Film Festivals

Película: 10th Spanish Film Festival

Instituto de Cervantes celebrates the 10th anniversary of Pelicula Spanish Film Festival by bringing 26 multi-awarded Spanish and Latin American films for this year’s festival. Pelicula runs from October 5 to 16 at Greenbelt 3 Cinema 1.

Aside from movie screening, there will also be photo exhibits and the events will be graced by special guests. The organizers will also be giving great goodies- an invite to the inauguration night, a shirt, a tumbler and others. Check their page where they’ll be posting questions from time to time. Admission is P65 for each film.

El secreto de sus ojos (The Secret in their Eyes), 2009

Director: Juan José Campanella

Country: Argentina

Genre: Thriller-Drama

Benjamín Espósito is a judicial employee who is about to retire and decides to write a novel about a criminal case that happened years ago, and to which he witnessed. His obsession with the brutal murder that occurred in 1975, he relives those years, bringing to mind not only the violent crime or the perpetrator but also a profound love story with his colleague whom he has silently loved for years. Writing the book about the murder, leads him to investigate his own past and a period of Argentina’s history marked by violence and death and where nothing was what it seemed to be.

Mar adentro ( The Sea Inside), 2004

Director: Alejandro Amenabar

Country: Spain

Genre: Drama

This film is based on the real story of the Spanish quadriplegic Ramón Sampredo, who for 30 years fought towards dying with dignity. After an accident left him disabled, his only wish since was to put an end to his life. Despite being bedridden, his great personality and generosity make two very different women eager to help him achieve his goal.

Fuera de carta (Chef’s Special)2008

Director: Nacho G. Velilla

Country: Spain

Genre: Comedy

Maxi thinks his life is unfolding perfectly. However, when he meets his two sons, born from a marriage for convenience, as well as a new neighbor, an attractive former football player from Argentina, his entire life breaks down into pieces compelling him to review his hierarchy of values.


Director: Andrucha Waddington

Genre: Drama | Biographical

Country: Spain

A film about the early years of the famous spanish poet and playwright Lope de Vega (1562-1635). Set in 16th century Spain, a young Lope returns from the war ready to settle down in Madrid. Just as his passion for verses and theater grow, two women enter his life, one is a successful businesswoman while the other a noble and a dreamer. Along with this love comes the adventure of being chased by justice and bandits that will force him to escape to Lisbon, where a grand naval army, about to make history, is being organized.

La zona (The Zone), 2007

Director: Rodrigo Plá

Genre: Thriller | Drama

Country: Mexico

The film revolves around an armed assault and the hunting down of a man. It is a story about a broken society; of two worlds that live in hatred and in fear of each other. Alejandro is a young man, living in a closed residential zone, self-sufficient and with a strong private security system. Just like the rest of the residents, him and his family live in fear of violence, the lack of law and the growing crime rate and believe that this is the last safe place. One morning, three intruders manages to enter the area to rob a house and in the process, kill an old lady. Two of the intruders are killed by the private guards, while the third one is able to escape and remains at-large inside the area. After a rough deliberation and aware of the existing corruption and inefficiency, most of the residents decide to take matters in their own hands.

La vergüenza (The Shame), 2009

Director: David Planell

Genre: Drama

Country: Spain

A well-to-do couple, who a year prior adopted an 8 year-old child with behavioral disorders, find that they are unable to control his behavior and life with him gradually turns into a living hell. They decide to contact their social worker in hopes of giving him back .But they soon realize that there’s a price to pay if they pursue this decision.

Mal día para pescar (Bad Day To Go Fishing)2009

Director: Álvaro Brechner

Genre: Comedy | Drama

Country: Uruguay

A former wrestling world champion and his manager travel from one town to another setting up exhibition matches hopeful that these would be able to bring back his glorious past. But when they arrive at the town of Santa Maria, events were to unfold in an unexpected fashion, beyond the control of these two go-getters/wanderers. Based on the short story “Jacob y el otro” penned by the Uruguayan writer/author Juan Carlos Onetti.

Buried (Enterrado)2010

Director: Rodrigo Cortés

Genre: Thriller | Drama

Country: Spain

A man working as a civil constructor in Iraq, wakes up to find himself in a wooden coffin, buried alive. He has no idea why or who put him there, he only has a cellphone and a lighter to help him escape. The lack of oxygen leaves him with only 90 minutes to escape this deadly trap.

Mil cretinos (A Thousand Fools), 2011

Director: Ventura Pons

Genre: Comedy | Drama

Country: Spain

The film is an adaptation of the book of Quim Moró. In it are 15 humorous stories, both contemporary and historical, that speak of love and hate, the daily arguments, old age, death, pain and human stupidity.

The Secret Life of Words (La vida secreta de las palabras)2005

Director: Isabel Coixet

Genre: Drama

Country: Spain

An isolated place in the middle of the sea: An oil railway, where only men work and where an unfortunate accident has occurred. One mysterious woman trying to forget the past, is brought to the railway to take care of a man that is temporarily blind. A strange intimicy forms between them, linked by secrets, truths, lies, humor and pain that none of them will leave unscathed and their lives will change forever.

En la ciudad sin límites (The City of No Limits), 2002

Director: Antonio Hernández

Genre: Drama

Country: Argentina / Spain

In the city without limits is a poignant family drama that is surrounded by mystery. Max, the patriach of a family and relevant entreprenuer who has been diagnosed with a tumor, decides to spend his last few days in Paris. His family, along with his youngest son Victor who has been away in Argentina for some years, go along with him. But the patient begins to act in a strange way, feels an imminent danger and begins to think there’s an underlying conspiracy behind it and that he needs to find a mysterious “Rancel”. His actions seem irrational as a result of dementia. While his family is focused on settling his assets, Victor becomes suspicious believing that there is a reason behind his father’s insanity and decides to help him out.

El Gran Vázquez (The Great Vázquez), 2010

Director: Óscar Aibar

Genre: Comedy | Biographical

Country: Spain

The film narrates the life of the spanish comics artist, Manuel Vázquez, who created characters such as the sisters Gilda, the Cebolleta family and Anacleto secret agent. In Barcelona, in the 60s, Vázquez enjoys the fame that comes with his characters appearing in the Editorial Brugera, a famous spanish publishing house. He lives his life the way he wants, he does not pay for anything, swindles his boss, manages to escape the creditors that pursue him and maintains simultaneous relationships with various women forming one family after the other. But with the arrival of a new accountant to the Editorial, everything changes.

Gordos (Fat People), 2009

Director: Daniel Sánchez Arévalo

Genre: Drama | Comedy

Country: Spain

The movie revolves around a therapy group for people that have problems with obesity. The objective of the therapy is not to lose weight but to figure out the cause of their immense weight gain and discover the reasons behind their dissatisfaction with their bodies.

Todas las canciones hablan de mí (Every Song Is About Me), 2010

Director: Jonás Trueba

Genre: Drama | Romance

Country: Spain

After years together, Ramiro and Andrea decide to end their relationship. Supported by his friends Ramiro tries to get over his break-up by making plans and focusing on his future, but all he really wants is to go back to Andrea who he is still madly in love with.


Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu

Genre: Drama

Country: Mexico

The films tells the story of Uxbal, a selfless father engaged in the trafficking of illegal immigrants, that after finding out that he suffers from terminal cancer sets out to improve the lives of his children as he struggles to reconcile with their spiritual feelings and guilt.

Yo, también (Me Too), 2009

Director: Álvaro Pastor, Antonio Naharro

Genre: Drama | Romance

Country: Spain

Daniel, a man with Down-syndrome recently graduated from college, starts to work in the public administration. There he meets Laura, a colleague, whom he falls in love with. Laura is a lonely woman who spends her nights in bars, escaping from her problems in the arms of strangers. Despite their incompatibility, they form a friendship that quickly grabs the attention of both their working environment and families.

Elsa y Fred (Elsa & Fred), 2005

Director: Marcos Carnevale

Genre: Comedy

Country: Argentina / Spain

Elsa is 82 years old, and for 60 of those years she lived dreaming of a moment that had already been dreamt by Fellini: The scene from La Dolce Vita in the Fontana di Trevi. Exactly the same, except that instead of Anita Ekberg, she played the part. Without Marcello Mastroiani but with a love that took years to come. Alfred is a little bit younger than Elsa, he had always been a good man that did exactly what he was told. After his wife’s death, he is left baffled and broken. As a result, his daughter forces him to move into a smaller apartment and there he meets Elsa.

También la lluvia (Even the Rain), 2010

Director: Icíar Bollaín

Genre: Drama

Country: Spain

Sebastián, a film director and Costa, a producer, move with their team to Cochabamba, Bolivia, to film a movie about Christopher Columbus and the discovery of America. Sebastián tries to depict Columbus as an oppressor and a greedy man while Costa’s main concern is to ensure that they remain within their limited budget. But filming begins to get compliclated when the famous Cochabamba Waters Wars, which took place in Bolivia in 2000, break out.

Amador, 2010

Director: Fernando León de Aranoa

Genre: Drama

Country: Spain

Marcela, a female immigrant with economic problems, is hired to work in the house of Amador, an old bedridden man. But after a couple of days Amador dies and leaves Marcela with a huge problem on her hands. Seeing as she can no longer be without a job, she is faced with a difficult moral dilemma.

Viridiana, 1961

Director: Luis Buñuel

Genre: Drama

Country: Spain

Viridana, a young novice who is about to take her final vows as a nun, decides to leave temporarily the convent to visit her uncle who subsequently paid for her studies. Don Jaime, an old and rich land owner, stunned after seeing his niece’s resemblance to his diseased wife, does everything in his power to keep her from going back.

Chico & Rita (Chico y Rita), 2010

Director: Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal, Tono Errando

Genre: Animation | Romance | Musical

Country: Spain

A passionate love story between a beautiful Singer and a pianist, one that brings them together and pulls them apart as they dance with their fate. The music is the great protagonist in this film as it highlights the golden age of Cuban jazz.

Primos (Cousins), 2011

Director: Daniel Sánchez Arévalo

Genre: Comedy | Romance

Country: Spain

After being left by his fiancée days before their wedding, Diego decides to go on a trip with his cousins to a little town they used to vacation in when they were younger. They go on a weekend filled with town festivities, the perfect plan to forget everything and try to regain a past love, Martina.

Morirse está en ebreo ( My Mexican Shivah), 2007

Director: Alejandro Springall

Genre: Comedy

Country: Mexico

After the sudden death of the grandfather Moishe, his family and friends gather to complete the 7 days of the Shivá. During this obligated confinement they realize the ties that actually bring them together and the secrets that have yet to be revealed. While all of this is happening, two angels contemplate on whether the soul of Moishe should be accompanied by the angels of light or by the angels of darkness.

Buenas noches, España (Good night, Spain), 2011

Director: Raya Martin

Genre: Drama

Country: Spain / Philippines

A spanish couple live out strange teleporting and psychedelic experiences that take them to a journey venturing into the spanish colonial past in the Philippines. Directed by the filipino filmmaker Raya Martin, one of the most controversial artists in recent years.

Didi Hollywood, 2010

Director: Bigas Luna

Genre: Drama

Country: Spain

Diana, a young aspiring actress, tired of working as a bartender at a nightclub and going to endless auditions without catching a break, decides to move to Miami to fulfill her dream of becoming a star. Her journey will change her both physically and personally as she discovers the struggles of climbing the steps to success.

Habitación en Roma (Room in Rome), 2010

Director: Julio Medem

Genre: Drama | Romance

Country: Spain

On one summer night, two women who barely know each other decide to spend the night together in a hotel in the center of Rome. One of which a spaniard, while the other is russian. The morning after, each woman goes back to where they belong. During their hours together, they will undress themselves and their souls will explore a different kind of feeling.

Screening schedule:

For more information about the event, go to or call Instituto Cervantes de Manila (526 1482).


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