Miami International Film Festival & Centro Cultural Español to Host ‘Festival of New Spanish Cinema’ Weeklong Screenings October 6
In a scene from The Shame/ La Vergüenza, Lucia (Natalia Mateo) embraces her troubled son Manu (Brandon Lastra).
Miami, September 23, 2009 - Continuing its tradition of bringing the best of world cinema to South Florida, The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), Miami Dade College (MDC) and Centro Cultural Español (CCE)-Miami, will host the Festival of New Spanish Cinema, an eclectic collection of Spanish films during a weeklong festival beginning Tuesday, Oct. 6 through Sunday, Oct. 11 at MDC’s Tower Theater in Little Havana.
The event will kick-off with a cocktail reception sponsored by Freixenet and the screening of director David Planell The Shame/ La Vergüenza. The Festival of New Spanish Cinema’s visit next month is part of a six-city tour that will culminate in Chicago in November 2009.
The festival will also feature films by such veteran filmmakers as Juan Luis Iborra, Javier Fesser and Gabriel Velázquez shown side-by-side with cutting edge debut productions from the latest generation including Irene Cardona, David Planell, Santiago Zannou, and Miguelanxo Prado. Presenting new and outrageous interpretations of classic genres including melodrama, thriller and animation, this year’s styles range from superb examples of Spain’s brutal, wrenching fairy tales De Profundis and Camino (winner of 6 Goya Awards), to socially engaged cinema like A Fiancé for Yasmina or One-Armed Trick (part of MIFF 2009 program).
This year's festival promises more than just great cinema. Organizers have added an online short film festival, available at www.pragda.com; a family film screening with the classic animation De Profundis; and the Opening Night Gala with an appearance by the film’s actress; a pre-reception hosted by Freixenet. Preceding each film screening will be a special presentation from Teaserland, an entertaining online festival known for its fake movie trailers by well known directors such as Isabel Coixet. All film screenings throughout the festival will be held at MDC’s Tower Theater.
The Festival of New Spanish Cinema received support from numerous institutions including Pragda, the Consulate of Spain, Dirección General de Política e Industrias Culturales and Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales (ICAA) of the Spanish Ministry of Culture, Tourist Office of Spain, Embassy of Spain, Washington, DC, the Dirección General de Relaciones Culturales y Científicas, Filmoteca, AECI, of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.
The Festival of New Spanish Cinema Films brings to Miami seven renowned Spanish films that include:
THE SHAME (La Vergüenza) – 2009, 107 min
Tuesday Oct 6th 7:30PM, MDC’s Tower Theater
Director: David Planell
Cast: Alberto San Juan, Natalia Mateo, Brandon Lastra
This feature directorial debut from the strongest emerging talent in Spain, award-winning writer David Planell (Seven Billiard Tables FNSC 2008), boldly allows us a glimpse into the home of Pepe and Lucia, a modern and attractive couple with a big problem: they cannot handle Manu, their eight-year-old Peruvian adopted child. They soon realize the price they must pay if they want to go ahead with their brazen plan: to send him back. Planell, the director of the multi-award winning shorts (Ponys, Trivial) skillfully makes the jump from screenwriter to director, using this strong premise to tell a caustic, tender and funny tale about doubts, paradoxes and the wounds of an ashamed couple. The film was the top performer at this year’s Malaga Film Festival.
CAMINO - 2008, 143 min
Wednesday Oct 7th 7:30PM, MDC’s Tower Theater
Sunday Oct 11th 7:30PM, MDC’s Tower Theater
Director: Javier Fesser.
Cast: Nerea Camacho, Carme Elías, Mariano Venancio, Manuela Velles, Lola Casamayor.
A daring, compulsively watchable melodrama against religious fundamentalism. Inspired by real events, Camino is an emotional adventure about an extraordinary 11-year-old girl who is simultaneously faced with two completely new events in her life: falling in love and dying. On his third film Fesser (The Miracle of P. Tinto, Mortadelo & Filemon: The Big Adventure) once more offers a child's perspective on the adult world. The uncompromising script is not anti-religious, though it successfully condemns the dehumanizing effects of religious extremism. It is earmarked for media attention thanks to its biting criticism of the controversial Opus Dei movement and Catholic fundamentalism in general. Widely acclaimed at its San Sebastian debut this year, the film has won 6 Goya awards (Spanish Academy Awards) including Best Director, Best Film and Best Original Script. Above all, Camino intertwines melodrama, horror and animation in outrageous new ways to enrich us with what is one of the most powerful Spanish films of the decade.
AMATEURS – 2008, 84 min
Friday Oct 9th 7:30PM, MDC’s Tower Theater
Director: Gabriel Velázquez
Cast: Emilie De Preissac, Francisco Luque, Alberto Díaz, Juanma Hernández
Julio Nieves is a 65-year-old foreman who has spent his entire life in the Madrid suburb of Vallecas. In the blink of an eye, he goes from contentedly facing his retirement alone to the possibility of companionship in the form of a 16-year-old girl from Marseille, who claims to be his daughter. But what if she’s not his flesh and blood? And what if Nieves takes her in to ease the pain of his own solitude? How far can people go to avoid being alone?
DESPERATE WOMEN (CRAZY Enloquecidas) – 2008, 90 min
Friday Oct 9th 9:30PM, MDC’s Tower Theater
Director: Juan Luis Iborra
Cast: Veronica Forqué, Silvia Abascal, Concha Velasco.
Along the lines of early Almodóvar comedies like Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Desperate Women is a sexy and hilarious mystery/comedy about the absurdities of love and life itself. This eagerly anticipated film from writer-director Juan Luis Iborra (Km. 0, Mouth to Mouth) follows three women trying to track down a missing lover. Blanca meets the man of her dreams, falls in love and loses him, all in one week. Then, by chance a few months later, she and her aunt Barbara find a portrait of him in the house of a charming old couple. The man is revealed to be their son—who is further revealed to be long dead. Determined to learn more about the mysterious man, Blanca & Barbara begin an unpredictable and hilarious investigation. This often outrageous thriller gathers three generations of the best Spanish female actresses against a backdrop of some of the most rarely-seen and odd areas of Madrid.
DE PROFUNDIS - The Sound of the Sea – 2007, 75 min
Saturday Oct 10th 5:30PM, MDC’s Tower Theater
Sunday Oct 11th 5:30PM, MDC’s Tower Theater
Animation. Spanish graphic novelist Miguelanxo Prado, one of the best-known and important European comic artists, turns to animation with De Profundis, a simple and lyrical labor of love about freedom, passion and loss. A woman plays the viola while her partner, a painter who is fascinated by the sea, is away on a fishing boat. The boat is capsized by a storm and the painter, along with a mermaid, undertake a dreamlike underwater journey through a series of evocative seascapes. By tracing the creative voyage of the painter using themes brought to life by the digitization of thousands of the director´s own oil paintings, drawings and acrylics, Prado offers an homage to the sea that feels like a return to the early principles of cartoon art. Overall, De Profundis is a strange and fantastic love story, sure to please adults and children alike.
A FIANCÉ FOR YASMINA (Un Novio Para Yasmina) – 2008, 92 min
Saturday Oct 10th 7:30PM, MDC’s Tower Theater
Director: Irene Cardona
Cast: Sanaa Alaoui, José Luís García Pérez, Mª Luisa Borruel, Francisco Olmo.
Lola loves weddings, even though her own marriage is on the rocks. She suspects that her husband Jorge has fallen in love with Yasmina (brilliantly played by Moroccan actress Sanaa Alaoui), who is in need of a visa to stay in Spain. Meanwhile, Yasmina is in a hurry to marry Javi, who proves to be a master at foot shuffling in his reluctance to set a date. While Alfredo is against the marriage, he’d be ready to get married for friendship…. or for money. A tenderhearted romantic story, A Fiancé For Yasmina charts the tangled imbroglio that arises when emotional dilemmas, star-crossed relationships and the unpredictable effects of love bring mayhem upon a group of friends. A Fiancé For Yasmina is a fresh take on the ensemble drama that swept the awards at the Malaga Film Festival as Best Film, Best Actress & Audience Awards.
ONE-ARMED TRICK (El truco del manco) – 2008, 100 min
Saturday Oct 10th 9:30PM, MDC’s Tower Theater
Director: Santiago Zannou
Cast: El Langui, Ovono Candela.
Santiago Zannou makes an impressive feature film debut with this winner of 3 Goya Awards (Spanish Academy Awards) including Best Debut Film, Best Acting and Best Music. Paralyzed in half of his body from childhood, Cuajo has a single dream: to succeed in music. Together with his friend Adolfo, he attempts to set up a studio while gathering some of Barcelona’s freshest hip-hop talent. One-Armed Trick features some of the hottest stars of Spanish rap—among them Elio Sagues, Ovone Candela and La Mala Rodriguez and El Langui, lead singer of La Excepción, recently voted the best Spanish-language rappers on MTV.
The Miami International Film Festivalbrings the best of world cinema to South Florida by playing a leading role in maintaining and further enriching its film culture. MIFF uses the unique geographical and cultural position of Miami to be a premiere venue for the exhibition of international and U.S. films, with a special focus on Ibero-American cinema. The Festival has presented films from more than 60 countries, including 200 East Coast, U.S. and World Premieres, scores of Oscar winners and nominees, and many international prizewinners. More than 65,000 people attended the Festival in 2009, including more than 300 filmmakers, producers, talent, and industry representatives from around the world who introduced their work to the South Florida audience and other industry professionals. Last year’s festival held more than 250 screenings that included features, shorts, outreach events and press screenings.
Miami Dade Collegehas a long and rich history of involvement in the cultural arts, providing South Florida with a vast array of artistic and literary offerings including The Miami Book Fair International, the Cultura del Lobo performing arts series, The Cuban Cinema Series, nine visual arts galleries including The Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College and the School of Entertainment and Design Technology in addition to the Miami International Film Festival. MDC is the largest institution of higher education in the country and is nationally recognized for many of its academic and cultural programs. With an enrollment of more than 165,000 students, MDC is the nation’s top producer of associate of arts and associate of science degrees. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer more than 200 distinct degree programs including baccalaureate degrees in education, nursing and public safety management.
What: Festival of New Spanish Cinema Film Screenings
When: Cocktail reception: Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2009, 7 p.m.
Followed by screening of The Shame/La Vergüenza
Film screenings:Oct. 7 and Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Oct. 10-11, 5:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 9:30 p.m.
Where: Miami Dade College’s Tower Theater, 1508 S.W. Eighth St., Little Havana
Cost: $10 opening night reception and screening; $6 general public; $5 Miami Film Society members, seniors, MDC students, and CCE members.
*Special package:Seven film screening package only $40, includes opening night pre-reception.
*All tickets and promotional packages will be on sale at the theater’s box office up to a half-hour before show time.
MDC Media Contacts: Juan Mendieta, MDC director of communications, 305-237-7611, email@example.com, Denise Hughes (Miami International Film Festival), 305-237-3038, firstname.lastname@example.org , Valeria Sorrentino (Miami International Film Festival), 305-237-3775; Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359, email@example.com; Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Miami International Film Festival, visit www.miamifilmfestival.com or call 305-237-FILM (3456).