Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival returns for its 10th edition

What’s On Edinburgh

Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival returns for its 10th edition

Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival returns for its 10th edition on the big screen in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Inverness from 30th September to 26th October 2023.

The Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival (ESFF) welcomes film fans from all over Scotland to its 10th edition. The festival is delighted to offer cinema screenings and cultural events featuring a total of 17 films, including seven debut features from Spain and Latin America, offering something for all ages and tastes. This anniversary edition will take place across Glasgow, Stirling, Edinburgh and Inverness from the 30th September until the 26th October.

This year, ESFF devotes a special section in its programme to commemorate the Spanish transition to democracy, the historical period between 1975 and 1982 also known in Spain simply as La Transición. We start with Carlos Saura’s quintessential Raise Ravens (1976), one of the best examples of cinema made during this historic period. It also serves as a posthumous tribute to the legacy of the Spanish director who passed away earlier this year.

We continue our exploration of La Transición with contemporary titles from up-and-coming Spanish directors. Alberto Rodríguez explores the collective fight for a general amnesty for Franco-era prisoners in Prison 77 (2022). Silvia Munt justifies the fight for feminist activists in the Basque Country, and the awakening of lesbian love, with In the Company of Women (2023). Alejandro Marín similarly conveys the discrimination faced by the first openly queer activists in Andalusia with a comic twist in his feature film debut The Craziest Love (2023). All these films celebrate the spirit of resistance and resilience of post-Francoist Spain that lives on through today’s plural and multicultural Spanish society.

Following our commitment to showcase emerging filmmakers from Spain and Latin America, we are pleased to introduce Avelina Prat with Vasil (2022), a comedy centred on a Bulgarian immigrant in Valencia, and Álvaro Gago with the female-led, working-class drama Matria (2022) based on the coast of Galicia. From Peru we have Víctor Checa and his unexpected steampunk sci-fi The Shape of Things to Come (2022), and from Bolivia Alejandro Loayza and his contemplative rural drama Utama (2022). Our last film debut, and the festival’s closing title, is 20,000 Species of Bees (2023) by Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren, a poignant drama centred on a trans child’s quest for identity and acceptance in the Basque Country.

This year’s programme includes an unprecedented spotlight on the sexual life of a person with cerebral palsy with Fernando Franco’s The Rite of Spring (2022), a drama that also involves a surprising sense of humour. You can also find great examples of contemporary Spanish comedy with Stories Not To Be Told (2022), the latest ensemble-led hit from established auteur Cesc Gay, and Not Such An Easy Life (2023), a tale of a family with a lost, mid-live crisis father, by up-and-coming director Félix Viscarret.

Our audiences will also be thrilled with a second chance to catch three of the most recent Spanish commercial and critical hits: Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s powerful rural thriller The Beasts (2022), Alauda Ruiz de Azúa’s debut film, the poignant family drama Lullaby (2022), and Fernando León de Aranoa’s sharp corporate satire The Good Boss (2021). Parents and their children will also be able to enjoy the latest Spanish family hit The Kids Are Alright 2 (2022) directed by Inés de León.


Professor Nuria Capdevilla (director) will present three new shorts from her ongoing project CartasVivas which showcases the memories of twentieth-century Spanish women whose lives and work have remained largely unrecognized. On this occasion the shorts revolve around three Spanish women who were ardent defenders of women’s education and who had to flee Spain at the start of the Spanish Civil War.

We are proud to host a creative writing masterclass by Ignacio Martínez de Pisón, one of the most prolific writers on the Spanish transition. The subject of writing stories embedded in historical contexts. This will be followed by a screening of Backroads (1997), adapted from Pisón’s homonymous novel by the author himself and directed by Spanish auteur Emilio Martínez Lázaro.

In collaboration with the Cervantes Chair, an extension of the Cervantes Institute in Manchester at the University of Edinburgh, we will host a Wine Tasting event featuring a selection of six wines from prestigious Galician company Bodegas Martín Códax.

Marian A. Aréchaga, Director ESFF said:
“I am thrilled to be presenting the 10 anniversary of this Film Festival bringing the best of Spanish and Latin American film titles to Scotland. It has been, and is an incredible experience to share thoughts, views and ideas with directors, colleagues, students and wonderful interpreters who make the whole thing possible.”

For more detailed information about the films see: https://www.edinburghspanishfilmfestival.com/en/

Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival is supported by the Spanish Ministry of Culture, the Spanish Embassy in London, the University of Edinburgh, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and Screen Scotland.

Screening and Event Locations:
Edinburgh: Institut Français Écosse / French Institute of Scotland (W Parliament Square), Odeon (118 Lothian Rd), Central Library (George IV Bridge)
Glasgow: GFT (12 Rose St)
Stirling: Macrobert Arts Centre (University of Stirling)
Inverness: Eden Court Cinema (Bishops Rd)

Films: full price (£10), concession (£6)
Wine Tasting: full price (£35), concession (£28)