Next week sees the beginning of the 2014 Spanish Film Festival. The festival will be touring around the country, with screenings at Palace Cinemas in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra, Perth and Byron Bay. The festival features 30 films, bringing a whole new chapter of exposure to Spanish cinema, one of the strongest national cinemas in film.
Below are five highlights of the festival for you to look out for, in no particular order:
- Living is Easy with Eyes Closed: The opening night film of this year’s festival is the only one I happen to have seen. It cleaned up at the 2014 Goya Awards taking out Best Picture, Best Director, Best Leading Actor and Best New Actress amongst many others. The film itself is a really light road-trip, as one man aims to fulfil his dream of meeting John Lennon and picks up a couple of young hitchhikers along the way. It is really life affirming stuff and a film I really loved. Make sure you check it out if you get the chance.
- Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang: I mean really, how can you not want to see a film with that title. Based on Spanish comic book characters, this looks like a rollicking bit of family fun amongst the festivals more serious fare.
- The Longest Distance: A Spain/Venezuela co-production, this film promises a slow paced road movie with plenty of incredible scenery. The film sees a young boy, who has lost his mother, set off on an arduous journey to meet his grandmother for the first time, not knowing that the woman is terminally ill. If the scenery is matched by a quality script, this could be a very special watch.
- The Amazing Catfish: Whilst the festival focuses on films from Spain, it does also include Latin American Spanish language films. This Mexican film with an intriguing title looks like the pick of them to me. Once again dealing with terminal illness and the effect it has on young people close to it, the film has played at a bunch of big festivals worldwide and won the critics award at Toronto in 2013.
- Festival guest Alex Gonzalez: I haven’t seen either of the films Gonzalez stars in at this year’s festival (Scorpion in Love and Combustion), but in my experience getting the chance to hear those involved in films talking about them is pretty much always worth making the effort for. Alex will be doing Q & A sessions following screenings of Scorpion in Love in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane. The film also stars Javier Bardem in a drama involving neo-Nazis, boxing and attempted new beginnings.
You can check out the entire program for the festival here.
Thanks to the Spanish Film Festival, I have three double passes to give away for Aussie residents. Please check out the official website here, to see when the festival will be in your city. There are two ways to enter. You can like the post on my facebook page which links to this article. Or you can favourite or retweet the tweet from my twitter account that links to it. Feel free to enter more than once. The competition will be drawn at 5pm on 29 April and tickets will be posted the next day.