Full program revealed for 20th Annual Spanish Film Festival, including closing film The Trip to Spain

The Spanish Film Festival has just revealed the stellar line-up for its 20th anniversary, with a star-studded line-up of films featuring performances from Penélope Cruz, Steve Coogan, Maribel Verdú and Rob Brydon in a new installment of The Trip, alongside a whole plethora of brilliant Spanish films. The centrepiece film this year will be Berlinale award-winning film, Summer 1993 from Catalan director Carla Simón, which tells the moving tale of a six-year-old orphan girl. The Spanish Film Festival screens exclusively at Palace Cinemas around Australia and will showcase 39 films across three weeks, each of which explores the beauty of Spanish culture.

Sydney-based celebrity chef Miguel Maestre will be this year’s Festival Ambassador, celebrating his Spanish and bringing along his passion for food. The festival also welcomes Natalia De Molina, star of the opening night film, Kiki, Love to Love as this year’s festival guest. Natalia is a 2014 Spanish Goya winner for her role in Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed, and won the 2015 Goya for Best Lead Actress in Food and Shelter.

Kiki, Love to Love, which opens the festival is a sexy and daring Spanish box office hit told through five stories, as a scorching summer heatwave intensifies the desires of a collection of Madrid lovers. The award winning comedy is adapted from Josh Lawson’s film, The Little Death, and has drawn many parallels between the film’s director, Paco León and highly acclaimed auter, Pedro Almodóvar. Opening night ticket holders will be invited to the post-film celebration featuring Torres Wines, Stella Artois and tapas in each city.

The festival will close with The Trip to Spain, directed by Michael Winterbottom and starring comedy stalwarts Steve Coogan and Rob Bryden, who reunite in next chapter of the film series, The Trip. The film features the duo, accompanied by hilarious ramblings and impressions of Michael Caine, as they take a sun-drenched tour across the best restaurants of Spain. The post-screening will be accompanied by closing night drinks.

Also featured at the festival will be The Queen of Spain, from Oscar winning director Fernando Trueba and starring Penélope Cruz as a 1950s Hollywood film star returning to Spain. The film will be featured as a Special Event screening and accompanied by a glass of premium Lolea Sangria and Spanish tunes on arrival at the cinema. In Melbourne and Sydney, there will also be special event screenings of Sara Baras, All Her Voices, exploring the life of dancer and Spanish living legend Sara Baras.

The Reel Flamenco section of the program will feature screenings of Flight of The Guitar: Dreaming of Paco De Lucia, focussing on Spanish musician Paco De Lecia and his self-designed guitar, as well as Joya: Beyond Flamenco, exploring the vivacity of jota, and 13. Miguel Poveda, an expose and tribute to one of Spain’s most famous flamenco singers and celebrating his 25-year career.

Other films featured in the festival include fantastical adventure film, Zip & Zap & The Captain’s Island, offbeat thriller The Bar, a special screening of From Rosendo to Rosendo presented by the Embassy of Spain in Canberra, and the Ana Belén retrospective showcase, which features three of her earlier films, Torment, Demons in the Garden and The House of Bernarda Alba, all screening in 35mm courtesy of the Instituto Cervantes. There will also be a special Q&A screening of Broken in Melbourne, presented by the Consulate General of Spain in Melbourne. The work interweaves testimonials from survivors of domestic violence with dance.

The Spanish Film Festival will take place nationally in April across Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Brisbane and Hobart. For the full program line-up and how to purchase tickets, visit: http://www.spanishfilmfestival.com/.