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New Spanish Cinema Festival at VIFF Centre will screen five Vancouver premieres

New Spanish Cinema Festival
One of the highlights of the New Spanish Cinema Festival is Victor Erice's Close Your Eyes.

On Friday (January 5), the VIFF Centre will come alive with flamenco, wine, tapas, and Serrano ham to kick off the New Spanish Cinema Festival. Ibero-American Images and AJA Entertainment are collaborating with VIFF to co-present six films, including five Vancouver premieres.

The opening night movie, Wild Flowers, earned Anna Castillo a Sant Jordi Award for Best Actress in a Spanish Film. Directed by Jamie Rosales, this drama revolves around a 22-year-old single mom who falls in love with a troubled boy while looking after her own son.

Rosales co-wrote the 2022 film with executive producer Bárbara Díez. There’s a second screening at 3 p.m. on Monday (January 8).

Watch the trailer for Wild Flowers.

Another Vancouver premiere at the festival is Close Your Eyes, which screens at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday (January 6) and 7:20 p.m. on Monday. Nearly three hours long, it’s legendary Spanish director Victor Erice‘s first feature in 31 years. It’s about a sensationalist TV show reviving the case of a missing actor 20 years after his disappearance.

Close Your Eyes had its international premiere at last year’s Cannes Film Festival.

A third Vancouver premiere, That Was Life, will be screened at 5:50 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday (January 7). It stars veteran Spanish actor Petra Martinez as Maria, a woman in her 70s who leaves a hospital in Belgium to return to Andalusia. Written and directed by David Martín de los Santos, it captured 17 awards and 22 nominations after its 2020 release, according to IMDb.

Watch the trailer for The Candidate.

Spanish political thriller included in festival

Yet another Vancouver premiere is director and co-writer Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s The Candidate, which screens at 8:10 p.m. on Saturday and 5:40 p.m. on Sunday. This political thriller focuses on an elected official with a high-class lifestyle who comes under media scrutiny.

The final Vancouver premiere is Memories of My Father, directed by Fernando Trueba. This film will screen at 8:15 p.m. on Sunday.

The festival’s only film previously been screened in Vancouver is The Spirit of the Beehive, which was Erice’s debut. It’s about a six-year-old child in rural Spain after the Spanish Civil War. The Spirit of the Beehive will be at the VIFF Centre at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday and 5:15 p.m. on Monday.

The New Spanish Cinema Festival is at the VIFF Centre from January 5 to 8. For more information and tickets, visit the VIFF website. Follow Pancouver on Twitter @PancouverMedia and on Instagram @PancouverMedia.

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Charlie Smith

Charlie Smith

Pancouver editor Charlie Smith has worked as a Vancouver journalist in print, radio, and television for more than three decades.

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We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. With this acknowledgement, we thank the Indigenous peoples who still live on and care for this land.