The Malaga Festival of Film in Spanish begins in the provincial capital today, 13 April. The event, which is now in its 21st year, is a meeting point and showcase for the Spanish and Ibero-American audiovisual industry, and nine of the 19 full-length films which will be screened in various venues across the city are from the other side of the Atlantic.
Festival director Juan Antonio Vigar says the international character of the event is the result of “months of hard work”. This year's festival will be paying tribute to two international guests: Guillermo del Toro, from Mexico, is to receive the Malaga Prize after his triumph at the recent Oscars, and the Retrospective is dedicated to famous Spanish film director Juan Antonio Bayona.
As well as the film screenings -which will take place across venues such as the Albéniz cinema, the Teatro Cervantes and the Palacio Episcopal- the festival will include 'Mafiz', the Málaga Festival Industry Zone, which is based on the Palmeral de las Sorpresas in Malaga port so visitors can discover more about this “Mediterranean and luminous city”, as Juan Antonio Vigar describes it.
This year the festival organisers wanted to highlight the work of female filmmakers, especially as their presence in this industry is still minimal. In the different sections, 37 per cent of the films selected have been directed by women, as have 11 of the 17 documentaries.
With regard to tributes, costume designer Paco Delgado will be presented with the Ricardo Franco prize; actress Mónica Randall will receive the Biznaga Ciudad del Paraíso; director Rodrigo Sorogoyen will be awarded the Premio Eloy la Iglesia; while 'Un hombre llamado Flor de Otoño', by Pedro Olea, is this year's Gold Film.
Vigar says this year's official selection includes well-known names as well as young filmmakers with a different and more contemporary views.
Among the entries this year are 'Las leyes de la termodinámica', by Mateo Gil; 'La voz del silencio' (Brazil), by André Ristum; 'Ana de día', by Andrea Jaurrieta; 'Benzinho' (Brazil), by Gustavo Pizzi; 'Casi 40', by David Trueba; 'El mundo es suyo', by Alfonso Sánchez; 'Formentera Lady', by Pau Durá; and 'Invisible' (Argentina), by Pablo Georgelli.
The official section will also include 'La reina del miedo' (Argentina-Denmark), by Valeria Bertuccelli; 'Las distancias', by Elena Trapé; 'Los adioses' (Mexico), by Natalia Beristain; 'Los buenos demonios' (Cuba), by Gerardo Chijona; 'Memorias de un hombre en pijama', by Carlos Fernández de Vigo; 'Mi querida cofradía', by Marta Díaz de Lope, and 'No dormirás', by Gustavo Hernández.
The festival has more Twitter followers than any other in Spain (over 94,000) and the event, which lasts for ten days, is expected to attract tourists from all over the world. Those already in the city by chance will also get caught up in activities, with red carpets laid around the city (the largest on Calle Larios, alongside a public photo exhibition) providing plenty of selfie opportunities.
Tickets for a number of screenings and the gala events are available to the general public and can be purchased through the festival's website (festivaldemalaga.com).