Catalan Film Festival Opens in Scotland

The eighth Catalan Film Festival has opened, at various locations across Scotland, running from 21 January - 15 February.

We believe cinema can change the world

Various locations, Scotland ( January 20, 2023 ) -

Film enthusiasts across Scotland will be able to enjoy a feast of delights with the eighth Catalan Film Festival. Held at venues in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee from January 21 – February 15, the festival celebrates the strong cinema tradition of the region.

The festival has a strong social element – with food, discussion and meet ups, alongside a programme of world beating cinema. The programme is available online from February 16.

Director Rafael Cueto said: “The programme we have this year is amazing. We have eight feature films, including six UK premieres. The films are wonderful, varied and some, particularly ‘Alcarràs’ and ‘Pacifiction’ have already won several major international awards. “We also have a great programme of ten short films – which are all premieres.”

Scottish audiences will also have the chance to meet and discuss film with Catalan film makers including Adrian Silvestre and Meritxell Colell, who will also be working with young film makers in Craigmillar. The festival begins onSaturday January 21 at St Peter’s Church Hall, Edinburgh with an opening night party, which combines a programme of innovative short films and a tapas dinner with a demonstration of Catalan human towers by the Colla Castellera d’Edinburgh.

Because of the closure of the Edinburgh Filmhouse, the Catalan Film Festival has had to find new venues. This year the Traverse, Summerhall, St Peter’s Church Hall and the Tapas 3 restaurant are all being used as pop up cinemas. The festival has also moved its running time from November- December to January -February to suit cinema audiences. The programme begins in Edinburgh, moves to Glasgow and then Dundee before returning to the capital for the closing party.

Rafael Cueto says: “Of course the loss of the Filmhouse in Edinburgh is a real blow – but we have had some great support from places like Summerhall and the Traverse – and we will also be trying new venues like Tapas3, which will be transforming its flamenco studio into a cinema.”

Films are in Catalan, Spanish and French, with English subtitles. Over the last decade the Catalan Film Festival has built up a dedicated following, with a lively international mix of Scottish-based cinephiles.

Programme co-ordinator Alberto Valberde said: “This has been a remarkable year for Catalan film. The film ‘Alcarràs’ by Carla Simon won the Golden Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival – the first time a Catalan language film has won.

“We are also showing “Pacifiction” a French language film by Catalan film maker Albert Serra, a three hours long apocalyptic film set in French Tahiti which was awarded best film by the international critics of Cahiers de Cinema. It’s a beautiful art house film which is as gripping as a thriller.

“We have an incredibly diverse programme, with documentaries, drama, edgy and experimental films with a strong radical flavour.” The programme includes ‘El Sostre Groc’ – The Yellow Ceiling, a film by Isabel Coixet about the ‘Me Too’ case that took part in a Catalan theatre company. Also included is ‘Mi Vacio Y Yo’ – ‘My Emptiness and I’ by Adrian Silvestre about the search of a transgender woman for love.

D’Ombres, a study of revered cinematographer Tomas Pladevall, is a real cinema lover’s treat – an ode to light and the art of film making.  One Year One Night, by Isaki De La Cuesta is a drama based on the terrorist attack at the Bataclan venue in Paris.

Marc Dueñas, of the Institut Ramon Lull, which supports the festival and promotes Catalan culture around the world said: “There are other windows on Catalan cinema in other British festivals, but Scotland’s CFF is the only one devoted entirely to current and classic Catalan cinema.

“CinemAattic, which presents the Catalan Film Festival has managed to capture and show the great creativity of recent Catalan cinema, allowing Scottish audiences to discover or confirm its uniqueness and universality.”

Director of CinemaAttic Rafael Cueto said: “We are not just enthusiastic about film – we really believe it has the potential to change the world.”

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