Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival returns for its fourth edition

Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival returns for its fourth edition

Highlights from the annual Hispanic festival include opening film 100 Metres and the Scottish premiere of Happy 140

Since 2013, the Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival has been doing much to shine a spotlight on Hispanic culture and cinema though its specially-curated programmes that cover an array of films suitable for novices and aficionados alike. This year's festival will see 15 feature films and 13 short films being screened across the month of October, with Scottish and UK premieres in the mix. All proceeds from the opening gala screening of 100 Metres will go towards the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic in support of those affected by multiple sclerosis. In addition, the festival will also be expanding beyond its hubs at the Filmhouse, University of Edinburgh and Glasgow Film Theatre to include events at the Macrobert Arts Centre in Stirling.

To give you a small taste of what to expect from the 2017 festival, we've rounded up our top picks across the ESFF programme.

Opening Gala: 100 Metres (100 metros)

2016, Spain/ Portugal
Marcel Barrena's moving drama tells the true story of Ramón Arroyo, a Spanish man diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, who is told that he will never be able to run 100 metres. But against all odds, he trains to take part in the Ironman triathlon competition, proving that anything is possible with perseverance.
Filmhouse, Thu 5 Oct, 6pm; Fri 6 Oct, 8.35pm, followed by Q&A with director
Glasgow Film Theatre, Wed 25 Oct, 6pm.


2016, Chile/Argentina
Thirteen year old Sara and her younger sister live with their mum and her new partner, who is female. Their family life is fairly normal but when her father attempts to regain custody, he throws everything off balance. On top of her familial conflicts, Sara is on the cusp of her teenage years, experiencing various changes that are confusing and overwhelming. San Martín's feature film debut is inspired by the case of a Chilean judge who lost custody of her children for being a lesbian.
Filmhouse, Fri 6 Oct, 6.05pm, followed by Q&A with Prof Nuria Capdevila; Tue 10 Oct, 8.35pm, followed by Q&A with Dr Carole Jones
Glasgow Film Theatre, Thu 24 Oct, 8.30pm, followed by Q&A with Dr Carole Jones.

Smoke and Mirrors (El hombre de las mil caras)

2016, Spain
Alberto Rodríguez' thriller is inspired by the story of Spanish spy Francisco 'Paco' Paesa, a master manipulator and man of many talents, who was framed by the government and made to leave Spain. On his return, when former police Commissioner Luis Roldán asks him to help hide a large sum of embezzled money, Paesa uses this as his path to revenge, with the intent to fool the entire country.
Filmhouse, Sat 7 Oct, 8.15pm; Sun 8 Oct, 5.30pm, followed by Q&A with Carlos Santos (actor).

Zip & Zap and the Captain's Island (Zipi y Zape y la Isla del Capitán)

2016, Spain
Spanish comic book hero twins Zip and Zap are up to their usual tricks but when they take things too far on Christmas, their parents punish them by taking away their Christmas holiday and making the twins accompany along on a business trip to a remote island. But when things go wrong on the journey and their parents disappear after the family seeks shelter for the night at Miss Pam's mansion, Zip and Zap must uncover the island's secrets and mysteries in order to save their parents.
Filmhouse, Sun 8 Oct, 11am.

A Esmorga

2014, Spain
Based on a classic Galician novel, A Esmorga follows three middle-aged men for an intense 24 hour period, as they drunkenly leave a trail of destruction wherever they go. Along the way, they fall in love with mysterious women, start a fire, run from the police and generally cause chaos. But it soon becomes clear that this is not just a chance to let loose but a drunken suicide mission with the three men purposely trying to bring about their own demise.
Filmhouse, Mon 9 Oct, 8.35pm, followed by Q&A with Dr María Alonso.

Marisa in the Woods (Marisa en los bosques)

2016, Spain
Antonio Morales' debut feature film has a clear Almodóvar vibe, telling the story of 35-year-old Marisa who feels lost with no job, future or prospects. She decides to place her focus on her best friend Mina, who has just broken up with her boyfriend but discovers yet more problems when she finds no support from her friends. But with the arrival of a tragic event, she retreats into Madrid's nightlife, seeking to disappear and quietly vanish.
Filmhouse, Tue 10 Oct, 6.10pm, followed by Q&A with Antonio Morales.

Edinburgh Spanish Foodie Film: The Balance of Opposites (El equilibrio de los opuestos)

2017, Spain
A documentary by Alberto Baamonde about the two year closure of Chef Javier Olleros' restaurant, el Culler de Pau. The film looks at the gastronomy of the area as well as the professional and personal journey of Olleros himself as the restaurant prepares to re-open.
University of Edinburgh Screening Room, Wed 11 Oct, 6pm, followed by Q&A with Director Alberto Baamonde & Chef Javier Olleros.

Happy 140 (Felices 140)

2015, Spain
The Scottish premiere of Gracia Querejeta's award-winning comedy/drama. Elia is turning 40 and decides to bring together a few relatives and friends at a luxury holiday home to give them some exciting news. With her life-changing news out in the open, what starts off as shared happiness soon turns into greed and malice as her friends and relatives plot to reap the benefits of her good luck.
Filmhouse, Wed 11 Oct, 8.35pm; Thu 12 Oct, 6.05pm, followed by Q&A with Nora Navas (actress).


2016, Ecuador/Mexico/Greece
Eleven-year-old Alba is sent to live with her dad as a result of her mum's illness. But having not seen her estranged father since she was three, life with the solitary Igor is difficult. Ana Cristina Barragán's coming of age story sees the painfully shy Alba experience the trials of pre-teen life including bullying and boys as her father attempts to try and get closer to her.
Filmhouse, Mon 9 Oct, 6.05pm; Fri 13 Oct, 1pm

1898, Our Last Men in the Philippines

2016, Spain
A thrilling war drama based on true events during the final days of the Spanish Empire's last colony. In 1898, Spain sends a military squad to the town of Baler, Philippines, who manage to fight off rebellious natives for nearly a year. Salvador Calvo's film is a visually stunning cinematic take on a dramatic military story involving 50 soldiers in a remote jungle village, as they suffer misery and illness in their attempts to hold off the Tagalog army.
Filmhouse, Fri 13 Oct, 8.35pm; Sat 14 Oct, 6.05pm, followed by Q&A with Salvador Calvo (director) & Ricardo Gómez (actor).

Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival

Film festival for anyone interested in cinema and Spanish and Latin American culture.