EIFF to focus on Spain

Showcase includes Icíar Bollaín retrospective

by Amber Wilkinson

The Olive Tree
The Olive Tree
The Edinburgh International Film Festival has announced that Spain will be its country focus next year.

The Once Upon A Time In Spain selection will be split into three strands: A Retrospective Celebration of Modern Spanish Cinema; A Retrospective Selection of Cult Spanish Cinema and an in-depth celebration of the work of Edinburgh-based Spanish filmmaker Icíar Bollaín. Her latest film, Yuli, is due in cinemas next year and we'll be bringing you an interview with her and writer Paul Laverty then.

Other big names include Basque favourite Álex de la Iglesia, who has directed a string of cult hits since breaking on to the international scene with his Apocalyptic The Day Of The Beast in 1995 and Pedro Almodóvar, with newer voices including Pablo Berger and Raúl Arévalo.

Senior Programmer, Niall Fulton, curator of the Spanish retrospective programme, said: “Revolving around a complete retrospective of the brilliant Icíar Bollaín’s directorial feature work, this celebration of modern Spanish cinema also features a dazzling selection of recent Spanish award winners and film festival favourites, and a thrilling late-night strand showcasing some of the finest cult cinema Spain has ever produced.

Icíar Bollaín at EIFF
Icíar Bollaín at EIFF Photo: Courtesy of EIFF
"As Europe undergoes dramatic changes, this programme is also designed to highlight the cultural importance of the role played by film festivals the world over. As political boundaries are drawn and re-drawn around the globe, the artistic line of international communication provided by the film festival circuit becomes more important than ever. In that sense, this retrospective programme provides us with a valuable opportunity to explore important questions of national and international identity and to address vital ongoing industry discussions from a different international perspective."

Films screening in the Modern Spanish Cinema strand

The Last Circus (Álex de la Iglesia, 2010)
Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (Pedro Rivero, Alberto Vázquez, 2015), screening with short Decorado
The Skin I Live In (Pedro Almodóvar, 2011)
The Fury Of A Patient Man (Raúl Arévalo, 2016)
Snow White (Pablo Berger, 2012)
Abracadabra (Pablo Berger, 2017)
Cell 211 (Daniel Monzón, 2009).

As a precursor to the retrospective programme, Álex de la Iglesia’s The Day Of The Beast (1995) will screen as part of Dark Xmas 2018 at Edinburgh Filmhouse.

Films screening in Once Upon a Time in Spain after Dark: A Retrospective Selection of Cult Spanish Cinema

Timecrimes (Nacho Vigalondo, 2007)
Arrebato (Iván Zulueta, 1980)
Thesis (Alejandro Amenábar, 1996)

Films in the Icíar Bollaín retrospective

Hi, Are You Alone? (1995)
Flowers From Another World (1999)
Even The Rain (2010)
Kathmandu Lullaby (2011)
In A Foreign Land (2014)
The Olive Tree (2016).

The 73rd edition of EIFF runs from June 19 to 30. The full programme will be announced on May 29.

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