More Than 15000 British Students Get a Taste of Spanish Cinema

Trans. by Tom Wood

The collaboration between Veo en Español, an online portal of Spanish cinema run by Acción Educativa Exterior (Educational Action Abroad), and the tenth edition of the Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival (ESFF) has allowed the festival’s schools programme to be made available to primary and secondary schools all around the UK for the first time.

In October 2023, the Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival celebrates its tenth edition and, as usual, the Spanish Ministry of Education in the UK and Ireland is collaborating with the festival. This is an annual event which was founded in order to share Spanish films with people in Edinburgh and around Scotland. The festival includes a specific selection of films – its schools programme – for children and young people of school age alongside a series of teaching materials.

In recent editions, the general programming of the festival has combined in-person screenings with titles available online and, this year, goes a step further thanks to the collaboration between ESFF and the online platform Veo en español, who have included two titles from this edition of the festival in their online selection. This has allowed the festival’s schools programme to be offered further across Scotland and even reach schools in all corners of the UK.

The titles available on Veo en español which have been included in the ESFF programme are Los futbolísimos( The Footballest), aimed at pupils between 9 and 12 years old, and Rara (Weird), for those between 13 and 17. The programme has been offered for free to all British schools, with a unique code being sent to interested teachers for them to watch the films online with their students in the week of October 2nd – 6th. As well as the access code, they have received a folder of materials about the film to work through with their pupils, looking both at the language and the values being represented on screen.

This scheme has received a lot of interest, with more than 600 primary and secondary schools signing up to enjoy Spanish cinema from their classrooms.

The schools programme also makes up a part of the new edition of CartasVivas, a project run by the University of Exeter and the Santander Foundation which recovers the legacy of women with important stories from the history of the 20th century. The 2023 edition includes CartasVivas from Margarita Comas Camps (scientist and educator), Carmen de Zulueta (professor and writer), and Irene Claremont de Castillejos (psychoanalyst and writer). These CartasVivas were screened in Edinburgh on the 6th of October for pupils in their last year of sixth form from schools in Scotland and the north of England.

This effort to bring Spanish cinema to young people that study Spanish in the UK has been rewarded with an excellent response and interest received from schools. This year, also thanks to the collaboration with Acción Educativa Exterior (Education Action Abroad)’s online portal Veo en español, it has been possible to widen access to the festival’s schools programme to British institutions in any part of the UK, a project which has laid the groundwork for future editions.