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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Moro Spanish Film Festival 2019

This year, the festival showcases films from both Spain and Latin America — and 11 of them are by female filmmakers.
By Sarah Ward
April 15, 2019
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Moro Spanish Film Festival 2019

This year, the festival showcases films from both Spain and Latin America — and 11 of them are by female filmmakers.
By Sarah Ward
April 15, 2019
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UPDATE — MAY 8, 2019: Palace Cinemas has extended the Moro Spanish Film Festival to Sunday, May 12, with additional screenings of the festival's most popular films.

When Australia's annual Spanish Film Festival returns this year, it'll offer cinephiles a two-for-one affair. Fancy seeing the latest and greatest movies from the European country? Keen to watch fresh flicks from Spanish-speaking Latin America too? They're both on the lineup.

While Latin American cinema has received its own dedicated Aussie fest over the past three years, in 2019 the Cine Latino Film Festival will form part of the Moro Spanish Film Festival. In short: this year's April–May fest presents the best of both worlds across a 32-title program.

It all gets started on Tuesday, April 16, with the Aussie premiere of applauded and acclaimed Spanish comedy Champions, which picked up this year's Goya award for best film, as well as the best new actor prize for star Jesús Vidal. The feel-good flick follows an amateur Spanish basketball team comprised of players with mental disabilities and an arrogant coach who's sentenced to community service to help them bounce their way to glory.

At the other end of the event is a bona fide classic: Pedro Almodóvar's Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, the 1988 black comedy is one of the movies that first helped bring Antonio Banderas to fame.

Other program highlights include action-packed bank robbery drama 70 Big Ones and comedy Super Crazy, which focuses on a woman who suddenly can't stop speaking her mind. If you've ever wanted to know all there is to know about olive oil, there's also a documentary on the topic: Virgin & Extra: Jaén, The Land of the Olive Oil. And from the Cine Latino contingent, Argentinian title Rojo delves into corruption before the country's mid-70s coup, while Tremors explores a Guatemalan family's secrets.

Across its full slate, the Spanish Film Festival also showcases 11 titles by female filmmakers, ranging from established talents to up-and-comers. Watch out for romance Carmen & Lola, which has proven a hit on the queer circuit; star-studded comedy-thriller Crime Wave, which stars Maribel Verdú, Javier Cámara and Luis Tosar; and the 1982-set The Good Girls, which follows the wives of wealthy Mexican men.

The Moro Spanish Film Festival will screen at Sydney's Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona and Palace Central from April 16 to May 8. For more information and to book tickets, visit the website.

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