London Spanish Film Festival preview

A look at the line-up of the 10th edition.

by Rebecca Naughten

Witching And Bitching
Witching And Bitching
The London Spanish Film Festival returns for its 10th birthday with a diverse programme running from September 25 to October 5.

Crowd-pleasers inlcude the latest films by Álex de la Iglesia and Daniel Sánchez Arévalo, along with the surprise Spanish box office hit from the end of last year, Three Many Weddings (Javier Ruiz Caldera, 2013). But the returning Basque and Catalan sidebars also offer the chance to discover films - representing a range of genres - that might otherwise slip under the radar given the paucity of Spanish titles that make it to these shores.

The retrospective of the often-controversial Vicente Aranda includes several UK premieres, most notably Freedom Fighters (1996), which boasts a cast including Ariadna Gil, Victoria Abril, Ana Bélen, and Loles Léon. Abril will be interviewed before the screening of Lovers (Vicente Aranda, 1992) on Saturday October 4 - Abril is always a good interviewee and given her tempestuous relationship with the director who 'discovered' her and with whom she has worked on a dozen projects (four of which - Lovers, Freedom Fighters, If They Told You I Fell, and Time of Silence - are screening here). It should be an entertaining event.

Barefoot In The Kitchen
Barefoot In The Kitchen
Other highlights include Aces (Alfonso Zarauza, 2014), which has been attracting positive notices in Spain and stars Lola Dueñas and Luis Tosar, Lluís Miñarro's wonderland-like Falling Star, the breezy documentary Barefoot And In The Kitchen (Diego Galán, 2013), and an opportunity to see two short films made by Orson Welles about the Basque Country (showing as part of 'Short Session: A Glance at the Basque Country' on Monday September 29).

Further information about the various Q&As and discussions can be found on the festival website. The majority of screenings are at Ciné Lumière at the Institut Français in South Kensington (tickets £10/£8 concessions) but some will take place at the Instituto Cervantes in Belgravia (tickets £3).

The film programme is as follows (Instituto Cervantes screenings are marked IC):

Thursday, September 25

  • Lavapiés (Historias De Lavapiés) (Ramón Luque, 2014) - 6.30pm
  • Shorts Session: Wild Reality (various) - IC 6.30pm
  • Three Many Weddings (Tres Bodas De Más) (Javier Ruiz Caldera, 2013) - 8.30pm

Friday, September 26

  • My Mother's Hands (Amaren Eskuak) (Mireia Gabilondo, 2013) - 6.30pm
  • Purgatory (Purgatorio) (Pau Teixidor, 2014) - 8.30pm

Saturday, September 27

  • Barefoot And In The Kitchen (Con La Pata Quebrada) (Diego Galán, 2013) - IC 4pm
  • The Female Teachers Of The Republic (Las Maestras De La República) (Pilar Pérez Solano, 2013) - 4.30pm
  • Tres 60 (Alejandro Ezcurdia, 2013) - 6.30pm
  • Family United (La Gran Familia Española) (Daniel Sánchez Arévalo, 2013) - 8.30pm

Sunday, September 28

  • A Treasure from the Archives: Life On A Wire (La Vida En Un Hilo) (Edgar Neville, 1945) - 6.15pm
  • We All Want What's Best For Her (Tots Volem El Millor Per A Ella) (Mar Coll, 2013) - 8.30pm

Monday, September 29

  • Shorts Session: A Glance At The Basque Country (various) - IC 6.30pm
  • Aces (Os Fenomenos) (Alfonso Zarauza, 2014) - 6.30pm
  • 10,000 Nights Nowhere (10.000 Noches En Ninguna Parte) (Ramón Salazar, 2013) - 8.30pm

Tuesday, September 30

  • Retrospective: Time Of Silence (Tiempo De Silencio) (Vicente Aranda, 1986) - IC 6.30pm
  • Everything Seemed Perfect (Todo Parecía Perfecto) (Alejo Levis, 2014) - 6.30pm
  • Witching And Bitching (Las Brujas De Zugarramurdi) (Álex de la Iglesia, 2013) - 8.15pm

Wednesday, October 1

  • Retrospective: If They Tell You I Fell (Si Te Dicen Que Cai) (Vicente Aranda, 1989) - IC 6.30pm
  • Gods And Dogs (Dioses y Perros) (David Marqués, 2014) - 6.30pm
  • Falling Star (Stella Cadente) (Lluís Miñarro, 2014) - 8.30pm

Thursday, October 2

  • The Dream (El Somni) (Franc Aleu, 2014) - 6.30pm
  • Ignasi M (Ventura Pons, 2014) - 8.30pm

Friday, October 3

  • Vicente Aranda: 50 Years of Cinema (Vicente Aranda: 50 Años de Cine) (J. Prada and K. Prada, 2013) - IC 6.30pm
  • Retrospective: Left-Handed Fate (Fata Morgana) (Vicente Aranda, 1965) - 6.30pm
  • The Food Guide To Love (Dominic Harari and Teresa Pelegri, 2013) - 8.30pm

Saturday, October 4

  • Documentary Double Bill: Spanish-Low-Budget-Films With High Ambitions (Baratometrajes 2.0: El Futuro del Cine Hecho en España) (Daniel San Román and Hugo Serra, 2014) + Blank Canvas (24 Cines por Segundo: Sábanas Blancas) (Mariela Artiles, 2013) - IC 3pm
  • Retrospective: Carmen (Vicente Aranda, 2003) - 4pm
  • Retrospective: Freedom Fighters (Libertarias) (Vicente Aranda, 1996) - 6.15pm
  • Retrospective: Lovers (Amantes) (Vicente Aranda, 1992) - 8.30pm

Sunday, October 5

  • Witching and Bitching (Las Brujas de Zugarramurdi) (Álex de la Iglesia, 2013) - 4.15pm
  • Violet (Luiso Berdejo, 2013) - 6.30pm
  • Who Killed Bambi? (¿Quien Mató a Bambi?) (Santi Amodeo, 2013)

Further reviews will appear soon. For more information and to book tickets visit the official website:

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