Spanish film fest in cinemas at last

The 21st edition of Película Spanish Film Festival will return to
face-to-face screenings, after two years as a virtual festival. Película will screen around 20 movies in three venues of Metro Manila -– Shangri-La Plaza, Cine Adarna at UP Diliman, and Instituto Cervantes Intramuros branch from 5 to 16 October.

Since its creation in 2002 by Instituto Cervantes de Manila, Película has been an annual attraction in Philippine theaters.

After the Covid-19 crisis, which forced cinemas to close worldwide and caused audiences of the festival to migrate online, the festival returns to the big screen, on a first-come, first-served free admission basis. The Festival will also host
face-to-face and online screenings in Malaysia and Australia.

In the Philippines, the Festival will open on 5 October with El buen patrón (Fernando León de Aranoa, 2021), a comedy starring Javier Bardem. The film festival will also feature Latin American films such as Competencia oficial, a Spanish-Argentinean comedy directed in 2021 by Gastón Duprat and Mariano Cohn, and featuring Penélope Cruz, Antonio Banderas, and Oscar Martínez.

Penelope Cruz in ‘Competencia oficial,’
a Spanish-Argentinean comedy.

Just like in the previous editions, spectators may vote for their favorite films in the Audience Choice Awards. Established in 2004, the award is given to the film that the viewers have voted as the best of the Festival. Since its establishment in 2004, it has been a very popular tradition in the Festival and is kept alive even through the festival’s transition online. In its 21st edition, spectators 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 again during the closing of Película 2022, on 16 October at Shangri-La Plaza Cinemas.

To celebrate the 21st edition of the cinematographic showcase, there will also be a special selection of clasic Spanish films. These films are Esa pareja feliz (Juan Antonio Bardem and Luis García Berlanga, 1951), Muerte de un ciclista (Juan Antonio Bardem, 1953), Mamá cumple cien años (Carlos Saura, 1979), and El sur (Víctor Erice, 1983).

Philippine cinema was born in the Spanish language and many film-related terms in Filipino are in Spanish (such as pelikula, sine, direktor, aktor, contrabida, etc.), proof of the strong cultural relations shared between Spain and the Philippines. Since its first editions Película has had activities that served as a space for meeting and interacting with Spanish and Filipino filmmakers. In line with this, the event will be holding “En corto: Short films from the Philippines and Spain,” an activity which will feature recent short films from both countries.

Película 2022 is an initiative of Instituto Cervantes in Manila and Sydney, the Embassies of Spain in the Philippines, Malaysia, Australia, and the AECID, in collaboration with the Film Development Council of the Philippines, Instituto Etxepare, Filmoteca Vasca, the Embassy of Colombia in the Philippines, the Embassy of Panama in the Philippines, the UP Film Institute, the University of the Philippines, Intramuros Administration, Vibal Foundation, Philippine Transmarine Carriers, and Rustan’s.

All movies are in Spanish (or their original language) with English subtitles. For updates on the Festival, visit the website of the Festival ( or the Facebook page of Instituto Cervantes de Manila:

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