Five films to see from the 2017 Spanish Film Festival

Which films do we think are totally worth checking out at the 20th anniversary of the Spanish Film Festival? Emmelyn Vincent has your selections. 

The Spanish Film Festival will be coming back to Melbourne this year for their 20th anniversary. From April 20 to May 7, this three-week long extravaganza will feature more than 30 outstanding movies from Spain across all genres of movies.

Festival ambassador Miguel Maestre will be presenting the flamenco documentary Sara Baras, All Her Voices. Actress Natalia de Molina will also be attending the Opening Night Gala and hosting a Q&A session for her movie Kiki, Love to Love.

Here are just a handful of the exciting movies that will be premiering in the festival.

Kiki, Love to Love

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Kicking off the festival with a bang is the Australian premiere of 2016’s award-winning comedy film Kiki, Love to Love directed by Paco León. Loosely based on the 2014 Australian film The Little Death, this hilarious, provocative film follows five different stories exploring themes of love and sexuality. The charismatic characters light up the screen through their journeys in discovering and acquainting their most primal desires even in this modern age.

Kiki, Love to Love will premiere at the Opening Night Gala at the Astor Theatre. Freixenet cava will be served at 6.30pm, followed by the film at 7.00pm, and a vibrant afterparty with more drinks, tapas, and live entertainment.

Smoke & Mirrors

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Smoke & Mirrors is the 2016 multiple award-winning thriller directed by Alberto Rodríguez.

It is a true story following Paesa, a man who purchased illegal weapons for the Spanish Government in the ’80s during their fight against the terrorist group ETA, only to be made a scapegoat and forced to leave the country.

When he finally returned, he was presented with an opportunity for vengeance in the form of corrupt former Police of Commisoner Luis Roldán who seeks his help to embezzle money.

Summer 1993

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This emotive autobiographical film by Carla Simón is one of 2017’s most pioneering films so far.

A simple story about childhood is made afresh with raw authenticity and empathy. It centres around the story of six-year-old Frida who is forced to move to the countryside from Barcelona to live with her uncle and aunty after the death of her parents. There she learns about love, selflessness and responsibility.

The Queen of Spain

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This comedy-drama film starring Penelope Cruz is the sequel to director Fernando Trueba’s film The Girl of Your Dreams, also starring Cruz. Featuring an all-star cast, The Queen of Spain is a tribute to 1950s Spanish cinema.

The story is set nearly twenty years after the events of The Girl of Your Dreams, where the protagonist Macarena Granada has successfully become a Hollywood star, and has returned to Spain to film a blockbuster film about Queen Isabella I of Castille. During the filming process, her previous director is arrested, and so she and her crew hatch a daring plan to rescue him.

There will be a special screening event of The Queen of Spain on Wednesday, April 26 at Palace Westgarth. Starting at 7.15pm, guests can enjoy a glass of Lolea Sangria and some Spanish tunes. The film will begin screening at 8.00pm.

Sara Baras, All Her Voices

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Sara Baras, All Her Voices is a documentary on Sara Baras, the outstanding diminutive flamenco dancer from Spain. The documentary focuses on Baras’ preparation for her upcoming creative work Voces, a tribute to the history of flamenco and the great artists who have paved the way before her. It also explores Baras’ own groundbreaking history as a rebel dancer in the traditional world of flamenco, where themes of self-confidence and bravery carry into today’s world.

There will be a special screening of Sara Baras, All Her Voices on Sunday 30 April beginning at 4.45pm where guests will be served Freixenet cava and delighted by flamenco tunes upon arrival, followed at 5.30pm with an introduction by festival ambassador Miguel Maestro and the screening of the documentary.

To find out more about the Spanish Film Festival, visit the festival’s official website for more details

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