Spanish Film Festival + Spotlight on Film Directors
The 2019 Spanish Film Festival presented by Palace welcomes Moro Olive Oil as principal partner for the national festival which celebrates cinema from Spain and Latin America. The 22nd edition of the festival will be further enriched by the Cine Latino Film Festival sidebar, formerly a separate event in November. The following five titles are highlights from the curated program of 32 films, which will screen from 16 April exclusively at Palace Cinemas.
Opening the festival around Australia will be the Best Film winner at the Goya Awards (Spanish Oscars) CHAMPIONS (Campeones). This critically-acclaimed feel-good film by Javier Fesser smashed box office records in Spain and stars Javier Gutiérrez as Marco, an ambitious and arrogant basketball coach forced to train a team of people with disabilities.
Argentinian comedy SUPER CRAZY (Re loca) boasts a lead performance bursting with energy and charisma from actress Natalia Oreiro as a woman who takes a remedy that makes her unable to stop speaking her mind.
Catalan Goya Award-winning director Carlos Marqués-Marcet’s THE DAYS TO COME (Els dies que vindran) expertly captures the complicated experiences of a new couple grappling with parenthood, in a film loaded with euphoria, heartbreak, and everything in between.
And Cannes regular Jamie Rosales returns with PETRA, a complex, stunningly shot melodrama that mixes themes of parental responsibility, artistic authorship, sexual intrigue and revenge, boldly told and featuring outstanding performances.
CRIME WAVE, This romping comedy-thriller stars Maribel Verdú as a well-to-do woman who is desperately trying to conceal the murder of her ex-husband at the hand of her son, with hysterically catastrophic outcomes.
As part of its Spotlight on Female Directors, the Moro Spanish Film Festival will also feature 11 films directed by women. From established directors such as Icíar Bollaín and Gracia Querejeta to fresh new voices including Lila Avilés, the spotlight presents a programme of Spain and Latin America’s most exciting filmmakers. Films include:
From Mexico, comes THE GOOD GIRLS (Las niñas bien). Directed by Alejandra Márquez Abella, this gorgeously mounted and beautifully played feature is at once a scathing and glamourous depiction of the wives of upper-class men in 1982 Mexico.
– ANA BY DAY (Ana de día) – directed by Andrea Jaurrieta and featuring Ingrid García Jonsson (Beautiful Youth, SFF15) as a cosmopolitan, educated young woman whose misgivings about her identity intensify when a doppelganger arrives to replace her.
– BREAK (Recreo) – a comedy/drama directed by Jazmín Stuart and Hernán Guerschuny about six old friends who reunite for a weekend away with their children only to have revelations of secrets, lies, unrequited desires, and accumulated frustrations arise.
– CARMEN & LOLA – Bilbao-born writer-director Arantxa Echevarría and her exceptional non-professional cast deliver an empathetic portrayal of forbidden love in a repressive society that is altogether inspiring, necessary and beautiful.
– CRIME WAVE (Ola de crímenes) – directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Gracia Querejeta who returns to the festival circuit with a romping comedy-thriller starring the crème de la crème of Spanish acting royalty: Maribel Verdú, Javier Cámara and Luis Tosar.
– FLORIANÓPOLIS DREAM (Sueño Florianópolis) – a gentle, thoughtful portrait of a middle-class family by Argentine writer/director Ana Katz, who invites her audience to drink in the idyllic coastal scenery of Brazil for a breezy and bittersweet film experience.
– HOPELESSLY DEVOUT (Mi querida cofradía) – the debut feature from Marta Díaz de Lope Díaz featuring eccentric characters offering fresh and funny perspective on female empowerment and patriarchy within the church. Starring Spanish television veteran Gloria Muñoz (The Unexpected Life, SFF14).
– THE CHAMBERMAID (La camarista) – attracting audience and critical acclaim at the Toronto and London Film Festivals, Lila Avilés’ striking and compelling debut feature is a vital exploration of the Mexican class divide featuring Gabriela Cartol in the role of a chambermaid.
– THE LONGEST NIGHT (La mala noche) – a bold feature debut about human trafficking and its impact on the impoverished women and children who often become the victims of this crime. The film is directed by Gabriela Calvache, who collaborated with a crew of 80% women.
– YULI – an extraordinary biopic of the legendary Cuban dancer Carlos Acosta; the first black dancer to perform some of ballet’s most iconic roles. Directed by Icíar Bollaín, the film features a magnetic performance by Acosta himself.
– PERET: THE KING OF THE GYPSY RUMBA (Peret, yo soy la rumba) Hailed as the “King of Rumba” for his fusion of flamenco song with Latin American rhythms, this documentary spanning six decades captures the magic that was Peret.
The festival will close with a digital restoration of the firecracker comedy WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN (Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios), directed by leading Spanish auteur, Pedro Almodóvar, to celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary.
Screening as Special Presentation, THE REALM (El reino) features acting heavyweight Antonio de la Torre who is reunited with director Rodrigo Sorogoyen (May God Save Us, SFF17), for an award-winning political thriller.
The festival will take place nationally from 16 April to 26 May in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Brisbane, Hobart and Byron Bay.
Sydney 16 Apr – 8 May: Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona & Palace Central.
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