on the 2019 Spanish Film Festival

The Spanish Film Festival is hitting Palace Cinemas screens once again, although this time combining the films from the Cine Latino Film Festival - previously a standalone joint.  


We sat down with it's festival spokesperson, Paulette Avizu, to talk about the festival, spanish film, and much more. 


Jacob: Tell us a little bit about the Spanish Film Festival.

Paulette: This is our 22nd Spanish Film Festival, opening next week. The festival is playing at Palace Cinemas in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Hobart and Byron Bay. This year we are combining our Cine Latino Festival with our Spanish Film Festival, to have a bigger and stronger festival. We have 32 films in the line-up, divided between films from Spain and Latin America. We also have a section of films directed by women, with 11 films, so it’s a real spotlight on female directors.

Jacob: What is so different and exciting about Spanish Film?

Paulette: All these Spanish films and films from Latin America, they are telling stories from different sides of the world and maybe they are stories that people in Australia are not so familiar with. The stories they tell or even the storytelling itself is very different from Hollywood films or even Australian films. We think it is really important that people be exposed to these stories. With Australia being so multicultural, it is great to have a glimpse of what is happening on the other side of the world and I think it is great for everyone to understand each other a little better.


It is interesting to see these stories from a different part of the world; the stories are quite different to those told here, but at the same time there are some universal truths that audiences in Australia relate to.

Jacob: What do you look for when including a film in the Festival?

Paulette: We look for films which have been in the biggest festivals around the world; we’re looking for critically acclaimed films, films which have premiered at Berlin or Cannes or Vienna. But at the same time we are looking for diversity of films; different and diverse stories.


We have really good thrillers as part of the program. The Spanish film industry is really good at producing thrillers. We’ve also got great comedies and we are closing with the 30th anniversary of Pedro Almodovar’s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. We’re looking for new films coming out of the region, as well as classics and even documentaries for people that are interested in the culture and learning more about the culture.


It’s a really big program; it’s a really strong program with great thrillers, documentaries, drama and comedy. We’re just really looking for diversity.

Jacob: What should people make a beeline for?

Paulette: If you enjoy thrillers, then definitely The Realm. It’s a really good thriller, it has won seven Goya Awards.. It really is an unmissable political thriller and is winning awards everywhere. We also have our opening night film, Champions, which is a really feel good film and also won the best film at Goya Awards. Those two would be the highlight.


We also have a great drama Yuli, which is based on the Cuban legendary ballet dancer, which people should check out.

Jacob: What do you want people to take away from the Festival?

PauletteCuriosity. We want people to come to the festival and be curious and come back to these events or see another film. We’re trying to awaken that sense of curiosity and interest about the film industry of Spain and Latin America, and even maybe encourage them to travel or be exposed to the culture.

The Spanish Film Festival is playing at Palace Cinemas in April and May.

For more information, and to explore the rest of the amazing Spanish Film Festival Program, click the banner below.