This November, Instituto Cervantes and Festival de Sevilla, in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines, will treat Filipino film buffs to the “New Cinephilias Online”, a series of movies considered as “The Other Spanish Cinema”, a label with which the generation who started working with cinema at the dawn of the 21st century was named. This film cycle will be shown through the Instituto Cervantes channel on the Vimeo platform and is freely accessible for 48 hours from their start date and time.
The line-up is composed of award-winning films such as the documentary Niñato (Kid), awarded as the Best Film during the 19th BAFICI – Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente (Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival), and directed by Adrián Orr. Two drama feature films like Ver a una mujer (To See a Woman) by Mònica Rovira and A estación violenta (The Wild Season) by Anxos Fazáns. Another documentary: Idrissa, crònica ´una mort qualsevol (Idrissa, Chronicle of an Ordinary Death), directed by Xavier Artigas and Xapo Ortega, which was nominated to the XII Premios Gaudí (Guadí Awards) and the 15th Festival de Sevilla de cine europeo (Seville European Film Festival) completes the film cycle.
These films are creations of filmmakers who sought to express themselves with new paradigms and who benefited from the freedom offered by the digital revolution. During the last twenty years, these artists have created a niche where they experiment with new narrative models. There is no doubt that, with them, new viewers are born who appreciate and look forward to seeing the fruits of their labors: the modes of postmodernity, the visual quality, the formal audacity and the multiple representations of these films are some of the features they share and that are recognized by creators and viewers. This “other Spanish cinema” has been strongly defended by festivals, which continue to act as places to (in)form and connect with contemporary moviegoers.
The film cycle will kick off on 7 November, Saturday at 3 AM in Manila (November 6, Friday at 8 PM in Madrid), with the screening of Niñato (2017) available for 48 hours until Monday, November 9 at 3 AM. Fleeing from gruesomeness, poignancy or emotional trap, it focuses on the particular family of David Ransanz, a young and jobless rapper from the suburbs of Madrid who raises a three year old while living in his mother’s house. Adrián Orr draws a moving and close portrait of this “kid” who tries to resist a monotonous and not very encouraging situation, while still holding on to his musical dreams.
The film cycle will continue on 14 November, again at 3 AM Manila time, with the drama Ver a una mujer (To See a Woman). Directed by Mònica Rovira in 2017, it is an intimate, poetic and beautiful film about the relationship between the Director (Mónica) and her first female love: Sarai. It is a film where the play of textures, lights and shadows, work as the perfect metaphor for the ineffable of love, dependency and honesty, and which constitutes a sublime exercise of introspection and exorcism in which a woman face the demons of her life as a couple.
Another feature film A estación violenta (The Wild Season, 2018) will be shown on Saturday 21 November, at 3 AM in Manila. This dazzling debut of Anxos Fazáns, adapted from the homonymous novel by Manuel Jabois, showcases life in a city where there is no horizon other than that of an unhappy past and that of a lost generation. It is a story of silent loves, broken complicities, and mutual mistrust.
Finally, the well-crafted documentary directed by Xavier Artigas and Xapo Ortega, Idrissa, crònica d´una mort qualsevol (Idrissa, Chronicle of an Ordinary Death, 2019) will conclude the film cycle on November 28, also at 3 AM Manila time and available for 48 hours until Monday, November 30 at 3 AM. The film depicts how the Spanish legal system has made it nearly impossible to investigate into the death of a 21-year-old Guinean migrant at the Centre d’ Internament d’ Estrangers de Barcelona (Foreigners Internment Center of Barcelona). The Directors are not just telling us a real life story, but conveying about the effective use of cinema as a tool for action and change.
The films, presented by Instituto Cervantes in collaboration with the Seville European Film Festival of Spain and the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines, will be in Spanish with English subtitles. Admission is free. For further information and updates on this film series, please check out http://manila.cervantes.es or Instituto Cervantes’ Facebook page: www.facebook.com/InstitutoCervantesManila
Text and photos by Instituto Cervantes de Manila