This September, Instituto Cervantes offers a range of events which highlight the support for the presence of Spanish-speaking films and filmmakers in the British capital’s most important festivals and artistic venues (BFI, Open City Documentary Festival, LUX, Tate Modern, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London Spanish Film Festival and Raindance Film Festival).
“The vitality of cinema in Spanish is one of the features that define the current state of cinema in the world. And a cinema with a global appeal, such as ours, must be shown in a global capital such as London,” says Ignacio Peyró, director of Instituto Cervantes in the British capital.
Thanks to Instituto Cervantes, Spanish and Latin-American filmmakers can be part of a range of prestigious festivals held in London, thus increasing the visibility of the productions shot in Spain – be it in Spanish or co-official languages - and Latin America, Peyró adds.
Open City Documentary Festival: A 40-year unsolved mystery
The month begins with the screening of the Chilean documentary feature Las Cruces and the subsequent
colloquium with the directors Teresa Arredondo and Carlos Vásquez Méndez, on Sunday, September 8 at 1:45 pm, in the Open City Documentary Festival program.
This will be the premiere of Las Cruces in the United Kingdom, which is set only a few days after the 1973 military coup against the Allende government in Chile, when a group of 19 union members in a paper mill disappeared without a trace.
The case was a mystery for 40 years, until a police officer involved in the massacre finally broke the pact of silence. Hearing his confession alongside the testimony of the families of the victims, the filmmakers decipher the events that led to the murders, using 16 mm photographs to represent the landscape as a crime scene.
LUX: Artists works based in the United Kingdom
On Sunday, September 15 at 7:00 pm, a screening of the new works of directors Carla Andrade and Gerard Ortín takes place, with a subsequent colloquium, in the context of LUX New Work screening series, showcasing recent work by artists based in the UK.
Their work is concerned with ideas of landscape, but whereas Andrade is drawn to non-domesticated nature for its unattainability and unownability, Ortín Castellví’s work problematizes the idea of “nature” itself as well as its imagery, often looking at human and more-than-human relations.
They both work across media, with a focus on the moving image. At LUX, a selection of recent works by both artists will be screened followed by a conversation between them and María Palacios Cruz (LUX).
Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival 2019: A dialogue between cultures
Barcelona-based filmmaker Carlos Casas presents the film Cemetery, a total and hypnotic immersion in the jungle, on the trail of the elephant graveyard, then participates in a colloquium at the Tate Modern contemporary art gallery next Wednesday, September 18 September, at 6:30 pm, at the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival 2019.
Artist Casas returns to Tate Modern to present the UK premiere of his award-winning feature Cemetery. This deeply sensory film follows an elephant, a mahout and the poachers in their pursuit as they move toward the mythical place known as the elephant graveyard. As the journey transitions from the jungle through stages of death, images begin to fall away, opening onto a rich sonic landscape.
Ten years in the making, Cemetery weaves together field recordings from around the globe, recorded and mixed by wildlife sound expert Chris Watson with the collaboration of professor Tony Myatt (spatialisation and Ambisonics). Finding a striking juncture between nature documentary, experimental film, road movie and soundscape, the film opens up questions about life cycles and memory, colonialism and extinction, conservation and the environment and interspecies relationships.
ICA: The portrait of the youth of a Madrid neighborhood
Pontevedra director Carmen Bellas will participate in a colloquium at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London (ICA), after the screening of her acclaimed short film Once we were wild, on September 22 at 8:30 pm.
“Being able to screen the film in London is very exciting; it brings us closer to different audiences and thanks to them we can capture other nuances of our project,” explains Bellas.
Once we were wild, a portrait of the young people of a San Cristóbal neighbourhood on the outskirts of Madrid, won the prized Caracola in the feature film category at the 49th edition of the Reach Documentary Festival. This unique and suggestive representation of place progressively abandons a classic documentary structure to become a first person essay.
Raindance Film Festival: The life of Ara Malikian, uncovered
This year, the Cervantes Institute in London also collaborates with the Raindance Film Festival, a prestigious independent film festival, with the screening of the documentary Ara Malikian: a life between the ropes and subsequent colloquium with the director Nata Moreno, which takes place on Tuesday 24 September, at 6:00 pm.
The play portrays the versatile violinist Ara Malikian, whose life was saved by music when he fled the war and left Beirut at age 14. Since then he has lived as a nomad carrying his music all over the world. The spectator follows Ara Malikian and his entire team during their last symphonic tour of Spain and countries such as France, China, Argentina and Germany
Moreno is the stage director of the shows of the Malikian, as well as creator and producer of her [JR5] [PE-AT6] music videos and campaigns. In 2016, she set up her own production company Kokoro Films with whichs she carries out various advertising campaigns and personal projects.
Raindance Film Festival: A black comedy with a star cast
On Thursday, September 26, at 7:45 p.m., the UK premiere of the Catalan comedy 7 raons per fugir, by Gerard Quinto, Esteve Soler, David Torras, followed by a discussion with one of the filmmakers, which is part of the Raindance Film Festival.
Soler adapts his own theatrical texts to give way to a black comedy with a star cast in which the dehumanization of the society in which we live is treated through everyday situations that deform.
The family, the poor kid who appears on TV, the sixth-floor neighbours, the tenant and the real estate agent, the business couple, the guy progress has run over and the couple about to get married. Seven stories that intertwine horror and comedy. Seven scenes of black humour as strange as they are unexpected. Seven surreal perspectives on a society that can’t progress, a dysfunctional society.
Showing at the London Spanish Film Festival
The month of September ends with the participation of the Cervantes Institute in the acclaimed London Spanish Film Festival through two screenings. First, on September 26 at 6:30 pm the documentary Peret will be screened, I am the rumba, by Paloma Zapata, niece of the acclaimed and respected artist.
Winner of the Best International Film at the MUVI Music Film Festival 2019, it is a must for music lovers. This is an intimate portrait and at the same time a tribute to Pere Pubill Calaf, Peret for the whole world, the king of Catalan rumba for history raised in the humble neighborhood of Sant Antoni, in Barcelona.
Finally, on September 28, at 4:00 pm, the Galician screening of Trinta lumes and a colloquium with its director, Pontevedra Diana Toucedo, takes place. Recorded in the Galician region of O Courel, the director takes us to her roots and shows the reality of the Galician community from the eyes of Alba, the protagonist of this film. A work that foregrounds issues of life and death, delving into the past with a look at the present.