Instituto Cervantes’ PELÍCULA-Spanish Film Festival Goes Online

The 19th edition of PELÍCULA Spanish Film Festival, which runs until Oct. 11, features the best of contemporary Spanish cinema. Presented by Instituto Cervantes and the Embassies of Spain in the Philippines, Thailand and Australia, the 2020 Spanish Film Festival screens online eight feature films and four short films.

 Since its conception in 2002 by Instituto Cervantes de Manila, the Spanish Film Festival has been an annual attraction in Philippine cinemas. The Covid-19 crisis has posed the greatest challenge in the history of the Festival, and PELíCULA responds by offering online screenings and webinars. Even better, PELíCULA is expanding to two other countries, covering thus three countries in the region: the Philippines, Thailand and Australia.

Each movie will be available for viewing for free at for 24 hours, starting at 6:00 p.m. (in the Philippines and Thailand) and 8:00 p.m. (in Australia), on the programmed screening date.

The Festival opens today with La filla d’algú (2019), a film directed by eleven students from the Escuela Superior de Cine y Audiovisuales de Cataluña. Other movies in this year’s line-up are El increíble finde menguante (Jon Mikel Caballero, 2019), the comedy Asamblea (Alex Montoya, 2019), and dramas like Jaulas (Nicolás Pacheco, 2018), and Arima (Jaione Camborda, 2019). Likewise, there are documentaries such as Mudar la piel (Ana Schulz and Cristóbal Fernández, 2018), and El cuadro (Andrés Sanz, 2019). 

PELÍCULA also features Latin American cinema, with one film from Costa Rica, El despertar de las hormigas (Antonella Sudassasi, 2019).

Aside from online screenings, webinars and online discussions conducted with the participation of the directors of the films featured in the Festival. On Oct. 5, there will be a round-table discussion about “Marketing Asian Cinema in Europe and Spanish Cinema in Asia”; and on Oct. 9, the directors of Spanish, Thai and Filipino major film festivals will hold a discussion to answer the question: “Any Future for Film Festivals?”. These may be accessed free of charge through the site

Encounters through short films

The Tagalog word "pelikula" comes from the Spanish “película” (film), which is proof of the deep cultural ties shared between the Philippines and Spain. With this spirit in mind, since its first editions, PELÍCULA had among its main objectives to organize joint Spanish-Filipino programs which could foster dialogue and joint projects between filmmakers from the Philippines and the Spanish-speaking world.

Under a similar approach, on Oct.10, PELÍCULA will offer "En corto: Short Films from the Philippines, Thailand, Australia and Spain", in which four recent short films, one from each country, will be featured, and their directors will take part in an online discussion afterwards.

Audience Choice Award

Last but not least, film buffs should not miss the yearly “Audience Choice” Award. Established in 2004, the Premio del Público (Audience Choice Award) recognizes in each edition the film that PELíCULA viewers have voted as the best of the Festival. It is a very popular feature of the Festival among the attending public and that we will maintain in 2020, adapting it to the new condition of online festival. Viewers will be given stubs where they can rate the movie they have seen online. The winning movie will be screened once again on Oct. 11, 6:00 p.m., at the Festival’s platform .

PELÍCULA is presented by Instituto Cervantes, the Embassies of Spain in the Philippines, Thailand, and Australia, AECID, with the collaboration of the ICAA, the Maala Film Festival, the Film Development Council of the Philippines, the UP Film Institute, and Intramuros Administration.

For the schedule, film details and further information on the Festival, please visit, or , or the Facebook page of Instituto Cervantes:

Topics: Pelicula , Spanish Film Festival
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