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Spanish-Language Films To Be Screened for Free at ‘Pelíkula’ 2021

Stills from “Una vez más” and “El cover”
Stills from “Una vez más” and “El cover.” Summer Films and Nadie es Perfecto PC SL

This article is available in Spanish.

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 20 films will be screened for free at the 20th edition of “PELíCULA>PELíKULA” or simply “PELíCULA,” a Spanish film festival primarily hosted by Instituto Cervantes de Manila, on Oct. 1–10. Of the 20 selections, 16 are feature films, which are in Spanish, and four are short films.

The festival kicks off on Oct. 1 with “El Cover” (2021), a musical comedy and debut film of actor Secun de la Rosa. Other films in the lineup are “Invisibles” (Gracia Querejeta, 2020), “Una vez más” (Guillermo Rojas, 2020), “Tristesse” (Ruiz Barrachina, 2020), and the documentaries “Oscuro y Lucientes” (Samuel Alarcón, 2018) and “Antonio Machado. Los días azules” (Laura Hojman, 2020). The official entries also include drama films such as “15 horas” (Judith Colell, 2020), “Ane” (David Pérez Sañudo, 2020) and David Trueba’s latest film “A este lado del mundo” (2020).

From Oct. 2–5, four short films from Thailand, Philippines, Australia and Spain will also be screened: “Aninsri Daeng,” “Groundhog Night,” “A la cara,” and the Filipino indie film “Tarang.”

PELÍCULA will also show Latin American films such as the Mexican documentary “Observar las aves” (Andrea Martínez Crowther, 2019) and “Lina de Lima” (2019), a feature film directed by María Paz González and co-produced by Chile, Argentina and Peru. All films will be available with English subtitles and for free on the website for 48 hours.

Just like in the festival’s previous editions, viewers may vote for their favorite films in the Audience Choice Award. Established in 2004, the award is given to the film that the viewers have voted as the best of the festival. In its 20th edition, viewers can rate the films right after having viewed them. The film with the highest ratings will receive this year’s Audience Choice Award and will be screened anew on Oct. 10, 6 p.m. in the festival’s website.

There will also be a special selection of films that have won the PELíCULA Audience Choice Award in the past. These films are “Fuera de carta” (Nacho G. Velilla, 2008), “El secreto de sus ojos” (Juan José Campanella, 2009), “También la lluvia” (Icíar Bollaín, 2010), “Un cuento chino” (Sebastián Borensztein, 2011) and “Campeones” (Javier Fesser, 2018).


Aside from the film screenings, PELíCULA will be offering free webinars and online talks with the directors of the films presented in the festival or professionals in the audiovisual industry.

On Oct. 4, there will be a round-table discussion on the possibilities of co-production of Asian films in Europe and Spanish films in Asia, in which various Spanish, Thai and Filipino producers and experts on the topic will be participating.

On Oct. 7, the event will be holding the webinar “En corto: Short films in the Philippines, Thailand, Australia and Spain,” which will feature four recent short films, one from each country, and an online talk between the directors of these short films.

Film Review Contest

The Department of European Languages of the University of the Philippines Diliman is holding a film review contest in Spanish, which is open to students of Spanish in the Philippines.

Contest rules can be found here; La Jornada Filipina is a media partner.

The festival’s organizers and collaborators — Instituto Cervantes in Manila and Sydney; Embassies of Spain in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Australia; Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo; Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales; Embassy of Mexico in the Philippines; National Film Archive of Thailand; Sydney Film Festival; Travelling Film Fest (Australia); Film Development Council of the Philippines; UP Film Institute; University of the Philippines; and Intramuros Administration — aim to “treat movie buffs from the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia to a selection of contemporary Spanish and Latin American cinema.”

Since its inception in 2002 by Instituto Cervantes de Manila, PELíCULA has been an annual “attraction” in Philippine theaters. The COVID-19 crisis, which forced cinemas to close, presented the “greatest challenge” in the history of the festival. Last year, PELíCULA was hosted online, and it expanded to three countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

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