iViva! – Spanish Arts & Film Festival

The close of this week marks just the beginning of a 16-day, Spanish arts and Latin American film festival brought to you by Manchester’s international centre for contemporary, visual arts and independent film, better known as Cornerhouse. The festival will be dragging a little of those southerly rays, kicking and screaming, to blustery Blighty for the 18th edition of their annual film fiesta, iViva! to rouse you from your seasonal siesta.

The event, which is in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain Office for Cultural and Scientific Affairs, will be giving a warm welcome back to some familiar faces as well as holding host to a whole array of debut directors. iViva! 2012 promises a return visit from old favourites Daniel Sánchez Arévalo, with his latest cinematic venture and “laugh out loud comedy”, Primos and Alex da la Iglesia as he showcases his outlandish depiction of the Franco regime by the name of Balada Triste de Trompeta.

Iglesia and Sánchez will be in good company with a myriad of iViva! virgins and first time directors set to take the screens by storm with their concoction of Spanish and Spanish speaking, Latin American productions. There’s fun for all the family, quite literally speaking with comedy, drama and documentary works. We bounce from Ignacio Ferreras’ rib-tickling animation, Arrugas, which received admirable acclaim at the 2011 San Sebastian Film Festival, all the way over to Carles Torras’ deep and brooding portrayal of a disenchanted man, shot through haunting, static cinematography.

The film festival will be paralleled by Landings; the solo exhibition from Mexico-born artist, Minerva Cuevas, which will be showcased in one of the venue’s galleries. The artist has manifested her preoccupation with the questionable disposition of the relationship between man and nature through a series of installations, film and wall paintings that comprise the exhibition. Cuevas is also scheduled to conduct a guided tour of the exhibition space, to further inspire you alongside a multitude of talks and debates from various featured directors and influential figures.

iViva! explodes into action with a showcase of debut-director, Emilio Aragón’s, Pájaros de Papel and is brought to a close with equal extravagance at the festival’s closing party. The conclusive event hosted by festival partners, Instituto Cervantes, is certainly not going to be one to miss. It may not be all palm trees and Piz Buin but we’re sure there’s a Pina Colada up for grabs somewhere in the Deansgate venue!

iViva! art and film festival runs 02 Mar – 18 Mar 2012

words Stephanie Whalley

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