For our 26th edition, ¡Viva! returns with a cinematic celebration of Spanish and Latin American culture. We bring you a specially selected programme of the most exciting film from across the Spanish-speaking world. In ¡Viva! 2020 we screen a whopping 31 feature films from Spain and Latin America, including 15 UK cinema premieres, and an additional 10 short films – five of the shorts screening before selected features, and five of them gathered in a special programme to celebrate International Women’s Day on Sun 8 Mar.
Our Opening Night on Fri 6 Mar kicks off with the fantastic La Hija de un ladrón, from Catalan filmmaker Belén Funes, who will be here to present this, her first feature film, to a no-doubt packed Cinema 1 – book your tickets early! Plus she’ll also be here to answer audience questions in the post-screening Q&A on Sat 7 Mar. The opening weekend continues with the return of some familiar names and faces: Mientras dure la guerra, a big budget historical drama set in 1936, from Spanish director Alejandro Amenábar, and a feel-good comedy from the prodigious Argentinian actor Ricardo Darín, La Odisea de los giles.
In addition to our opening night guest director, we also welcome five other filmmakers to Manchester in March. 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. From Costa Rica we welcome Antonella Sudasassi and her first feature film El Despertar de las hormigas, which celebrates female empowerment as a put-upon housewife wakes up to her own dreams and desires. And finally, two Mexican directors will be coming to ¡Viva!, indigenous filmmaker Itandehui Jansen with her family drama Tiempo de lluvia, partly filmed in the Mixtec language, and David Romay with his fiction feature debut Detrás de la montaña, a surprisingly tender drama set in Ciudad Juárez, following a bereaved teenager bent on revenge against his father.
Other ¡Viva! 2020 highlights include the latest films from well-known Chilean directors Andrés Wood (Araña) and Patricio Guzmán (La Cordillera de los sueños), the Argentinian filmmaker Carlos Sorín (Joel), and Spain’s Benito Zambrano (Intemperie). Plus we’re proud to present nine debut feature-length films, including Ana García Blaya’s homage to her late father (Las Buenas intenciones) and the dreamlike, tragic drama Canción sin nombre by Melina León.
There will also be a number of talks and workshops, including the return of the Café Cervantes and the Language Lab, both popular with those learning Spanish, and a One-Hour Intro to Latin American Indigenous Filmmakers, delivered by Mexican director Itandehui Jansen and writer Armando Bautista. The focus on indigenous filmmakers runs throughout the calendar of screenings, including the heart-breaking drama Wiñaypacha, filmed in the Aymara language and set high in the Peruvian Andes, starring the filmmakers own grandfather in the one of the two leading roles. We also present the UK premiere of Mexican documentary Tote abuelo, filmed in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, and a now digitally restored 1982 documentary from Colombia, Nuestra voz de tierra, memoria y futura, which used a Marxist aesthetic to depict centuries of oppression and resistance of farmers and indigenous peoples.
Priority booking is available to our Friends and Members. Find out more about our membership packages here.
All films will begin at the advertised time with no adverts or trailers; all films are in Spanish with English subtitles unless otherwise noted; and all age certifications are local to Manchester City Council and subject to confirmation.
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. With the support of the BFI, awarding funds from the National Lottery.