To enhance cultural diversity while spreading laughter in regions within the country, the Embassy of Spain and Instituto Cervantes has partnered with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and the Film Archives of the Spanish Agency for International Development and Cooperation (AECID), to screen Spanish comedies in cinematheques found in the provinces of Baguio, Iloilo and Zamboanga.
With the project title, “Those Funny Spaniards: La Comedia Española,” these agencies bring a series of Spanish comedies shown during the months of August and September at the FDCP cinematheques in the three provinces.
History in Spanish cinema has shown the culture’s fondness for comedy. Inviting Filipinos to enjoy and appreciate the works of Spain’s cinematic veterans as well as new breeds of talent, Instituto Cervantes has selected movies that will entice Filipino moviegoers outside of Manila to discover Spain’s best works.
Beginning on August 29 at the Iloilo cinematheque, Those Funny Spaniards: La Comedia Española film showing will kick-off at 5:30 p.m. with the screening of Bienvenido, Mr. Marshall, a movie directed by Luis García Berlanga in 1952.
This controversial comedic masterpiece tells the story of a poor Spanish village in La Mancha, which hears of the visit of American diplomats and begins preparations to dress up as a colorful Andalusian town to impress the American visitors in the hopes of benefiting under the Marshall Plan.
The movie was presented at the 1953 Cannes Film Festival and won Best Comedy Film and Special Mention for its screenplay. However, it failed to win big at the Cannes when jury member Edward Robinson complained of its “anti-Americanism.”
Those Funny Spaniards will also feature two modern comedies tackling some issues of contemporary Spanish society such as family values, love or marriage. Nacidas Para Sufrir is a film directed by Miguel Albaladejo in 2009 and is a black comedy about a group of women said to be generous and selfless who compete with one another to see who can make the greatest sacrifice.
Another is the film Primos directed by Daniel Sánchez Arévalo in 2011. The movie tells the story of three cousins who, on the occasion of the wedding of one, meet again at the village where they spent summer breaks as kids.
After the opening at Iloilo, Those Funny Spaniards: La Comedia Española will be in the cinematheques of Baguio from September 5 to 7, in Zamboanga from September 12 to 14, and Davao from September 19 to 21.
Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis. For information contact FDCP www.fdcp.ph or log on to Instituto Cervantes’ website www.manila.cervantes.es.