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:: Spotlight :: 2009 Spanish Film Festival

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

Award winning Spanish star Javier Cámara is coming to Australia to shine under the spotlight of the 12th Spanish Film Festival, bringing to the table the deliciously comical & award-winning Opening Night film Chef’s Special (Fuera de Carta) alongside a tapas of films that display the depth and diversity of roles that have garnered him 13 Best Actor Awards to date and a further 22 nominations, including 4 Goya (Spanish Academy Award) nominations.

Best known for his role as nurse Benigno Martín in Pedro Almodóvar’s Academy Award winning film TALK TO HER (also screening in the festival), Javier Cámara is the star of more than 30 feature films and television programs. His broad range of film credits includes Paris, je’taime, Bad Education, Sex and Lucia, The Secret Life of Words and previous Spanish Film Festival hits Torremolinos ’73 (2004 Opening Night film), Fiction, Malas Temporadas and Suso’s Tower.

Cåmara brings the 2009 festival to exuberant life with the delicious farce CHEF’S SPECIAL, a film overflowing with the winning ingredients of wit, vivacity and laugh-out-loud comic timing. Cámara leads the cast (also including Lola Dueñas) as the headstrong chef intent on earning a Michelin star for his restaurant only to be thwarted at every turn by the chaotic ingredients life throws at him, including his estranged kids and the handsome Argentinean footballer who moves in across the hall. Chef’s Special was awarded the Audience Award for Best Film and the Silver Biznaga Award for Best Actor Award for Javier Cámara at the 2008 Málaga Spanish Film Festival.

“Javier Cámara is one of the finest actors in contemporary Spanish cinema. While he is a wonderful dramatic actor, it is in comedy that he really shines, as his performance in our opening night film shows. Comedy is the most difficult genre, and Javier is so skilled at delivering a fantastic performance, without ever making the character ridiculous – you always empathize with him. We are thrilled to welcome him to Australia for the first time,” said Natalia Ortiz, Director of the Spanish Film Festival.

Also screening in the festival are Cámara’s films:

BLIND SUNFLOWERS - a powerful, carefully crafted story about the destruction wrought by suppression, hypocrisy and the abuse of power set in the post-Civil War era and examining the effect of the war on children growing up under the Franco regime. Nominated for 15 Goya Awards & Spain’s official entry to the 2009 Academy Awards.

TORREMOLINOS 73 - Winner of over 15 international Awards & the popular Opening Night film from the 2005 festival. An ordinary couple get the opportunity to make Super 8 ‘educational films’ in their bedroom for the ‘ Scandinavian World Encyclopedia of Reproduction’ (or so they think…), launching one of them as an international sex symbol and discovering a passion for Bergmanesque filmmaking along the way. Also starring Mads Mikkelsen.

The 12th Spanish Film Festival screens in Melbourne at Palace Cinema Como & Kino Cinemas from May 13-25, 2009.

JAVIER CÁMARA APPEARS AT THE SPANISH FILM FESTIVAL IN MELBOURNE:

Wednesday, May 13 – Opening Night
7.00pm - Chef’s Special introduced by Javier Cámara - Palace Cinema Como
All tickets $40 includes film, tapas, drinks and entertainment

Thursday, May 14
6.30pm Blind Sunflowers, followed by Q&A with Javier Cámara – Palace Cinema Como
9.15pm Talk To Her, introduced by Javier Cámara – Palace Cinema Como

For more information, visit

www.spanishfilmfestival.com