Digital Channel > ¡Viva!, HOME’s Spanish & Latin American Festival, Returns For Spring 2020

¡Viva!, HOME’s Spanish & Latin American Festival, Returns For Spring 2020

As the UK’s biggest celebration of new Spanish and Latin American cinema, HOME’s ¡Viva! Festival has been a key event in Manchester’s cultural calendar for over two decades. The much loved festival returns this March for its 26th year, with a specially selected programme of the most exciting work from across the Spanish-speaking world.

The festival includes a packed programme of 31 feature films and 10 short films from Spain and Spanish-speaking Latin America, including 15 UK premieres. There are also special events for language learners.

The festival opens on Friday 6 March with La Hija de un ladrón (A Thief’s Daughter), set in Barcelona, a powerful first feature which draws comparisons with the work of Ken Loach and the Dardenne brothers. Fresh from her Goya Award as Best New Director, Catalan filmmaker Belén Funes will be here on the Opening Night to introduce her film and chat with festival-goers in the bar afterwards, plus she’ll also be here to answer audience questions in the post-screening Q&A on Saturday 7 March.

The opening weekend continues with the return of some familiar names and faces, including Mientras dure la guerra (While at War), a big-budget historical drama set in 1936, at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, from Spanish director Alejandro Amenábar, best known for writing and directing The Others and The Sea Inside; and La Odisea de los giles (Heroic Losers), a feel-good comedy set during the 2001 financial crash in Argentina, from the prodigious Argentinian actor Ricardo Darín, who has surely featured somewhere in almost every ¡Viva! festival line-up.

In addition to the opening night guest director, we also welcome five other filmmakers to Manchester in March, three of whom are also first-time filmmakers. From Spain, Gabriel Velázquez returns to Manchester 13 years after his first visit to the festival with his folkloric, musical documentary Zaniki, and debut director Oriol Puig presents his Catalan coming-of-age story El Sitio de Otto.

The ¡Viva! film programme is curated by Rachel Hayward, Head of Film; Jessie Gibbs, ¡Viva! Festival Coordinator; and Andy Willis, Professor of Film Studies at the University of Salford and HOME’s Senior Visiting Curator: Film.

Rachel Hayward comments:

“Our ¡Viva! festival has been an integral part of the HOME programme since 2015, and prior to that at Cornerhouse for a quarter of a century, and our continued commitment to the festival is a demonstration that our links with Spain and the Spanish-speaking world are as strong as ever.”


Jessie Gibbs comments:

“Planning our annual ¡Viva! festival is almost a year-round task, and this year, with the number of premieres and director visits lined up, has been one of the most enjoyable to programme. I cannot wait for the festivities to get under way. This year’s programme is as varied as any in the festival’s history, and we look forward to welcoming visitors old and new to our screenings and events.”


Watch the ¡Viva! Festival trailer now and book your tickets here. With our See More, Save More! Deal, you save money on the more films you see. Plus, the first 30 people to book 3+ tickets win a free Viva Tote Bag. 

3-7 ¡Viva! films* – £1 off each ticket

8-19 ¡Viva! films – £1.50 off each ticket

20 or more ¡Viva! films – £2 off each ticket

*All tickets must be purchased at the same time. All offers subject to availability, cannot be used retrospectively and are not valid in conjunction with any other offers.