Spring into Spain

London festival offers snapshot of the nation's cinema.

by Rebecca Naughten

Little Indi
Little Indi
That a London film festival celebrating Spanish cinema mainly screens at the Institut Français is perhaps evidence that 'Europe' can function beyond Eurovision. The 4th edition of LSFF's Spring Weekend - running from May 16-18, with a special event on May 15 - gives a taster of what Spanish cinema has had to offer in the past year and whets the appetite for the festival proper in the autumn, which will see them celebrate their 10th anniversary.

In addition to mainstream releases that received awards recognition in Spain - Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed, Wounded, 15 Years And One Day and All The Women were all nominated for Goya Awards this year - the festival also looks back at the careers of Carlos Saura and Sergi López, and looks to future directions for Spanish cinema in the form of Jonás Trueba's The Wishful Thinkers.

The line-up is below:

Special events

Carlos Saura in Conversation - Thursday May 15, 6.30pm, Instituto Cervantes The director of films such as The Delinquents (Los Golfos, 1960), The Hunt (La Caza, 1966), Raise Ravens (Cría Cuervos, 1976), Tango (1998), and Flamenco, Flamenco (2010) will talk about his career as a photographer as well as a filmmaker. A related photography exhibition - Leopoldo Pomes/Carlos Saura: Portraits - runs at the Instituto Cervantes until May 18 with free entry.

Acting Across Frontiers - Sergi López: A European Actor LSFF's regular sidebar concentrating on actors this time takes Sergi López as its focus. Four films have been selected to represent his linguistic versatility - Pan's Labyrinth, Little Indi, Dirty Pretty Things, and Harry, He's Here to Help. The screening of the latter follows an onstage interview with López at the Ciné Lumière at the Institut Français, in which he will discuss his stage and screen careers.

Screenings at the Ciné Lumière, Institut Français:

  • Friday May 16, 6.30pm - UK premiere of 15 Years and One Day (15 Años y Un Día)
  • Friday May 16, 8.30pm - UK premiere of Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed (Vivir es Fácil con Ojos Cerrados)
  • Saturday May 17, 4.00pm - Little Indi (Petit Indi). Screening introduced by actors Sergi López and Eulàlia Ramón.
  • Saturday May 17, 6.00pm - The Wishful Thinkers (Los Ilusos)
  • Saturday May 17, 8.15pm - Harry, He's Here to Help (Harry, un ami qui vous veut bien). Preceded by an onstage interview with Sergi López.
  • Sunday May 18, 5.00pm - Wounded (La Herida)
  • Sunday May 18, 7.30pm - All the Women (Todas Las Mujeres). Followed by a Q&A with actors Eduard Fernández and Nathalie Poza

Screenings at the Instituto Cervantes:

  • Friday May 16, 6.30pm - Pan's Labyrinth (El Laberinto del Fauno)
  • Saturday May 17, 5.30pm - Dirty Pretty Things

For ticket prices, see the LSFF website

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