The London Spanish Film Festival (LSFF) is back for its 17th edition, which will take place between the 23nd to the 29th of September at Ciné Lumière. The programme offers a unique selection of the finest cinema recently produced in Spain, including two special focuses on Catalan cinema and Basque cinema.
In 2009 the LSFF created the so-called Catalan Window, a section with recent Catalan productions that has become a benchmark event in the presentation of Catalan films and directors, producers and actors to the British public.
The 13th Catalan Window will include the following four films (all of them UK premieres):
Sentimental (The People Upstairs), directed by Cesc Gay (2020, Imposible Films)
With Javier Cámara, Griselda Siciliani, Alberto San Juan, Belén Cuesta.
Ana and Julio are a couple and apparently they spend most of their time together arguing. Their neighbours Salva and Laura seem to spend their time having noisy sex, reason for which Julio is extremely annoyed when Ana invites them for dinner. During the turbulent evening secrets, fears and insecurities come to the surface, everything spiced up by witty dialogues written by the director, Cesc Gay. The result is a highly enjoyable and intimate comedy exploring the complexities of modern relationships.
Screening: Thu 23 Sep, 8.30pm
La reina de los lagartos (The Queen of Lizards), directed by Burnin’ Percebes (Juan González and Nando Martínez) (2019, Burnin’ Percebes, Aquí y Allí Films)
With Javier Botet, Bruna Cusí, Miki Esparbé.
Berta, an independent and determined single mother, and Javi, an alien, are getting ready to end their summer love affair as a spaceship should come to pick him up soon. However the spaceship does not appear and Berta starts wondering her options as she faces a steady relationship. La reina de los lagartos is a memorable, absurd love story beautifully shot in Super-8 in a surprising and unconventional way.
Screening: Fri 24 Sep, 4.45pm / Sat 25 Sep, 4.30pm
Un blues para Teheran (Tehran Blues), directed by Javier Tolentino (2020, Eddie Saeta, Quatre Films)
With Golmehr Alami, Sina Derakhshan, Pezhman Dishad.
By the hand of Erfan, a young Kurdish man who sings, writes poetry and wants to be a film director, we will visit some of Iran’s remote corners discovering a truly sophisticated culture through its music and people. Tehran Blues, Tolentino’s debut film, has been produced by the always surprising Luis Miñarro. Tolentino is one of Spain’s most established journalists and film critics and this documentary is a poem devoted to an ever present culture that cannot be neither effaced nor ignored.
Screening: Sun 26 Sep, 4.10pm
Chavalas (Girlfriends), directed by Carol Rodríguez Colás (2021, Promarfi Futuro 2010, Balance Media)
With Vicky Luengo, Carolina Yuste, Elisabet Casanovas, Cristina Plazas, José Mota.
After an initial stint as a professional photographer, jobless Marta finds herself having to go back to live with her parents in a suburban flat in the working class neighbourhood she grew up in. There she finds her childhood girlfriends Desi, Soraya and Bea, with whom she shared a very special bond in their teenage years. Benefiting from the fresh performances of the actresses, Carol Rodríguez Colás’s first feature film is a honest and tragicomic take on friendship and roots through the life decisions Marta takes to become the woman she wants to be.
Screening: Tue 28 Sep, 8.45pm
Since the 2016 edition, the LSFF became a competitive festival, but an exception is made with films by directors who already have a well-established international recognition. The jury that will award the prize for the best film this year is made up of Dena Blakeman from New Wave Films, the artist and filmmaker Nina Danino and the Italian writer and lecturer Paolo Nelli.
Three out of the four Catalan films presented this year will run in the competition: Sentimental, La reina de los lagartos and Chavalas.
Full programme in the festival website
LSFF’s Catalan Window has the support of Institut Ramon Llull.