The La Mirada Film Festival returns to the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in April, co-programmed by the internationally renowned openly gay director of All About My Mother and Bad Education, Pedro Almodóvar.

La Mirada showcases the most exciting new Spanish and Latin American films of the last 12 months, as well as a selection of Spanish film classics chosen by some of the world’s finest filmmakers.

Other prominent guest curators for La Mirada 2011 include Antonio Banderas, Oscar winner Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain), Mexico’s Guillermo Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hell Boy) and England’s Ken Loach (The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Looking For Eric).

Almodóvar, who is also the patron of La Mirada, will select five masterpieces for the ‘Almodóvar Presents’, classics section. Each year different international cinema luminaries act as guest curators.

Independently of each other, Antonio Banderas and Pedro Almodóvar both selected Luis Garcia Berlanga’s 1953 classic Bienvenido Mr Marshall (Welcome Mr Marshall) for this year’s festival.

The films selected by Ang Lee and Ken Loach will be surprise screenings for the audience, not revealed until the night.

Festival director Rocío García has announced that Gustavo Taretto’s Medianeras, a runner-up in the Panorama at the Berlin Film Festival, will be the opening night film.

Premiering at this year’s festival will be También La Lluvia (Even The Rain, pictured), Spain’s official entry for the Oscars and winner of the Panorama at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival starring Gael García Bernal (Bad Education, Y Tu Mamá También).

García Bernal plays filmmaker Sebastian, who travels to Bolivia to shoot a film about Christopher Columbus. He and his crew arrive during the tense time of the Cochabamba water crisis.

info: Full program details will be announced in the next few weeks. Visit www.lamirada.org.au

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