Sydney: Wed 3 May to Sun 14 May Palace Academy Twin & Norton Street Cinemas
Melbourne: Wed 10 May to Sun 21 May Cinema Como
Brisbane: Wed 17 to Sun 21 May Palace Centro
The 2006 Spanish Film Festival is back with the most challenging, confronting and funny films out of Spain in the last year, featuring many of the award winners from the recent Goya Awards and Spain’s premiere international film event, the San Sebastian International Film Festival. Now in its 9th year the Spanish Film Festival tours Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane at Palace Cinemas throughout May.
Festival director Natalia Ortiz said “Spain’s film industry is thriving, producing some of the most challenging and fascinating films in the world right now. The films are a reflection of society as it is now in Spain, and have enormous breath of maturity in their subject matter.”
“From documentaries which explore the impact of ETA on Spanish and Basque society and the fear of talking in a democratic free country, to the impact of television on the development of the film industry. From short films made by people with disabilities to award winning short animation. Features cover topics including Spanish society’s acceptance of gay marriage, transgender communities, immigration, prostitution, love and friendship.”
“I am honoured to present to Australian audiences these award-winning films and such a varied look at contemporary Spain,” Ms Ortiz said.
Highlights of the 2006 Festival include:
Winner of this year’s GOYA BEST ACTRESS award, Candela Peña stars in PRINCESAS by acclaimed director Fernando Leon de Aranoa’s (Mondays In The Sun, Barrio). Princesas is a deeply moving and at times surprising story about the friendship between two women working as prostitutes in Madrid.
In GOYA BEST DOCUMENTARY winner FILMAKERS VS TYCOONS (Cineastas contra magnates) director Carlos Benpar interviewed filmmakers including Woody Allen, Sydney Pollack, Manuel De Sica, Milos Forman, Luis García Berlanga and presents archival footage of Federico Fellini, John Huston and Burt Lancaster. Those interviewed argue strongly that electronic colouring, panning-scanning and commercial breaks in television undermines the moral rights of filmmakers.
2005 San Sebastian Special jury Prize winner, Tristán Bauer’s ILUMINADOS POR EL FUEGO (Enlightened by Fire) was finished with funding from the San Sebastian Film Festival after making a clean sweep in 2004’s Films in Progress section, and won the Special Jury Prize at the 2005 Festival. Starring Gastón Pauls (Nine Queens) this is the first fictional film to address the hell that Argentinean soldiers endured during the Falklands War.
The GOYA BEST ANIMATION SHORT, TADEO JONES is a lovable and fearless adventurer who parodies the antics of Indiana Jones. Twelve months in the making, this short animation has won over 50 awards from film festivals all over the world. TADEO JONES screens in a program with other award winning short films from Spain.
Manuel Martín Cuenca’s follow up to last year’s festival favourite La flaqueza del bolchevique (The Weakness of the Bolshevik) is MALAS TEMPORADAS (Hard Time) – a film about second chances and hope with a stunning cast including Javier Cámara, Leonor Watling and Nathalie Poza. Music by Leonor Watling’s band, Marlango.
In 20 CENTÍMETROS Mónica Cervera plays a narcoleptic, half-transitioned transsexual who works as prostitute to save money for the operation to complete her transition – and get rid of the pesky 20 centimetres! As she plunges into narcolepsy she is transported into magical musical sequences. But a touching and comic conflict emerges when she is presented with someone who loves her just as she is.
I know that at least one person who regularly reads my blog will find this interesting, so I thought I'd cut and paste the media release I received the other day onto this site. Mike, heard any good goss about any of these films? 20 CENTÍMETROS sounds like a Spanish Hedwig and the Angry Inch, while ILUMINADOS POR EL FUEGO simply sounds like a good film...