Now in it’s 19th year, the annual Latin and Spanish film festival boasts new filmmaking from across all genres, with works chosen from eight countries including Nicaragua, Uruguay, Colombia and Chile. Alongside the array of films, this year’s festival includes informal Café discussions for those who fancy practising their Spanish, and Q and A’s with selected guests. The upstairs art gallery also presents the work of Yoshua Okón’s in his exhibition Octopus. The programme will be ongoing at the Cornerhouse Cinema in Manchester until Sunday 24th March. Front Row Reviews will be reviewing a range of drama, comedies and documentaries throughout the festival.
Hand picked as highlights by the Cornerhouse include the spirited Spanish comedy La Vida Empieza Hoy; the internationally acclaimed drama Infancia clandestina and Andrés Wood’s affecting biopic Violeta se fue a los cielos. Front Row Reviews are looking forward to following:
Pescador, (Fisherman) a film which won Best Director and Best Actor at the Guadalajara International Film Festival, about a fisherman living in a tiny village on the coast of Ecuador whose life turns around when he comes across a shipment of cocaine packages washed up on the shore.
Una Vida sin palabras (A Life Without Words), a documentary about young deaf adults in rural Nicaragua who learn how to communicate via sign language for the first time.
La Voz dormida (The Sleeping Voice), Benito Zambrano’s (Habana Blues) latest film based on the novel by the late author Dulce Chacón, which won the 2003 Spanish Book of the Year. Set after the Spanish Civil War, it focuses on the fate of two sisters. Pregnant Hortensia has been imprisoned due to her political activism, her younger sister Pepita approaches danger as she attempts to resue her from the firing squad.
La Chispa de la vida (As Luck Would Have It) Selma Hayek and José Mota star in this drama about Roberto, an out of work publicist who becomes impaled on a local monument. He seizes the opportunity to save himself from financial ruin by agreeing for his ordeal to be filmed and publicized.
Medianeras (Sidewalls), a romantic drama set in Buenos Aires that centres around Martin and Mariana, young people living separate lives but linked in their suffering of urban loneliness and failing attempts to reach out and connect with others. A debut feature by Gustavo Taretto.
Después de Lucía (After Lucia), takes place after the death of Lucía in a car accident. Her husband Roberto and daughter Alejandra move to Mexico City to begin a new life as they are haunted by their grief. Alejandra finds herself to be a vulnerable target for bullying, and struggles to communicate her troubles with her father. It was the Mexican submission to the Oscars, won the Un Certain Regard at Cannes, and the Silver Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival.
For more information on the ¡Viva! festival, visit the Cornerhouse website.