This year’s Spanish Film Festival program exclusive to Palace Cinemas around Australia boasts 38 features from across Spain, Latin-America, and beyond, as varied as the ceramic tiles on a Gaudi masterpiece. The Festival will open with Emilio Martínez-Lázaro’s SPANISH AFFAIR, which was seen by over two million people in the fortnight following its release in Spain. This comedic tale mischievously pokes fun at cultural differences as it tracks a young southerner who tenaciously seeks to win the heart of a Basque girl, making it a very Spanish affair indeed. Starring popular stand-up comic and presenter Dani Rovira, and the charming Clara Lago, SPANISH AFFAIR fast became a must-see in Spain and will be a sure-fire crowd pleaser at the 2015 Spanish Film Festival.
Handsome period cop drama MARSHLAND was the proud and worthy recipient of 10 Goya Awards recently, including Best Film, Best Director (Alberto Rodríguez), Best Actor and Best Art Direction. This is brooding Spanish cinema like you have never seen it before, with the film set in 1980 in the repressed southern marshland town of Villafranco del Guadalquivir, an eerie place where everyone holds their cards close to their chest. Fans of True Detective will relish in this tense stylish thriller with its social critique, tight focus on character and mesmerising landscapes.
This year’s festival includes a slate of romances, comedies, and combinations of both, to warm the heart. THE UNEXPECTED LIFE welcomes Spain’s finest actors Javier Cámara (Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed, Talk To Her) and Raul Arévalo (Family United, Ghost Graduation) to the bustling streets of Manhattan as they learn what it means to lie and love as a Spaniard in New York City. Gonzalo Diaz also explores immigration in I AM FROM CHILE by drawing inspiration from his own experiences through the character of naïve Salvador (Diego Ruiz), who moves to London from Chile to study English and travel around Europe at his parents’ expense until a financial crisis back home leaves him with little resources. Two love stories play out across the seas from Spain to Argentina in EASY SEX, SAD MOVIES when Pablo (Ernesto Alterio) is hired to write a new romantic comedy.
As Pablo gets deeper into his script he soon finds it difficult to separate his plot lines from what is happening in his own troubled love life. Take a trip to Pamplona with us in BLUE LIPS, which sees six characters from six different cities around the world experience an abrupt change in their lives, leading them to this historic town and into new relationships. To raise the excitement level, and get your pulse racing, Spanish box-office smash EL NINO packs a punch in the follow up to Daniel Monzón’s celebrated hit prison drama Cell 211. This action-thriller will take you on a nail-biting ride with Jesús (Luis Tosar), an ambitious cop that is zealously loyal to the mission of delivering a major drug-haul to his boss despite his throng of failed attempts. The changing face of Spanish politics makes for an emotionally charged narrative in Pablo Malo’s controversial political thriller LASA & ZABALA, based on the gripping true story of two members of the ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna) – an armed Basque nationalist and separatist organization.
Special fiestas to look out for include a cooking demonstration with lovable Spaniard chef and Freixenet spokesperson Miguel Maestre (as seen on Channel Ten’s The Living Room) at Palace Norton St before FINDING GASTON, which follows the prolific and inspiring Chef Gastón Acurio who uses the power of food to try to change Peru for the better; and a tango performance will help everyone find their rhythm before the Argentinian TANGO GLORIES, which explores the nostalgic memories of 85-year-old tango veteran Fermín Turdero, who expresses himself through the lyrics of tango songs.
SYDNEY Tues 21 April – Sun 10 May, PALACE NORTON ST & PALACE VERONA
MELBOURNE Wed 22 April – Sun 10 May, PALACE CINEMA COMO, KINO CINEMAS & PALACE WESTGARTH
BRISBANE Wed 29 April – Wed 13 May, PALACE BARRACKS & PALACE CENTRO
CANBERRA Thurs 23 April – Wed 6 May, PALACE ELECTRIC CINEMA
ADELAIDE Wed 6 May – Wed 20 May, PALACE NOVA EAST END
PERTH Thurs 23 April – Wed 6 May, CINEMA PARADISO
BYRON BAY Thurs 30 April – Thurs 7 May, PALACE BYRON BAY
HOBART Thurs 30 April – Thurs 7 May, STATE CINEMA