Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival was conceived in September 2013, when our Curator, Marian A. Aréchaga, a Senior Teaching Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and self-proclaimed ‘film buff’ identified a gap in Edinburgh’s film calendar and a niche for a Hispanic film event. Buoyed on by this vibrant, cultural city, always supportive of its art festivals and the growing interest and links around Hispanic culture in Scotland, the seed of the Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival was planted…
Initially Marian engaged with the Spanish Ministry of Culture to establish a relationship between them and the Hispanic Studies department at the University with the intention of setting up a cinema festival in Edinburgh. Mighty oaks from little acorns grow!
In January 2014 Patricia Rueda was appointed a Spanish Teaching Fellow at the University. With a background in film and media, she was keen to jump aboard and join forces. A partnership was formed within the Hispanic Studies Department to make the idea a reality. With French and Italian Film Festivals already established in the city, an Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival was conspicuous by its absence, given such a strong, large Spanish and Hispanic community in Edinburgh. We wanted to fill that void with a festival that covers a wide range of films for everyone, from the ‘first-timers’ and ‘foodies’ to the ‘fanatics’! We also saw it as a way to support and promote Spanish cinema, a rich cultural industry that has struggled to find funding in recent times.
We have been working hard for the last few years to make this festival happen and build on it year-on-year. We are enormously grateful to the University, colleagues and everybody that has worked with us over the last four years. We also want to thank Rod White and his team at the Filmhouse for providing a wonderful home for the festival each year, and for making the experience of organising an increasingly popular festival manageable. Finally, we are indebted to all our sponsors, without whom the Festival as we know it would not be possible.
A huge ‘thank you’ to all, and as we look ahead to our next edition – we hope to see you there!