FilmPress Release

Film: The 21st edition of the annual Película Spanish Film Festival returns to the big screens in Manila

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — PELÍCULA Spanish Film Festival will celebrate its 21st edition by returning to the big screens in Manila and extending to Malaysia and Australia.

From October 5 to 16, the 21st edition of the PELÍCULA-Spanish Film Festival will return to face-to-face screenings. After two years of having a virtual festival, PELÍCULA will screen around 20 movies in three venues across Metro Manila including Shangri-La Plaza, Cine Adarna at UP Diliman, and Instituto Cervantes Intramuros branch.

Since its creation in 2002 by Instituto Cervantes de Manila, PELíCULA has been an annual attraction in Philippine theaters. After the height of the Covid-19 crisis which forced cinemas to close worldwide and caused audiences of PELíCULA to migrate online, the festival returns to the big screen, on a first-come, first-served free admission basis. Furthermore, the Festival will also host face-to-face online screenings in Malaysia and Australia, as well as the Philippines.


In the Philippines, the Festival will open on October 5 with El buen patrón (Fernando León de Aranoa, 2021), a comedy starring Javier Bardem. Other comedies in the line-up include La boda de Rosa (Icíar Bollaín, 2020), El test (Dani de la Orden, 2022), Con quién viajas (Martín Cuervo, 2021). The official entries also include documentaries such as A las mujeres de España. María Lejárraga (Laura Hojman, 2022), dramas such as Maixabel (Icíar Bollaín, 2021) or El olvido que seremos (Fernando Trueba, 2020), and thrillers like La hija (Manuel Martín Cuenca, 2021).

PELÍCULA will also feature Latin American films such as the Colombian documentary Jinetes del Paraíso (Talia Osorio Cardona, 2020), the Panamenian comedy Algo azul (Mariel García Spooner, 2021), and Competencia oficial, a Spanish-Argentinean comedy directed in 2021 by Gastón Duprat and Mariano Cohn, and featuring Penélope Cruz, Antonio Banderas, and Oscar Martínez.

Just like in the previous editions, audiences may vote for their favorite films in the Audience Choice Awards. Established in 2004, the award will be given to the film that the viewers have voted as the best of the Festival. Since its establishment in 2004, it has been a very popular tradition in the Festival and is kept alive even through the festival’s transition online. In its 21st edition, both face-to-face and online audiences will be able to rate the films right after having viewed them. The film with the highest ratings will again receive this year’s Audience Choice Award and will be screened again during the closing of PELICULA 2022, on October 16.

To celebrate the 21st edition of the cinematographic showcase, there will be a short series of movies coming from the Basque Country (featuring Handia, and Oreina, among others), plus a special selection of classic Spanish films, to be shown online. These films are Esa pareja feliz (Juan Antonio Bardem & Luis García Berlanga, 1951), Muerte de un ciclista (Juan Antonio Bardem, 1953), Mamá cumple cien años (Carlos Saura, 1979) and El sur (Víctor Erice, 1983).

Since its first editions, PELíCULA has programmed activities aiming to be a meeting point between the Philippine and Spanish cultures. In line with this, the Festival is honored to premiere Con tu latido. Fillipinas canta a Aute, the film of a concert tribute to Spanish-Filipino musician and artist Luis Eduardo Aute, born in Manila in 1943. The screening is scheduled on October 11, at Instituto Cervantes (Intramuros branch).

Philippine cinema was born in the Spanish language and almost all film-related terms in Filipino are in Spanish (such as pelikula, sine, direktor, aktor, contrabida, etc.), proof of the rich cinematic history shared between Spain and the Philippines. With this in mind, PELíCULA will be holding “En corto: Short films from the Philippines and Spain,” an activity which will feature recent short films from both countries.

PELíCULA 2022 is an initiative of Instituto Cervantes in Manila and Sydney, the Embassies of Spain in the Philippines, Malaysia and Australia, and the AECID, in collaboration with the Film Development Council of the Philippines, Instituto Etxepare, Filmoteca Vasca, the Embassy of Colombia in the Philippines, the Embassy of Panama in the Philippines, the UP Film Institute, the University of the Philippines, Intramuros Administration, Vibal Foundation, Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Rustan’s, and La Pícara.

All the movies are in Spanish (or their original language) with English subtitles. For updates on the Festival, please visit the website of the Festival ( or the Facebook page of Instituto Cervantes de Manila:

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