7 movies to watch as Spanish film fest returns to cinemas 2
Three of the featured films in the 21st edition of PELíCULA, Festival de Cine en Español: Who Are You Traveling With?, The Good Boss, and To the Women of Spain, Maria Lejarraga. Posters from IMDB

7 acclaimed movies you can watch for free as Spanish film festival returns to cinemas

A modern Spanish classic, a docu on a ‘20s feminist, and a satire starring Javier Bardem are just three of the festival highlights
Alexandra Sofia S. Donato | Aug 04 2022

After two years of having virtual festivals, the 21st edition of PELíCULA, Festival de Cine en Español will finally return to the big screens of Manila, Malaysia, and Australia. In Manila, PELíCULA will screen 20 Spanish films from October 5 to 16 at the Shangri-La Plaza, Cine Adarna at UP Diliman, and Instituto Cervantes De Manila in Intramuros. The screenings will have a first-come, first-served free admission basis.

Here are just seven of the movies in this year’s lineup. 

The Good Boss

The Good Boss (El buen patron, 2021)

Starring Javier Bardem, this Spanish comedy was written and directed by Fernando Leon de Aranoa. This corporate satire focuses on the life of Julio Blanco, the boss of a family-run factory who, in his desire to make his business look like it’s in tiptop shape, meddles in the lives of his employees. The film received 20 nominations at the 36th Goya Awards, and won Best Picture, Director, Actor, Original Screenplay, Score and Editing awards.


Who are you traveling with

Who Are You Traveling With? (Con quién viajas, 2021)

Directed by Martin Cuervo, the film focuses on four strangers who meet in the heart of Madrid thanks to a ride-sharing application. During their journey, the passengers reveal different aspects of their lives. 


To the Women of Spain, Maria Lejarraga

To the Women of Spain, Maria Lejarraga (A las mujeres de España, María Lejárraga 2022)

Director Laura Hojman celebrates feminism in this documentary as she tells the story of Maria Lejarraga, writer and one of the pioneers of the fight for freedom and women’s rights in Spain during the 1920s. The film is a tribute to the life of Lejarraga who became a prolific playwright but whose collaborations with her husband were solely credited to the latter, theater impresario Gregorio Martinez Sierra.


The Oblivion that We Will Be

The Oblivion that We Will Be (El olvido que seremos, 2020)

Directed by the award-winning filmmaker Fernando Trueba, this Colombian drama was based on the novel written by Hector Abad Faciolince. Faciolince dedicated the work to his father, a doctor who was assassinated in 1987 by a paramilitary group. This film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2020 and won the Goya award in the Best Ibero-American Film category.


The Daughter

The Daughter (La hija, 2021)

Starring Javier Gutierrez and Patricia Lopez Arnaiz, this Spanish thriller is directed by Manuel Martin Cuenca. The plot centers on how a married couple, Javier and Adela, offers to take in a pregnant teen in their mountain house in exchange for the girl’s baby. The film addresses the boundaries of parenthood and is based on a horror-oriented original story by Felix Vidal.


Horsemen of Paradise

Horsemen of Paradise (Jinetes del Paraiso, 2020)

In this Colombian documentary, Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter, Orlando Cholo Valderrama, speaks of the enigmatic natural beauty of the Colombian Eastern Plains which inspired him to write songs about this hidden paradise. The film is written and directed by Talia Osorio Cardona.


The South

The South (El Sur, 1983)

Starring Iciar Bollain, this Spanish classic revolves around a young girl’s reflections on her relationship with her father. Directed by Victor Erice, this film adaptation of a novella by Adelaida Garcia Morales is about a daughter captivated by her father’s mysterious demeanor and her efforts to know more about his past. 


The annual Pelicula festival showcases Latin American films, Spanish dramas, and Colombian documentaries. The films have English subtitles.

The festival is initiated by Instituto Cervantes in Manila and Sydney, the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines, the AECID, in collaboration with the Film Development Council of the Philippines, ICAA, the Embassy of Colombia, the Embassy of Panama in the Philippines, the UP Film Institute, the University of the Philippines and the Intramuros Administration.

Movie posters from IMDB