Festival of New Spanish Cinema 2016 in Washington, D.C.

  • Film
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Thu, June 16 —
    Sun, June 19, 2016
Festival of New Spanish Cinema 2016 in Washington, D.C.

The official traveling festival about the new trends in Spanish Cinema returns to Washington, D.C.

Launching 9 years ago, this selective slate of premieres highlights impressive productions from Spain, in a vast breadth of styles, techniques, and approaches employed by distinctive filmmakers today. With titles that ranges every genre, Festival of New Spanish Cinema brings to our audiences the best filmmaking produced this year. Some of the featured directors are established auteurs, while others have recently emerged on the international festival scene, snagging top prizes and critical acclaim. Do not miss this year selection specially presented by Pragda and SPAIN arts & culture. We have a film for every taste!

FNSC Shorts Night

  • On Monday, June 13 at 6:30 pm.
  • At the Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain, 2801 16th Street, Washington, D.C. 20009.
  • Free, RSVP required.

Get ready for FNSC with a selection of shorts films by the filmmakers presented in this festival edition at AFI. As an introduction to the shorts, Professor Thomas Deveny of McDaniel College in Westminster, MD – a specialist on Contemporary Spanish Cinema – will present Transnational Spanish Shorts to talk about the filmmakers, their importance in Spanish Cinema and their latest works that will be screened during the festival.

Join us for the FNSC Shorts Night and you could win two tickets for the Opening Night on Thursday, June 16 at 7:15 pm.

Nothing in Return (A Cambio de Nada)

  • Opening Night on Thursday, June 16 at 7:15 pm. Post-screening reception sponsored by SPAIN arts & culture.
  • Also showing on Sunday, June 19 at 4:30 pm.
  • Directed by Daniel Guzmán, Spain, 2015, 90 minutes. In Spanish with English subtitles.
  • Best Film, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Critics’ Award, 2015 Málaga Film Festival.

Actor Daniel Guzmán (who can be seen playing a cop in My Big Night) makes an auspicious directing debut with this high-spirited tale of disaffected youth that won Goya Awards for Best New Director and Best New Actor. Bright, rebellious teenager Darío (Miguel Herrán), expelled from school and estranged from his battling parents (María Miguel and Luis Tosar), runs away from home. He forms a surrogate family on the streets of Madrid with his hefty best friend Luismi (Antonio Bachiller), the avuncular auto mechanic Justo (Felipe García Vélez) and the nonagenarian junk-dealer Antonia (beautifully played by the director’s own grandmother, Antonia Guzmán). When Justo gets into trouble with the law, Darío launches a series of ill-fated schemes to bail him out. Upbeat but not sappy, Guzmán’s film is a love letter to Madrid, and his acting background shines through in the infectious rapport among the performers. (Note courtesy of Gene Siskel Film Center.)

My Big Night (Mi Gran Noche)

  • On Friday, June 17 at 7:15 pm.
  • On Saturday, June 18 at 10:15 pm.
  • Directed by Álex de la Iglesia, Spain, 2015, 100 minutes. In Spanish with English subtitles.
  • Official Selection, 2015 Toronto and San Sebastián film festivals; Opening Night, 2016 Miami Film Festival.

The latest from pulp maestro Álex de la Iglesia (Witching and Bitching, The Perfect Crime) may be his most deliriously over-the-top film yet. The troubled taping of a television New Year’s Eve variety special devolves into chaos, beset by a fatal accident, an attempted assassination, outsized egos and raging libidos. Wannabe actor Jose (Pepón Nieto) gets his big break when he’s called to replace a recently deceased extra; he takes a seat next to bombshell Paloma (Blanca Suárez) who may or may not be a femme fatale. The veteran crooner Alphonso (real-life crooner Raphael, in a slyly magnetic feat of self-parody) longs for his heyday in the halcyon ’70s, while seething at having to share a stage with today’s performers like the lunkheaded Adanne (Mario Casas). But these pop stars inspire dangerous passions in their public: Alphonso’s long-suffering adopted son and assistant Yuri (Carlos Areces) hires a former Alphonso super-fan and failed songwriter (Jaime Ordóñez) to assassinate their fallen idol, while two gorgeous gold-diggers (Marta Castellote and Marta Guerras) scheme to secure a vial of the randy Adanne’s semen in order to baby-blackmail him. As the party revs up and the cameras roll on the studio floor, an angry mob of protestors outside threatens to break down the doors.

When a Tree Falls (Amama)

  • On Friday, June 17 at 9:20 pm.
  • Directed by Asier Altuna, Spain, 2015, 103 minutes. In Spanish with English subtitles.
  • Official Selection, 2015 San Sebastián Film Festival.

This powerfully visualized drama of generational conflict signals the emergence of a vital Basque regional cinema in Spain. The crux of the film is a farm –spectacularly situated in the mountainous northeast of Spain– which has remained in the same family for countless generations. But when the eldest son and heir apparent, like so many of the region’s young people, decamps to the city, the burden passes to his sister Amaia (Iraia Elias), an artist whose progressive ways place her at odds with her rigidly traditionalist father (Kandido Uranga). The film’s title, which means “Grandma” in Basque, refers to the family matriarch who will play a pivotal role in Amaia’s attempt to bridge the divide between tradition and evolution. (Note courtesy of Gene Siskel Film Center.)

Easy Sex, Sad Movies (Sexo Fácil, Películas Tristes)

  • On Saturday, June 18 at 6 pm.
  • On Sunday, June 19 at 9:10 pm.
  • Directed by Alejo Flah, Spain, 2014, 90 minutes. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Conventional rom-com elements get an imaginative twist in this sprightly meta-movie in the vein of Stranger than Fiction and Adaptation. Spanish producers hire Argentinian screenwriter Pablo (because “he won’t charge us in euros”) to write a romantic comedy set in Madrid. Pablo (Ernesto Alterio) supplies all the expected genre ingredients –meet-cute, best friends, shared preference (gin-and-tonic)– but complications set in as he becomes increasingly aware of the contrast with his own deteriorating marriage, and his real and fictional worlds begin to bleed into each other. Will Pablo’s movie have a happy ending? Will Pablo? (Note courtesy of Gene Siskel Film Center.)

Happy 140

  • On Saturday, June 18 at 8 pm.
  • On Sunday, June 19 at 7 pm.
  • Directed by Gracia Querejeta, Spain, 2015, 98 minutes. In Spanish with English subtitles

On the eve of her 40th birthday, Elia invites a group of close family and friends to a luxury Canary Islands getaway to tell them some extraordinary news: she’s won a 140-million-euro jackpot. But while they all feign excitement to the birthday girl’s face, behind closed doors they quickly begin to plot their way into a piece of the fortune. With a star-studded cast including Antonio de la Torre (Marshland, Volver) and Eduard Fernández (The Skin I live in), filmmaker Gracia Querejeta has crafted a noir-tinged, darkly comedic thriller.


Venue map

AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20910


Buy tickets (general admission: $13)

More information

AFI Silver


Curated and organized by Pragda and SPAIN arts & culture. Presented by AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. With the support of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports and the Film and Audiovisual Arts Institute (ICAA) of Spain. In collaboration with Cinelandia.



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