Cinema enthusiasts are in for a treat this year as PELÍCULA-Spanish Film Festival returns to virtual screens from Oct. 1 to 20, 2021.
Presented by the Instituto Cervantes in Manila and Sydney and the Spanish Embassies in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Australia, the PELÍCULA Spanish Film Festival will stream four short films and 16 contemporary Spanish and Latin American feature films. All films will be available for free streaming with English subtitles at www.pelikula.es within 48 hours from their scheduled release.
The Spanish Film Festival’s online edition expands to the Asia-Pacific region to make the films available to movie lovers in Thailand, Australia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
Spain’s ambassadors to the participating countries led the launch of PELICULA, as well as representatives from Instituto Cervantes and film directors such as Guillermo Rojas of Una vez más and Arvin Belarmino of the short film “Tarang.”
“We believe that culture and cinema are important tools against the isolation and sometimes the alienation that the pandemic has brought. Films and visual arts are indeed good refugees, and PELÍCULA is the perfect festival to share that kind of content and to be a shelter in these trying times,” Ambassador of Spain to the Philippines Jorge Moragas said.
Film Development Council of the Philippines Chair Liza Diño also expressed her vision to leverage the opportunity for the new generation of filmmakers and producers to collaborate with their international peers to create films that would be seen all over the world.
“It’s amazing that we have Spain, Thailand, Australia, Malaysia, and the Philippines in this session so we can concretely discuss how we can use our respective incentives to inspire our storytellers to come up with films that would represent a co-production among these countries,” Diño explained.
Instituto Cervantes de Manila Cultural Department Manager José María Fons Guardiola also pointed out that amid all the cinematography skills and talents he has seen in Spain and other countries, it is the resilience of Filipino filmmakers that struck him the most. “What we have learned best from the Filipino filmmakers is the toughness that they have and their attitude to overcome every difficulty, mainly economic ones, to go ahead and move forward,” he said.
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Opening the festival on Oct. 1 is “El Cover” (2021), a musical comedy starring Secun de la Rosa.
Also in the opening line-up are “Invisibles” (Gracia Querejeta, 2020), “Una Vez Más” (Guillermo Rojas, 2020), “Tristesse” (Ruiz Barrachina, 2020), and the documentaries “Oscuro y Lucientes” (Samuel Alarcón, 2018), and “Antonio Machado. Los Días Azules” (Laura Hojman, 2020).
The official entries also include the dramas “15 Horas” (Judith Colell, 2020), “Ane” (David Pérez Sañudo, 2020), and David Trueba’s latest work about immigration, “A Este Lado Del Mundo” (2020)
PELÍCULA will also feature Latin American films such as the Mexican documentary “Observar las aves” (Andrea Martínez Crowther, 2019) and “Lina de Lima,” a feature film directed by María Paz González in 2019 and co-produced by Chile, Argentina and Perú.
An Audience Choice Awards will be voted in by spectators. The winning film will be re-screened on Oct. 10 at 6 pm. Also to celebrate the 20th edition of the cinematographic showcase, there will be a special selection of films that have won the PELíCULA Audience Choice Award. These films are Fuera de carta (Nacho G. Velilla, 2008), El secreto de sus ojos (Juan José Campanella, 2009), También la lluvia (Icíar Bollaín, 2010), Un cuento chino (Sebastián Borensztein, 2011) and Campeones (Javier Fesser, 2018).
PELíCULA will hold webinars and online talks with the directors and industry workers of films presented at the festival. On Oct. 4, a round-table discussion among film stakeholders on co-production of Asian films in Europe and Spanish films in Asia. Spanish, Thai, and Filipino producers will be mounted.
On Oct. 7, the webinar “En corto: Short films in the Philippines, Thailand, Australia, and Spain will feature four short films from these countries, along with an online discussion among the films’ directors.
PELíCULA 2021 is an initiative of Instituto Cervantes in Manila and Sydney, the Embassies of Spain in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Australia, and the AECID, in collaboration with ICAA, the Embassy of Mexico in the Philippines, the National Film Archive of Thailand, the Sydney Film Festival, the Travelling Film Fest (Australia), the Film Development Council of the Philippines, the UP Film Institute, the University of the Philippines and Intramuros Administration.