Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival Returns with Screenings in Glasgow, Stirling, Edinburgh and Inverness

Kevin Fullerton | The List

Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival Returns with Screenings in Glasgow, Stirling, Edinburgh and Inverness

The festival will celebrate its tenth anniversary with films from Carlos Saura, Alberto Rodríguez, Silvia Munt and more 

The Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival (ESFF) has unveiled its programme for 2023, featuring vintage cinema alongside work from up-and-coming directors. The festival will take place across Scotland from Saturday 30 September until Thursday 26 October. Screenings will take place at Edinburgh’s Institut Français Écosse, the Odeon and the Central Library, Glasgow’s GFT, Stirling’s Macrobert Arts Centre and Inverness’ Eden Court Cinema.

Raise Ravens (1976)

Acting as both an effective retrospective of Spanish cinema and an examination of Spain’s La Transición era between 1975 and 1982 is a strand commemorating the country’s transition to democracy. It will feature Carlo Saura’s masterpiece Raise Ravens(1976), a remarkable portrait of youth that will also act as a tribute for the director who passed away earlier this year. Continuing the La Transición strand is Alberto Rodríguez’ Prison 77 (2022), which explores the fight for an amnesty for Franco-era prisoners; Silvia Munt’s In The Company Of Women (2023), tackling the fight for feminist activists in the Basque Country; and The Craziest Love (2023), a debut feature from Alejandro Marín which discusses the discrimination faced by the first openly queer activists in Andalusia.

As part of the festival’s showcase of emerging directors from Latin America and Spain comes Avelina Prat’s Vasil (2022), a comedy revolving around a Bulgarian immigrant in Valencia, and Álvaro Gago’s female-led, working-class drama Matria (2022). From Peru comes Víctor Checa’s steampunk sci-fi The Shape of Things to Come (2022), Bolivia Alejandro Loayza’s contemplative rural drama Utama (2022). The festival will close with Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren’s debut 20,000 Species of Bees (2023), a drama centred on a trans child’s quest for identity and acceptance in the Basque Country. 

Audiences will also be able to revisit some of Spain’s biggest commercial and critical hits from the past few years with Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s rural thriller The Beasts (2022), Alauda Ruiz de Azúa’s family drama Lullaby (2022), and Fernando León de Aranoa’s corporate satire The Good Boss (2021). Parents and children will also be able to enjoy Spanish family hit The Kids Are Alright 2 (2022), directed by Inés de León.  

Alongside the screenings will be special events including wine-tasting, a creative writing session, and a short film showcase exploring the twentieth-century Spanish women whose lives and work has remained largely unrecognized.

Marian A. Aréchaga, Director of 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.’