In a sea of Western films, foreign works offer a breath of fresh air for cinephiles. If you're on the lookout for one, you'd be pleased to know that the 21st edition of the PELÍCULA Spanish Film Festival will return with in-person screenings this October.
First established in 2002 by Instituto Cervantes de Manila, PELÍCULA aims to strengthen cultural ties between Spain, Latin America, and Asian countries through cinema.
The festival will last from Oct. 5 to 16 and will screen more than 20 Spanish films in three venues in Metro Manila, namely, EDSA Shangri-La Plaza, Cine Adarna at UP Diliman, and Instituto Cervantes Intramuros branch.
This will be the first time that the festival will have face-to-face screenings after two years of migrating online due to the global pandemic. Online screenings, however, are still available for the Philippines as well as Malaysia and Australia.
The best part? You won't have to break open your wallets to watch the films as they will be available on a first-come, first-served free admission basis.
Without further ado, here are some of the films you should watch at the event:
A Las Mujeres De España. Maria Lejárraga (To the Women of Spain. Maria Lejárraga)
This 2022 documentary film revolves around the story of María Lejárraga, a writer and pioneer of feminism in Spain during the 1920s whose plays were publicly credited to her husband and theater impresario Gregorio Martínez Sierra alone.
The film explores how one of the most prolific Spanish playwrights of all time became a founder of pioneering projects for women's rights and how her dreams were affected by the Spanish Civil War.
Algo Azul (Something Blue)
Oct. 7, 5:00 p.m. at EDSA Shangri-La Plaza
If you want to watch something that will tickle your funny bone, then save your seats for Algo Azul—a 2021 comedy film about a woman (Ana) who is about to be wed to the love of her life. A huge problem suddenly arises when she loses her wedding dress a week before her big day.
When she sees the perfect wedding dress in a room of the hotel she works for, she decides to try it on, only to be caught red-handed by the owner. What follows is a hilarious race against the clock scenario as Ana runs from the hotel dressed as a bride, deciding that she must get married that same day before she is caught, all while becoming a viral sensation.
La Hija (The Daughter)
Oct. 9, 2:30 p.m. at EDSA Shangri-La Plaza
For a more suspenseful experience in the cinema, you may opt to watch La Hija, a 2020 thriller film about a 15-year-old girl named Irene who got pregnant and is living in a center for juvenile offenders. Her educator, Javier, offers her to secretly live with him and his wife Adela in their secluded house in the mountains.
The couple agrees to hide her in the middle of her pregnancy for a price: Irene must give them her baby. However, this agreement shatters when Irene starts to feel like the life growing inside her should only be hers.
Oct. 13, 5:00 p.m. in Cine Adarna at UP Diliman
Released back in 2017, this drama film based on real events centers on a man named Martín who comes back home to his family farmhouse after fighting in a war, only to be shocked when he discovers that his younger brother Joaquín has grown into a towering height.
The brothers then go on a long journey across Europe, convinced that a lot of people will pay to see the tallest man on Earth. However, the fate of their family is set to forever change as ambition, money, and fame come into the mix.
Here are the other films included in the festival lineup and where you can watch them:
- El Buen Patrón (The Good Boss) - October 5 at 7:30 pm in Edsa Shangri-La Plaza
- Muerte De Un Cyclista (Death of a Cyclist) - October 6 at 2:30 pm in Edsa Shangri-La Plaza
- El Test (The Test) - October 6 at 5:00 pm in Edsa Shangri-La Plaza
- Con Quién Viajas (Carpoolers) - October 6 at 7:30 pm in Edsa Shangri-La Plaza
- El Olvido Que Seremos (Forgotten We'll Be) - October 7 at 7:30 pm in Edsa Shangri-La Plaza
- Maixabel - October 8 at 2:30 pm in Edsa Shangri-La Plaza
- Sentimental - October 8 at 5:00 pm in Edsa Shangri-La Plaza
- Competencia Oficial (Official Competition) - October 9 at 5:00 pm in Edsa Shangri-La Plaza
- La Boda De Rosa (Rosa's Wedding) - October 9 at 7:30 pm in Edsa Shangri-La Plaza
- Jinetes Del Paraíso (Horsement of Paradise) - October 10 at 2:30 pm in Instituto Cervantes Intramuros branch
- Bertsolari - October 10 at 5:00 pm in Instituto Cervantes Intramuros branch
- Oreina (The Deer) - October 11 at 5:00 pm in Instituto Cervantes Intramuros branch
- Muga Deitzen Da Pausoa (Border Crossing) - October 11 at 7:30 pm in Instituto Cervantes Intramuros branch
- España: La Primera Globalización (Spain: The First Globalization) - October 12 at 2:30 pm in Instituto Cervantes Intramuros branch
As part of its tradition, the festival is encouraging moviegoers to vote for their favorite entry. The winning film will be given the Audience Choice Award and will be screened again on PELÍCULA’s closing night. For further information on the films, you can go to the festival's website through this link.