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:: Spotlight :: 2008 Spanish Film Festival

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

Spanish thrillers, animations and a focus on the work of luminous Spanish actress Maribel Verdú will be featured in the 11th Spanish Film Festival in Australia, travelling nationally throughout May.

CINE FANTÁSTICO is a programme of nail-biting thrillers, black comedy and horror films that will keep you on the edge of your seat while ANÍMATE! (which translates loosely as Cheer Up!) is a program of animated short and feature films to put a smile on your face!

The programme of films featuring Maribel Verdú is headlined by Siete mesas de billar francés (Seven Billiards Tables), nominated for 10 Goya Awards and 8 CEC (Spanish Critics Association) Awards including Best Actress. The film is directed by Gracia Querejeta, daughter of acclaimed Spanish filmmaker Elias Querejeta, the subject of last year’s Spanish Film Festival Focus.

Verdú, star of more than 50 films, is best known to Australian audiences for her role as Luisa in Alfonso Cuarón’s Y tu mamá también (And Your Mother Too), as Mercedes in Guillermo del Toro's 2006 film Pan's Labyrinth and for her role as Rocio in Fernando Trueba’s 1992 film Belle Epoque which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Verdú’s first role was aged 13 in El crimen del capitán Sánchez, alongside Spanish star Victoria Abril. She has worked with some of the most respected Spanish directors including Carlos Saura, Gonzalo Suárez, Vicente Aranda, Gerardo Vera, Montxo Armendáriz, Ricardo Franco and Mario Camus.

For tickets and other information check the official website

Sydney - May 7-18 at Palace Academy Twin & Palace Norton Street Cinemas
Melbourne - May 14-25 at Palace Cinema Como & Westgarth
Brisbane - May 21-25 at Palace Centro
Perth - May 22-28 at Palace Cinema Paradiso
Canberra & Adelaide dates to be announced.

For more information, visit