces, Raúl Arévalo | Spain | 2014 | 79 min. | col | cert. 12 | In Spanish, Basque, English and French with English subtitles | UK premiere

After all the violence and blood shed, the negotiations between separatist organisation ETA and the Spanish government were extremely serious in Spain. Nonetheless, writer and filmmaker Borja Cobeaga, who was nominated to the Oscars for his short Éramos pocos, delights us here with a superb, lightly humoured look at the intricacies during the talks between the representative of Spain’s government, an easy-going man with a very small budget for expenses, that of ETA, a rather tight and quiet man, and an unlikely intermediary, his interpreter and her boyfriend. Unsurprisingly it was named Best Basque Film last year at San Sebastian’s film festival.

The film will be introduced by the director. Mon 28 Sep | 8.30pm | Regent Street Cinema



Full programme:

Other films included at the 11th London Spanish Film Festival:

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