AFI Fest 2023

  • Film
  • Los Angeles
  • Thu, October 26 —
    Sun, October 29, 2023
AFI Fest 2023

The 37th edition of “AFI FEST,” the American Film Institute’s annual celebration of artistic excellence, presents a lineup of fiction and nonfiction features and shorts, including 7 Spanish films this year.

AFI FEST is a showcase for the best festival films of the year and an opportunity for master filmmakers and emerging artists to come together with audiences in the movie capital of the world. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes AFI FEST as a qualifying festival for the Short Films category for the annual Academy Awards.

Spanish films at AFI FEST 2023


  • On Thursday, October 26, at 3 pm.
  • Directed by Marija Kavtaradze / Spain / Lithuania / Sweden, 2023, 108 minutes.
  • In English and Lithuanian. Watch trailer.

Slow follows a relationship story of two 30 year olds, dancer Elena and sign language interpreter Dovydas. The two gradually form a meaningful and intense bond that is threatened when Dovyda reveals to Elena that he is asexual. The two continue their romance (albeit without sex), but Elena’s attempts to, at first, understand Dovyda, and later to change him cause strife in their newly formed relationship. Slow won the World Cinema Dramatic Directing Award at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

Society of the Snow

  • On Thursday, October 26, at 6 pm. Post-screening conversation with director J.A. Bayona.
  • Directed by J.A. Bayona, Spain / Uruguay, 2023, 144 minutes.
  • Original title: La sociedad de la nieve.
  • In Spanish. Watch trailer.

A chartered flight filled with members of the Old Christian Club Rugby team en route to a match in Santiago, Chile, crashes in the cold depths of the Andes. While many perish in the crash, miraculously 29 people survive. But without much food to survive and facing extreme environmental elements, they’re forced to make some terrifying choices if they want to stay alive. Society of the Snow is Spain’s Oscar® submission for Best International Feature.

Daydreaming so Vividly about our Spanish Holidays

  • On Thursday, October 26 at 7 pm. Screening as part of Shorts Program: Live Action 1.
  • Directed by Christian Avilés, Spain, 2022, 24 minutes.
  • Original title: La herida Luminosa.
  • In Spanish and English. Watch trailer.

Sun-starved teenagers take a dreamy trip to the Balearic Islands in the pursuit of light and warmth. They must absorb it and be a vessel in order to transport it back to their heavy clouded kingdom.

Close Your Eyes

  • On Saturday, October 28 at 11:45 am.
  • Directed by Victor Erice, Spain, 2023, 169 minutes.
  • Original title: Cerrar los ojos.
  • In Spanish. Watch trailer.

Spanish auteur Víctor Erice returns to cinema after a three-decade-long absence with this personal reflection on memory, art and the passage of time. Set years after his lead actor and best friend, Julio, disappears suddenly from a film shoot, filmmaker Miguel Garay (Manolo Solo) is approached by a TV show profiling this unsolved mystery. This sets in motion a series of encounters from Miguel’s past, including a meeting with Julio’s abandoned daughter.

Sandwich Cat

  • On Saturday, October 28 at 4:30 pm. Screening as part of Shorts Program: Animation 2.
  • Directed by David Fidalgo, Spain, 2022, 11 minutes.
  • In Spanish. Watch trailer.

David lives alone with his kitty, Sandwich Cat. It seemed like an ordinary day, but an unexpected visit will lead him to a crucial reflection on humanity.

They Shot the Piano Player

  • On Sunday, October 29 at 2:45 pm.
  • Directed by Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal, Spain, 2023, 104 minutes.
  • In Spanish, English and Portuguese. Watch trailer.

Animator Javier Mariscal and director Fernando Trueba reunite after Chico & Rita for a Bossa Nova-inflected documentary about the mysterious disappearance of virtuoso Brazilian pianist Francisco Tenório Júnior in 1976 Argentina. Narrated by Jeff Goldblum, the film traces a New York music journalist’s quest to uncover the truth behind the disappearance and mirrors Trueba’s own 15-year investigation into the matter.

20,000 Species of Bees

  • On Sunday, October 29 at 7 pm.
  • Directed by Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren, Spain, 2023, 125 minutes.
  • Original title: 20.000 especies de abejas.
  • In Spanish, Basque and French. Watch trailer.

In this sun-soaked debut, an eight-year-old experiences a gender identity crisis over one uncertain summer vacation in Basque Country, where three generations of women in her family reside together. Ane, in the midst of separating from her husband, takes her children to her hometown, a sleepy village on the Spanish side of Basque Country, to stay with her mother. There, the young heroine, nicknamed Coco (at least for the moment), explores her gender identity under the cautious, yet loving gaze of three generations of women in her family, who concurrently also reflect on their own place in the world. In search of a new name, and increasingly frustrated with her family still treating her as her assigned gender at birth – a boy– Coco finds refuge with her great-aunt Lourdes and her beehives. As secrets are whispered against the busy buzzing of bees, they may just guide her and her family toward a deeper acceptance and understanding with each other.


Venue map

TCL Chinese Theatre, 6925 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028


More information



Presented by the American Film Institute.



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