From small independent feature films and documentaries through to programmes of shorts and big Spanish blockbusters, ¡Viva! traditionally welcomes the finest films and filmmakers to be part of the celebrations. With 48 nominations for the 2008 Goya Awards amongst the films currently scheduled, the standard is expected to be as high as ever. A retrospective looking at the work of Argentinean producer Lita Stantic stands as a proud centre-piece to this years events. Stantic will attend ¡Viva! as a special guest to reflect on her influence in keeping cinema alive during the political uncertainty of the 1970s and her integral role in the emergence of “New Argentine Cinema” in the late 1990s.
Three films were entered as their nation’s nominations for the 2008 Oscars. Horror film EL ORPHANATO (THE ORPHANAGE – nominated for 14 Goyas alone) was put forward as the choice for Spain. Uruguay’s opted for the award-winning EL BAÑO DEL PAPA (THE POPE’S TOILET) the tale of a small town thrown into chaos at the prospect of a papal visit. XXY from Argentina, a touching but equally harrowing story of a 15 year old hermaphrodite, took the Critics Week Grand Prize at Cannes 2007 and Edinburgh Film Festival’s New Director’s Award. Young stars of XXY Inés Efron and Martín Piroyansky will make the trip from Argentina to Manchester to introduce the film.
Three films show actors turning their hand to directing with Gael García Bernal’s directorial debut DÉFICIT showing alongside Antonio Banderas’ second effort from behind the camera El CAMINO DE LOS INGLESES. Hailing from an Argentinean acting dynasty, Ricardo Darín shows his versatility at this year’s festival by co-directing and starring in both LA SEÑAL and XXY.
There is a distinct family flavour to ¡Viva! 2008 with Jonás Cuarón, the son of Alfonso Cuarón (director of Y TU MAMA TAMBIÉN and CHILDREN OF MEN) following in his father’s footsteps with his first feature AÑO UÑA, an impossible love story that flourishes between an older American woman and a Mexican youth. XXY is directed by Lucía Puenzo, daughter of Oscar-nominated director Luis Puenzo, whilst the director of the documentary THE SUGAR CURTAIN, socialist Chilean filmmaker Camila Guzmán Urzúa, continues traditions set by her father Patricio Guzmán.
After visiting last year’s festival, Uruguayan actor and winner of the Berlin International Film Festival’s Silver Bear, Daniel Hendler reflected on his experience by saying, “I was delighted to attend ¡Viva! 2007 and the ambience certainly lived up to expectations! It offered a fair representation of the latest in Latin American cinema without the snobbishness that is often generated by other festivals. Each film is selected with the same care and attention by which a chef might choose spices for a unique dish.”
Other films due to screen at ¡Viva! include: Julio Medem’s latest film CAÓTICA ANA (CHAOTIC ANNA), COCALERO (COCA GROWERS) a documentary about Bolivian farmers opposing a ban on coca crops, [REC] a Spanish horror/thriller currently undergoing a US remake and PÁRPADOS AZULES (BLUE EYELIDS) featuring the music of Sheffield-based 60s star Dave Berry of “The Crying Game” fame.
Festival updates and ticket information will be available by visiting www.vivafilmfestival.com from mid-February or by calling Cornerhouse Box Office on 0161 200 1500.
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For further information, review DVDs, images or interviews please contact Rob Allen on 0161 200 1517 or e-mail email@example.com
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