The Spanish Film Festival is a fortnight of films packed with laughter, passion, drama, sex, touches of weirdness and, of course, opening and closing night parties in Spanish style.
The festival turns seven this year and finds a new home at Paddington’s Palace Academy Twin and Palace Norton Street Cinemas. Thirteen features and eight short films have their Australian premiere during the festival, all of them made between 2002 and 2004.
Spain and the Spanish-speaking countries have produced some great artists, writers and directors. Amongst a constellation of great names are Luis Bu? and Salvador Dali. To celebrate the centenary of Salvador Dali’s birth the festival will screen Destino, an extraordinary short film started by Dali in 1946 in collaboration with Walt Disney and completed 57 years later by a team of Disney animators, as well as the surrealist masterpiece Un Chien Andalou, directed by Luis Bu? and co-written with Salvador Dali.
The opening night film is Antonio Cuadri’s bittersweet comedy Eres Mi H?e (You are My Hero), which tells a universal tale of the trials of adolescence seen through the eyes of a 13-year-old boy. Set in Seville during the 1970s, a time of upheaval and social change at the end of Franco’s life, Eres Mi H?e won best director at the Pe?ola Film Festival and screened at both Montr? and San Sebasti?film festivals.
La Luz Prodigiosa (The End Of A Mystery), directed by Miguel Hermoso, received four Goya nominations in 2004 including Best Actor, Supporting Actor, Screenplay and Production Design. Beginning in the Spanish Civil War, it tells the story of a mysterious man and the fate of Federico Garc?Lorca. Although La Luz Prodigiosa is a drama, it has some hilarious moments and won Best Director and the audience award at both the Moscow and the Los Angeles Latino Film Festivals. It is a truly quirky but also very Spanish film about friendship and also features an Ennio Morricone score. The film will screen on 11 May as part of the Salvador Dali celebrations.
En La Cuidad (In The City) is the third feature film from Cesc Gray who will be best known to a gay audience for writing and directing Kr?ack (2001), which screened during the Mardi Gras Film Festival a few years ago and won awards at both the Cannes Film Festival and the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. En La Cuidad stars Leonor Watling and is a contemporary friends drama set in Barcelona. The film received many Goya nominations and has screened at festivals around the world.
Info The Spanish Film Festival runs from 5 to 16 May in Sydney and 13 to 23 May in Melbourne. The full program for the festival may be viewed online at www.spanishfilmfestival.com. All films are shown with English subtitles.
Tickets: Palace Academy and Palace Norton are each selling tickets for their own screenings.