We are always keen to promote film festivals in the UK, especially those outside London (where they seem to happen virtually every week). We are strong supporters of !Viva¡ at Cornerhouse in Manchester which opens today and runs to 18 March. If you are interested in Spanish language cinema this festival is a must with high profile guests and screenings of recent and classic Spanish and Latin-American films plus various education events and themed gallery displays. This year’s artist in Gallery 1 is Minerva Cuevas from Mexico.
March 8 sees Andy Willis presenting a One-Hour Intro on ‘The Exploitation Cinemas of Latin America‘ linked to screenings of the Cuban zombie film Juan de los muertos (2011 (which has been picked up by Metrodrome for a UK release) and the intriguing La hora cero (Venezuela 2010) mixing action with politics. On 11 March, Peter Buse and Nuria Triana Toribio offer a One Hour Intro on ‘Spanish Comedies‘ to support the screening of several comedies in the festival. We hope to report on a screening of Carlos Saura’s La caza (The Hunt) a classic from 1966 as well as Alex de la Iglesia’s Balada triste de trompeta (Spain 2010). You can download a full programme and a calendar of screenings from http://www.cornerhouse.org/viva2012. Spanish language education events are led by Carmen Herrero and supported by Instituto Cervantes. See BBC2’s The Culture Show tonight with Mark Kermode reporting on !Viva¡. Some of the !Viva¡ films this year will appear in UK distribution but most probably wont so don’t miss the festival if you can get to Manchester.
The WOW Festival promises to bring World Cinema to every part of Wales in the Wales One World Festival that runs from 18 March to April 11 2012, offering film screenings in Mold and Cardigan as well as Aberystwyth, Swansea, Newport and Cardiff. The fascinating programme offers a mixture of established film artists with new films (John Sayles, Raul Ruiz, Michel Ocelot, Jafar Panahi (This Is Not a Film)) and some recent titles that have not been widely distributed (Las Acacias, Jan Svankmajer’s Surviving Life). There are a couple of classics – Naruse Mikio’s When A Woman Ascends the Stairs (Japan 1960) and Viktor Turin’s Turksib (USSR 1928) – with live music. There are some fascinating documentaries and fiction features addressing everyday life and social issues in Africa, Central and South East Asia and also the ‘audience award-winning’ Where Do We Go Now? from Nadine Labaki. The festival promises guests, competitions and food markets so if you live anywhere in Wales check it out on: http://www.wowfilmfestival.com/
If you live in the Welsh borders you can also explore the UK’s largest ‘rural film festival’, The Borderlines Festival which is actually underway now (24 February-18 March) but also re-appears during May (4-20 May). The current festival, which includes many of the films described above for WOW is based mainly at the Courtyard in Hereford but also visits Ledbury, Ludlow, Leominster and other towns, villages and community halls across Herefordshire and Shropshire. The May dates refer to open air and further village screenings – full details on these available from 5th March.
Borderlines guest events still to come include BAFTA’s first ever event in a village hall at Moccas in Herefordshire. Bruce Robinson (The Killing Fields, Withnail and I, The Rum Diary) will be ‘In Conversation’ with the presenter of Radio 4’s Film Programme, Francine Stock, (now a Festival Patron) on Saturday 3 March. And the following day, Sunday 4th March there is an event celebrating BBC Radio 4’s The Archers in Bromyard.