Since its conception in 2002 by Instituto Cervantes, Película-Pelikula, the annual Spanish film festival in the country, has been bringing the best of Spanish and Latin American cinema to the local audience of Manila.
For its 2015 edition, Película-Pelikula will run from October 8 to 18 at the Greenbelt 3 Cinemas featuring 30 contemporary Spanish and Latin films. The festival will then have a second leg in Intramuros from October 19 to 25. It is during this time that the exhibit entitled Spanish Cinema in 20 Posters will be displayed at the NCCA Building, alongside the film screenings.
The exhibit will let audience explore Spanish cinema by means of the posters of some of its most emblematic films, from the 1953 film Bienvenido Míster Marshall to the 2012 film Blancanieves, encouraging one to reflect on its history and to be inspired by the beauty of the advertising graphics, illuminating the visual style of the different cinematic periods.
And finally, thanks to the collaboration of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), a selection of films shown in the Manila leg of the Festival will travel to other cities in the Philippines, namely Baguio, Iloilo, Zamboanga and Davao.
Película-Pelikula is a combination of the Spanish word “película”, which means film, and its Tagalog derivation “pelikula” to echo the cultural ties shared by Spain and the Philippines. By putting the two words together, it highlights the unique characteristics of this two-week event as the biggest Spanish film festival in Asia.
The festival has traditionally been graced by the presence of foreign filmmakers. In this edition, Spanish actress Maribel Verdú will present two of her films Blancanieves and Felices 140 on October 9, at 4:30 and 7pm, and will have an open forum after the screenings.
“Maribel Verdú is flying here all the way from Spain just for Pelicula. She has been expressing her interest to travel in the Philippines and her schedule finally allowed her. She has confided in us that she’s very excited about this trip. I think the audience will enjoy [the encounter]because she’s got a very charming personality,” said Instituto Cervantes Deputy for Cultural Affairs Jose Maria Fons Guardiola.
Verdú, born in Madrid on October 2, 1970, has worked with some of the best directors in Spanish cinema, such as José Luis Garci in Canción de cuna; Bigas Luna in Huevos de Oro; Fernando Trueba in the Academy Award-winning film Belle Époque (1992); Carlos Saura in Goya en Burdeos; and Gonzalo Suárez in Oviedo Express, amongst others.
Her international career hit a highpoint when she starred in Y tu mamá también (2001) by Alfonso Cuarón, followed by Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) by Guillermo del Toro. She has also worked with Francis Ford Coppola in Tetro (2009). Nominated seven times for the Goya Awards, she finally received the Best Actress award for her role in Siete mesas de billar francés (2007) on her fifth nomination.
On October 12, at 9:30 pm, Spanish journalist Ramón Vilaró will present his De aliados a masacrados (2014), a documentary about how the Filipino-Spanish population of Manila was decimated during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines during the Second World War.
On the following day, October 13, the Czech filmmaker Lenka Kny will present her comedy Milagro en Praga (2013), and will have an open forum after the screening. The romantic comedy film is about two families, a Mexican family and a Czech family, who cross paths in Prague over the Christmas holidays. The screening is co-presented by the Embassy of Mexico and the Embassy of the Czech Republic.
Aside from those mentioned, the line-up of films shows a list of genres ranging from romance and comedy (Ocho apellidos vascos, Tres bodas de más, Gente en sitios) to documentary (Paco de Lucía, La plaga), suspense (Relatos salvajes) and drama (Hermosa juventud, Artico).
Also, one should not miss the “Audience Choice” Award that happens in every edition of PEL ÍCULA. During the 18-day festival, the audience will be given stubs with which they can rate the movies they have seen. For every five movies, members of the audience qualify to join the raffle where they get a chance to win a round-trip ticket to Spain and other exciting prizes.
For the schedule, line up of films and further information on the festival, visit www.manila.cervantes.es or log on to www.facebook.com/InstitutoCervantesManila.