‘Y Tu Mamá También’ star graces Spanish film fest
SUBLIMINAL - Carlomar Arcangel Daoana (The Philippine Star) - October 6, 2015 - 10:00am

Film enthusiasts who have encountered her smoldering presence in such films as Y Tu Mamá También and Pan’s Labyrinth now have the chance to see Maribel Verdú in the flesh as she formally opens Pelicula-Pelikula: 2015 Spanish Film Festival, the almost month-long showcase of Spanish films that makes it the biggest in Asia.

“We’re thrilled that she’s coming and I think that the audience will enjoy (her company),” says Carlos Madrid, director of Instituto Cervantes, the cultural arm of the Embassy of Spain. “She has a very charming personality. And her movies, they’re really something to see. They’re really intense.”

For Pelicula-Pelikula, which runs from Oct. 8 to 18 at Greenbelt 3 cinemas, Maribel will introduce her latest film, Felices 140, which revolves around her character Ella, who gets a windfall of 140 million euros from winning the lottery. In her country house she gathers together select family and friends to tell them the news. From then on, their interaction changes, disrupting the delicate balance of their relationships. Festival-goers will have the opportunity to meet her and ask her questions in the open forum during the Oct. 9 screening.

Born in Madrid on Oct. 2, 1970, Maribel has worked with some of the best directors in Spanish cinema, such as José Luis Garci in Canción de Cuna, Bigas Luna in Huevos de Oro, Fernando Trueba in the Academy Award-winning film Belle Époque, Carlos Saura in Goya en Burdeos and Gonzalo Suárez in Oviedo Express.

She, however, was propelled to worldwide fame with her collaborations with Alfonso Cuaron (Y Tu Mamá También), Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) and Francis Ford Coppola (Tetro). In 2008, Maribel received the Best Actress Award for her role in Siete Mesas de Billar Francés from the Goya Awards, the most important Spanish award-giving body in excellence for film.

Another highlight of the festival is Spanish journalist Ramón Vilaró, who will present his film, De aliados a masacrados (2014) on Oct. 12, 9:30 p.m. The documentary sheds light on how the Filipino-Spanish population of Manila was decimated during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines during the Second World War.

The following day, Oct. 13, the Czech filmmaker Lenka Kny will present her comedy Milagro en Praga (2013) and have an open forum after the screening, which is co-presented by the Embassy of Mexico and the Embassy of the Czech Republic. The romantic comedy film is about two families, a Mexican family and a Czech family, who cross paths in Prague over the Christmas holidays.

Aside from the films mentioned, other movies that the audience can look forward to will also showcase a range of genres: from romance and comedy (Ocho Apellidos Vascos, Tres Bodas de Más, Gente en Sitios) to documentary (Paco de Lucía, La Plaga), suspense (Relatos Salvajes) and drama (Hermosa Juventud, Artico).

Presented by Instituto Cervantes, the Embassy of Spain-AECID, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and Intramuros Administration, the festival will have a second leg in Intramuros, from Oct. 19 to 25 at the NCCA Building. Alongside the film screening will be the “Spanish Cinema in 20 Posters,” an exhibition of posters of some of Spain’s most emblematic films, from the 1953 film Bienvenido Míster Marshall to the 2012 film Blancanieves.

Festival-goers should not miss the Audience Choice Award. During the festival run, attendees will be given stubs with which they can rate the movies they have seen. For every five movies, members of the audience qualify to join the raffle where they get a chance to win a round-trip ticket to Spain and other exciting prizes.

“Pelicula-Pelikula has become, in its merits, pretty much a feature of the cultural landscape of not only Manila, but the Philippines,” says the Spanish Ambassador Luis Antonio Castaño. “This is very important because it’s a part of a series of activities that takes the focus on our cooperation in film between the FDCP and the cultural institutions and authorities of Spain. I’m very proud to say that we are committed to continuing this line of cooperation because if there’s something that unites us, it’s our cultural legacy.”



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For the schedule, line-up of films and further information on the festival, visit the official website of Instituto Cervantes at www.manila.cervantes.es.

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