15 – 25 MARCH ’07
Now in its 13th year, ¡Viva! Spanish and Latin American Film Festival (March 15 – 25) returns to Cornerhouse, Manchester, with 10 action-packed days and nights of Hispanic film with many new features hitting UK screens for the first time. Sponsored by San Miguel and supported by the Instituto Cervantes Manchester, ¡Viva! is the largest Spanish language film festival in the UK. Featuring the best of Spanish and Latin American cinema, this year’s festival will showcase up to 100 Hispanic films, including new features, shorts and documentaries. The annual themed section will thrill audiences with an exciting line up of horror films and festival audiences will again have the opportunity to enjoy filmmaker Q & A’s and join in the excellent educational programmes.
Commenting on the 13th festival line-up, Festival Director Linda Pariser said: “As the recent academy award nominations have proven, Spanish and Latin American cinema is firmly on the map and we are delighted to show some of the very finest Hispanic films”.
One of this year’s most hotly-anticipated new features will be the UK premiere and Opening Night film Salvador (Puig Antich) directed by Manuel Huerga who will be attending this year’s festival. Starring Daniel Brühl, this film has been nominated for 11 Spanish Goya Awards this year including Best Film, Lead Actor and Adapted Screenplay. Based on the true story of Salvador Puig Antich, a young militant from the Iberian Liberation Movement who became the last political prisoner to be executed in Spain by the garrotte, the film follows the desperate attempts of his family, colleagues and lawyers to prevent his execution.
¡Viva! is proud to boast many UK premieres in its 2007 programme. Highlights include Un Franco, 14 pesetas (Crossing Borders) directed by Carlos Iglesias, Apaga y Vamanos (Switch Off) directed by Manuel Mayol, La Silla (The Chair) directed by Julio D. Wallovits, Los 2 lados de la cama (The Two Sides of the Bed) by Emilio Martínez Lázaro and Sábado, una pelicula en tiempo real (Saturday) by Matías Bize. Also for the first time this year, ¡Viva! has teamed up with Canana Films (set up by Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna) to present an exciting collection of Mexican documentaries from their travelling festival, Ambulante.
Taking a look at the dark side, the festival celebrates its 13th year with a provocative Horror sidebar, encompassing both brand new and classic Hispanic films. The Horror centrepiece Gala will be the UK premiere of Bosque de sombras (Backwoods) starring Gary Oldman and directed by Koldo Serra who will be in attendance at the festival. The horror strand will also premiere films from the series Películas para no dormir. Originally made for Spanish TV, the series is a specially commissioned collection of TV Horror Drama, directed by renowned Spanish directors of the genre such as Alex de la Iglesia. The series was spearheaded by director Narcisco Ibánez Serrador, whose cult horror film ¿Quién puede matar a un niño? will be shown in an uncut version during the festival.
Alex de la Iglesia, award-winning director and friend of the festival returns this year to celebrate the launch of the first book in English based on his work in collaboration with Manchester University Press.
Playing host to some of Spain and Latin America’s finest films this year, the ¡Viva! programme also includes La Noche de los girasoles (Night of the Sunflowers) directed by Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo nominated for four Goya Awards and AzulOscuroasiNegro (DarkBlueAlmostBlack) nominated for six Goyas following director Daniel Sánchez Arévalo’s success in Venice and Stockholm. A big hit in Cannes last year, ¡Viva! offers UK cinema goers an opportunity to catch El Violin, winner of the Un Certain Regard Award for Best Actor (Don Angel Tavira) directed by Francisco Vargas and Honor de cavalleria (Quixotic) directed by Albert Serra which featured in the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs. The festival will also screen Crónica de una fuga (Buenos Aires 1977) by Adrian Caetano, this year’s Oscar entry for Argentina.
¡Viva! ’07 boasts four exciting strands of brand new innovative short films establishing its reputation for showcasing new Spanish talent. Rodrigo Rodero director of Oscar-nominated Chatarra returns to the festival with his new short film 6 o 7 veranos, alongside Chilean animator Tomas Welss with his latest film Pasta. There will also be striking cinematography from the likes of Milagros Mumenthaler with his film Amancay and Borja Cobeaga with his film Éramos pocos, nominated for Best Live Action Short Film at this year’s Oscars.
Film fans unable to make it to Manchester can see this year’s highlights around the UK with the ¡Viva! Spanish and Latin American Film Festival Tour (22 March – 10 June). Dublin will also host a smaller version of ¡Viva!, showcasing up to 20 films from this and past editions of the main f

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