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Strong Latino line-up at Spanish Film Festival

by Bernard O'Shea

Latin America is well represented at Australia’s 2023 Spanish Film Festival, providing one-third of the content and four-sevenths of the parties/special events in the festival’s 25th anniversary year.

There are two films each from Mexico and  Uruguay, and Colombia’s most recent Oscar submission, The Kings of the World/Los reyes del mundo (pictured above), promises to be one of the highlights. But the undisputed king of Latin America at this year’s festival is Argentina, which has six films grouped together in a special category entitled Spotlight on Argentina.

The giants of Latin American film production

“After Spain, Argentina is the second strongest producer of Spanish language movies, so it was a natural move to have a spotlight on Argentine cinema,” says Palace Cinemas chief executive, Benjamin Zeccola. “In 2022, Argentina released 230 local films versus 173 from Brazil and 88 from Mexico, which are the other production powerhouses of Latin America.”

But it seems there’s another reason for Argentina’s strong showing. “The Argentinian accent sounds so cool, we just want to hear more of it,” he says.

A bearded man and a dark-haired woman looking stressed and anxious outside a building

Four’s A Crowd was a big hit in Spain

Two of the best

I asked Benjamin which films he was particularly pleased to have secured for the festival from a) Spain itself, and b) from Latin America. Here are his picks.

From Spain: “I’m particularly excited about Four’s A Crowd (El Quarto Pasajero). It’s a wild romantic comedy that’s packed with laughs, sharp dialogue and eclectic characters… A story of romance on the road that takes a dark turn. It was a big hit in Spain!”

A Singular Crime is set in Argentina, 1980

From Latin America: “I also loved A Singular Crime (Un Crimen Argentino). If you like films such as The Usual Suspects,  this is one for you. It’s a gripping, true-crime thriller based on a bestselling book with a dream cast in search of truth in the face of police corruption and government interference.”

For more on all 32 films screening at the festival in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Byron Bay throughout June and July, go to the 2023 Spanish Film Festival website. M5R

See also

Tasty start to 2023 Spanish Film Festival

Tapas, tequila, and live flamenco dancing: viva the SpanishFilmFest!

As Bestas (The Beasts) triumphs at 2023 Goya Awards

Photos courtesy of Palace Cinemas/Spanish Film Festival

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