Taking a sneak peak inside the 2016 Spanish Film Festival reveals a wealth of emotions with dramas, romances, thrillers and major box-office hit comedies from across Spain, plus a selection of gems from Latin America, served exclusively at Palace Cinemas.
Following on from last year’s Festival opener comes the second instalment of the record-breaking SPANISH AFFAIR, with its playful take on the tensions between Spain’s regions – this time including the Catalans in the mix! SPANISH AFFAIR 2 (OCHO APELLIDOS CATALANES) will open this year’s festival with more laughs and new twists to the relationship saga. Audiences enjoying the opening night film and party will find out what made the sequel – which again teams director Emilio Martínez Lázaro and with stars Clara Lago and Dani Rovira – the highest-grossing film of 2015 at Spanish theatres.
Other comedic highlights include ISLA BONITA by veteran Spanish director Fernando Colomo, who also stars in the film as Fer a seasoned publicist flustered by modern times. Fer is invited to sun-kissed Menorca for the summer by his friend Miguel Ángel, played by Spanish ad exec and writer Miguel Ángel Furones and there he meets Nuria, an anti-establishment sculptress (artist Nuria Román), and her daughter Olivia (actress Olivia Delcán). Living with different acquaintances and new friends will bring Fer a new perspective on life and love, and a connection with a majestic environment that will awaken his senses.
Spanish director Cesc Gay’s TRUMAN cleaned up at this week’s Gaudí Awards in Barcelona picking up six awards including Best Director, Best Actor and Best Film. The wise, wistful and well-observed film about two friends enjoying a reunion in the shadow of darker circumstances reunites the director with stars Ricardo Darín and Javier Cámara. TRUMAN has screened at the Toronto, San Sebastian and Busan Film Festivals to great acclaim and is nominated for six Goya Awards, including Best Film, Director and Actor.
Festival favourites Raúl Arévalo and Inma Cuesta return in SIDETRACKED (LAS OVEJAS NO PIERDEN EL TREN) as Alberto and Luisa, a couple in their mid-30s with an adorable five-year-old son. This is a fun and optimistic comedy from Director Álvaro Fernández Armero, about six young adults trying to find their way out of a personal crisis, each one breaking free in the most creative and surprising way possible.
Coming-of-age drama NOTHING IN RETURN (A CAMBIO DE NADA) was the winning film at the last Malaga Festival. The feature film debut by Daniel Guzmán sees 16-year-old Darío run away from home to escape from his family nightmare. Along the way he collects a soulmate, an old crook and an elderly lady who collects abandoned furniture with her three-wheeler van who quickly become his new family.
From Colombia, comes the searing and poetic Oscar-nominated, EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT (EL ABRAZO DE LA SERPIENTE). The third feature by Ciro Guerra is filmed in stunning black-and-white and centres on Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and the last survivor of his people, and the two scientists who, over the course of 40 years, build a friendship with him. The film was inspired by the real-life journals of two explorers (Theodor Koch-Grünberg and Richard Evans Schultes) who traveled through the Colombian Amazon during the last century in search of the sacred and difficult-to-find psychedelic Yakruna plant – a true cinematic treat not to be missed on the big screen.
With a talented cast of Spain’s newest generation of actors led by Maxi Iglesias and Aura Garrido INNOCENT KILLERS (ASESINOS INOCENTES) sees a University professor give his failing student an option to pass, but its not an easy decision. A fast-paced, high-concept thriller with startling twists and turns, INNOCENT KILLERS is a mind-bending new entry into a genre that Spanish cinema does remarkably well.
From Argentina, the latest film from director Pablo Trapero which earned him the Silver Lion at the 2015 Venice Film Festival, is headlined by local star Guillermo Francella (THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES), and tells the gripping and disturbing true story about a family of violent kidnappers. THE CLAN (EL CLAN) looks at the comfortably middle-class Puccio family, whose family business, in the early 1980s, consisted of kidnapping people even richer than themselves.
Sydney: Tues 12 April – Sun 1 May, PALACE NORTON ST & PALACE VERONA
Melbourne: Wed 13 April – Sun 1 May, PALACE CINEMA COMO, KINO CINEMAS & PALACE WESTGARTH
Canberra: Tues 19 April – Sun 8 May, PALACE ELECTRIC CINEMA
Brisbane: Tues 19 April – Sun 8 May, PALACE BARRACKS & PALACE CENTRO
Perth: Thurs 21 April – Wed 11 May, CINEMA PARADISO
Adelaide: Wed 4 May – Sun 22 May, PALACE NOVA EAST END
Hobart: Wed 4 May – Sun 15 May, STATE CINEMA