Catalan Film Festival announces hybrid line-up

Scottish Spanish showcase runs from November 19 to December

by Amber Wilkinson

the Catalan Film Festival is to host a hybrid edition from November 19 to December 6, featuring films, Q&As and talks.

Most of the films selected share a common interest in the recovery and reconstruction of recent Catalan, Spanish and European historic memory. A political, ethical, social and emotional memory of these Mediterranean territories' modern history. The festival also includes what they describe as “films of outstanding beauty to clean the audience's gaze by bringing peace and harmony to our troubled, unsettled 2020”.

The Catalan Features selection includes Málaga Film Festival winner Schoolgirls by Pilar Palomero - a generational portrait of women growing in the ever contradictory Spain of the 90s - and My Mexican Bretzel by Núria Giménez Lorang, which won IFFR Rotterdam's Found Footage Award.

Other critically acclaimed titles focusing on Spain’s troubled recent past are the animated feature Josep (Official Selection - Cannes Film Festival) based on the life of Catalan artist Josep Bartolí - a soldier against Franco that escaped the concentration camps in France, a lover of Frida Kahlo and a victim of the Hollywood blacklist. Maybe the most politically poignant - and formally daring - is The Year of the Discovery by Luis López Carrasco (Grand Prize at the Cinéma du Réel Film Festival, IFFR Rotterdam), which is described as a "working-class monumental film".

Alongside current titles, there will be a section dedicated to Catalan Classics and a retrospective featuring women from the new wave of Cataln cinema - Belén Funes, Pilar Palomero, Laura Ferrés, Celia Rico, Clara Roquet, Roser Aguilar or Carla Simón, plus a short films programme.

The online festival hub in FesthomeTV will have an exciting offer of events including Q&As, special lectures and in-depth conversations, as well as special retrospectives looking at contemporary Catalan cinema. In-person screenings are due to take place in venues like Glasgow Film Theatre, Dundee Contemporary Arts or the Institut Francais cinema in Edinburgh - subject to the reopening of cinemas in upcoming weeks.

The festival is organised by CinemaAttic. A spokesman said: “We want people to escape somewhere else (at least for a bit), to feel the soft salty breeze of the Mediterranean without leaving their homes. The perfect antidote to the impossibility of flying out for a holiday this year. We offer a collection of films that will let audiences travel around the world without moving from their living room, from the Rocky Mountains to the Greek Islands, from Majorca beaches to the Swiss Alps, from the Catalan cities to small Spanish villages.”

More information about the line-up can be found on the official site

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We're looking forward to this year's Glasgow Film Festival.

We've recently covered New Directors/New Films andTallinn Black Nights, DOC NYC, Sheffield DocFest, the London Korean Film Festival, Welsh horror festival Abertoir, New York's Newfest, the October edition of Frightfest, the Scottish Queer International Film Festival, the London Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival.

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