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Posted by Dexter Matilla - - 0 comments

Text and photos by Dexter R. Matilla
For the Philippine Daily Inquirer
Year in and year out, several foreign-film festivals are held in Manila and sometimes, in the provinces.
One big hit with the masses is the Película Spanish Film Festival, now on its 10th year.
In a press conference, Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Jorge Domecq attributed the success of Película to several reasons, primarily due to the hardworking staff of Instituto Cervantes, which organizes it in cooperation with Ministerio de Cultura of Spain; Spanish Embassy of the Philippines; Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development; and Spanish Program for Cultural Cooperation.

Domecq cited as cooperators the Ayala Mall Cinemas; Film DevelopmentCouncil of the Philippines; Mexican Embassy in the Philippines; and the National Commission for Culture and Arts.
Domecq said there was a sense of familiarity Filipinos felt when watching Spanish films and television shows.
“The films bring to the Philippines a very accurate picture of what Spanish people go through nowadays,” he said.
Eduardo Calvo, the new director of  Instituto Cervantes de Manila, noted how extraordinary this year’s festival would be, which he said would have a stellar collection of over 20 awarded films from Spain and Latin America, including “Primos” (Cousins), “Yo, También” (Me, Too), and “Biutiful,” starring Javier Bardem.

Other films include “Lope,” a period drama following the life of Spanish playwright Lope de Vega; Bigas Luna’s “Didi Hollywood,”  about an aspiring actress who moves to Miami to try her luck; and “Buried,” which follows a US contractor who finds himself buried alive inside a coffin.
“The annual festival presents works by some of the most innovative and engaging artists from the Hispanic community for the local audience of film-lovers, journalists and film representatives to enjoy,” said Calvo.
For the 10th anniversary of Pelicula, all Audience Choice-winning films through the years will be shown, such as Alejandro Amenabar’s “Mar Adentro”; Isabel Coixet’s “La Vida Secreta de las Palabras” (The Secret Life of Words); and Nacho Velilla’s “Fuera de Carta.”
A photo exhibit (“Diez años de Pelicula”) will also be on display on the Greenbelt 3 ground floor, documenting the history of Película from its inauguration in 2002.
Película will formally open in an invitational affair on Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m., at Greenbelt 3 Cinema 1.
Opening film is “La Vergüenza” (The Shame), the controversial film about a couple who give back their adopted boy. The event will be graced by the presence of the film’s director, David Planell.
Regular run of all films, with English subtitles, will take place Oct. 5-16 at the Greenbelt 3 Cinemas. Specific schedules and ticketing information are available on

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