¡Viva!, HOME’s Spanish and Latin American film festival has been one of the highlights of Manchester’s cinematic calendar for over two decades now. The 26th edition opens this March with a packed programme featuring 31 feature films and 10 shorts spanning everything from archive film to UK premieres. As usual, there will be director Q&As, themed mini-programmes and special events for language learners looking to brush up.
The festival opens on Friday 6 March with Barcelona-set La Hija de un ladrón (A Thief’s Daughter.) The film won Catalan filmmaker Belén Funes a Goya Award for Best New Director as well as comparisons with Ken Loach and the Dardenne brothers. She’ll be on hand for a Q&A and a chat with festival-goers in the bar afterwards. Sun 6 March will see more work by women filmmakers as Edinburgh-based Spanish film experts CinemaAttic, present a programme of five short films made by contemporary Spanish female directors.
a packed programme featuring 31 feature films and 10 shorts spanning everything from archive film to UK premieres
Much of the joy of ¡Viva! Comes from the way the programme hops the globe. Filmgoers can be transported to Mexico with Esto no es Berlín (This Is Not Berlin) — an electric depiction underground art, music and sexual liberation in Mexico City circa World Cup ‘86. Andrés Wood’s Araña (Spider) looks at political turbulence in 1970s Chile. Costa Rica provides the setting for Antonella Sudasassi’s El Despertar de las hormigas (The Awakening of the Ants) which screens as a UK premiere with a director Q&A. While Los Sonámbulos (The Sleepwalkers) sees three generations of a family gather at a country house to celebrate New Year’s Eve one hot Argentinian summer.
Other highlights of the festival include the One Hour Intro: Latin American Indigenous Filmmakers led by visiting Mexican filmmakers Itandehui Jansen and Armando Bautista. There’s a rare screening of Colombian political filmmakers Marta Rodríguez and Jorge Silva’s 1982 Nuestra voz de tierra, memoria y futura (Our Voice of Land, Memory and Future.) For families, Carlos Saldanha’s popular animation Ferdinand is followed by a lively storytelling and craft event from Manchester Literature Festival. Lastly, our pick of the line-up is La Cordillera de los sueños (The Cordillera of dreams) — the latest from internationally acclaimed documentarian Patricio Guzmán.