FESTIVAL: The film Champions by will open the Byron Bay leg of the Spanish Film festival 2019.
FESTIVAL: The film Champions by will open the Byron Bay leg of the Spanish Film festival 2019.

Spanish and Latin film gems in festival

The 2019 Spanish Film Festival celebrates cinema from Spain and Latin America.

The curated program of 32 films will screen from 16 April exclusively at Palace Cinemas around the country and from May 10 locally.

Opening the festival around Australia will be the Best Film winner at the Goya Awards, Champions (Campeones).

This critically-acclaimed feel-good film by Javier Fesser smashed box office records in Spain and stars Javier Gutierrez as Marco, an ambitious and arrogant basketball coach forced to train a team of people with disabilities.

From Mexico, comes The Good Girls (Las Niñas Bien).

Directed by Alejandra Marquez Abella, this gorgeously mounted and beautifully played feature is at once a scathing and glamorous depiction of the wives of upper-class men in 1982 Mexico.

Argentinian comedy Super Crazy (Re loca) boasts a lead performance bursting with energy and charisma from actress Natalia Oreiro, as a woman who takes a remedy that makes her unable to stop speaking her mind.

STAR: Rosy Rodríguez in a still from the film Carmen and Lola.
STAR: Rosy Rodríguez in a still from the film Carmen and Lola.

Bilbao-born writer-director Arantxa Echevarría and her exceptional non-professional cast deliver Carmen & Lola, an empathetic portrayal of forbidden love in a repressive society that is altogether inspiring, necessary and beautiful.

Catalan Goya Award-winning director Carlos Marques-Marcet's The Days To Come (Els dies que vindran) captures the experiences of a new couple grappling with parenthood, in a film loaded with euphoria, heartbreak, and everything in between.

Cannes regular Jamie Rosales returns with Petra, a complex, stunningly shot melodrama that mixes themes of parental responsibility, artistic authorship, sexual intrigue and revenge, boldly told and featuring outstanding performances.

Rojo (Red) is a critically lauded film, a sinister and stylish thriller from Benjamin Naishtat lays bare the complacency and corruption of pre-coup Argentina. Starring screen heavyweight Dario Grandinetti.

Peret: The King Of The Gypsy Rumba (Peret, Yo Soy La Rumba) is a 92-minute documentary about Pedro Pubill Calaf, better known as Peret, a Spanish Romani singer, guitar player and composer hailed as the King of Rumba for his fusion of Flamenco song with Latin American rhythms.

EIGHTIES:  Actors Maria Barranco, Rosy de Palma and Antonio Banderas in Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown (1988).
EIGHTIES: Actors Maria Barranco, Rosy de Palma and Antonio Banderas in Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown (1988).

The Byron leg of the festival will close with a Spanish film icon: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios), the 1988 hit by Pedro Almodovar.

In this now classic Spanish film, Pepas's lover, Ivan, leaves her and she tries to contact him to find out why he's left. In her search for Ivan, she confronts his wife and son, who are as clueless as she is. Meanwhile, Candela, her friend, is afraid the police might be looking for her because of her ex-boyfriend, a Muslim terrorist, and his criminal activities. As the plot develops, it is revealed that everyone's lives are more intertwined than they could have ever expected.

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown will screen on Sunday, May 26, with drinks from 6.45pm.

  • The Moro Spanish Film Festival screens from May 10-26 at Palace Byron Bay Cinemas. Program, session times and tickets available at the cinema or online at www.palacecinemas.com.au.