The London Spanish Film Festival 2020 will take place between 22 - 30 September inclusive plus a special presentation of the animation Ferdinand which was Spanish co-production on 3 October. All the films will be presented at the Ciné Lumière Cinema, Kensington, London.

This the 16th so the festival is well established though does tend to go under the radar when compared to other London based film festivals. Which is a shame as Spain has a long established, varied and thriving industry with world renowned writers, actors and directors.

This year there’s a solid selection of films, many of them UK premieres. They reflect a complicated country with an enthusiastic international outlook, as well as an everchanging and enlightened society that conversely at times appears to be struggling to come to terms with its recent-past and elements of its traditional values.

The festival opens with the London premiere of the country-crossing pursuit thriller Out in the Open (Intemperie) and closes with the Basque comedy Bye, Bye Mr Etxebeste about small time scandals, a Mayor’s efforts to outwit the system and getting far more than he bargained for when he puts forward his wife as his replacement.

Last year the festival opened with the acclaimed animation Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles. This year’ festival presents another animated bio Josep by the illustrator and writer Aurel about the life of the Catalan artist Josep Bartolí, as with …Turtles this too concentrates on very specific period in his life. Bunuel himself is represented by screenings of the classic, and at the time controversial, Tristana now 50 years old.

Others to look out for are While at War (Mientras Dure la Guerra) from Alejandro Amenabar set during the Spanish Civil War, and the dialogue driven The Invisibles (Invisibles) which delves into the problems for women in their 50’s in today’s society through the conversations of three friends. Ojos Negros is a coming of age story about Paula as she tries to establish new friendships, while dealing with complications within her family, over a summer in a remote rural town in Teruel.

A harder and emotive subject is confronted in 75 days (75 Dias) which recounts the murder of three girls in 1992 concentrating on the fallout of the act on the family and authorities. Once Again (Una Vez Mas) uses the beautiful backdrop of Seville to examine Spain’s international outlook against some very difficult national issues.

The festival is also competitive with the actors Greta Scacchi and Marco Gambino with novelist Peter Gutteridge making up the jury who will deliberate and decide the best film.

Further details about the films and tickets – which are available now – can be found at: www.londonspanishfilmfestival.com.

The still is taken from Once Again (Una Vez Mas) directed by Guillermo Rojas.

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