The 17th Spanish Film Festival: A Festival Of Film And Food

The Spanish Film Festival
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

This year the 17th Spanish Film Festival, presented by Estrella Damm, will feature 30 of the very best and most recent Spanish and Spanish-language Latin American films.

In an exciting announcement, the festival has nabbed a very special guest, actor Álex González who stars in two of the Festival’s films and he will participate in a series of Q&A sessions. Here are a number of films that will be featured.

Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed

Living Is Easy
Spain 1966. John Lennon was determined to leave the Beatles to become an actor, and arrives in Almería to shoot ‘How I Won The War’, his first and only non-musical role. Antonio (played brilliantly by a heartfelt Javier Cámara: ‘I’m So Excited’, ‘A Gun In Each Hand’, ‘Talk To Her’), is a school teacher in the small Spanish town of Albacete, who uses Beatles lyrics to teach his students English. When Antonio learns that Lennon is visiting, he decides to undertake the journey to meet his hero. On his way, Antonio meets two runaways; Juanjo (Francesc Colomer), a 16-year-old boy who is escaping his home and suffocating father, and Belén (Natalia de Molina), a 20-year-old pregnant girl reluctantly planning to go home to her mother.

Witching & Bitching

Witching BitchingDirector Álex de la Iglesia (‘As Luck Would Have It’; SFF opening night 2012) returns with a wild dose of dark humour to guarantee an unforgettable festival closing night! This high-octane, crowdpleasing ride recently won eight GOYA awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Terele Pávez, Best Art Direction and Best Special Effects. Wildly fleeing toward France through the impenetrable Basque forest after a jewel heist, a hapless band of robbers runs afoul of an evil coven of witches led by Marichu (the mighty Pávez), her daughter Graciana (Carmen Maura, Volver), and granddaughter Eva (Carolina Bang).

Family United

Family UnitedFollowing up from his award-winning ‘DarkBlueAlmostBlack’ and ‘Cousinhood’, director Daniel Sánchez Arévalo brings us a vibrant, funny and tender offering, led by an all-star cast including Miquel Fernández, Antonio de la Torre, and Quim Gutiérrez. Ever since Efraín (Patrick Criado), the youngest of five brothers, was ten years old, all he wanted to do was get married to Carla (Arantxa Marti) at his family ranch – a ranch that his father has not returned to since his wife left him many years before. Now that day has arrived and the entire family is excited, not only about the wedding, but also because Spain is playing in the World Cup finals in South Africa.


StockholmAt a party like any other, a boy (Javier Pereira, who won Best New Actor at the 2014 Goya awards for this role), professes to a girl (played by the captivating Aura Garrido) that he has truly fallen in love with her at first sight. Strangely melancholy and guarded, the girl refuses to believe him. He persists with advances toward her both at the party and afterwards. He playfully tails her home, and as they walk through the night in Madrid, they share their desires, secrets, and maybe a few little lies.

The Amazing Catfish

The Amazing CatfishClaudia (‘Ximena Ayala – Desierto adentro’) has grown up alone for almost her entire life. She fends for herself, living in a small room in a run-down neighbourhood of Guadalajara. One day, she falls ill with appendicitis and winds up in hospital. In the bed next to her is Marta (Lisa Owen), a woman with four children and an endless lust for life, in spite of her terminal illness. Each of her children are very distinct from one another, but all love her profoundly. Claudia is gradually drawn into the family unit, forming a special bond with each one of them and filling a long-empty void in her life.

The Forest

The ForestCombining the magical with the mundane, this strange and moving tale adapted from Albert Sánchez Piñol’s international bestseller, resembles the spirit of Guillermo del Toro’s ‘The Devil’s Backbone’ and ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ in both its form and function. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, anarchist militias take over Lower Aragón, but the stubborn young farmer Ramón refuses to bow to the village’s radical learnings. He and his wife Dora resist their enemies from afar in their humble farmhouse, where they share an extraordinary ancestral secret: every six months near the woods surrounding their countryhouse some mysterious and haunting lights appear.

The Summer Of The Flying Fish

The Summer Of The Flying FiWinning accolades around the world, this atmospheric drama captures the consequences of colonisation and its resulting political tension in Chile, in many ways pertinent to our own Australian condition. Determined teenager Manena serves as the innocent voice of reason in the story of her father, Don Francisco, and his determination to eradicate the carp from a lake in southern Chile. His land is located on the traditional grounds of the local Mapuche people.

Zip & Zag And The Marble Gang

Zip ZapIn this witty and endearing offering based on two of Spain’s most beloved comic book characters, mischievous friends Zip (Raúl Rivas) and Zap (Daniel Cerezo) are sent to a summer school for misbehaving children where they are determined to make this summer break fun, no matter what! But when they arrive at the looming castle and meet their masters, they realise that this will not be easy.

Spanish Film Festival Tour Dates

April 29 until May 18 - Sydney
April 30 until May 18 - Melbourne
May 1 until May 14 - Brisbane
May 1 until May 14 - Canberra
May 6 until May 21 - Adelaide
May 6 until May 21 - Perth
May 8 until May 14 - Byron Bay

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