Spanish Cinema Now+ 2020

Spanish Cinema Now+ 2020

The second edition of Spanish Cinema Now+ includes four movies selected by Spanish filmmaker Pablo Berger (“Blancanieves” and “Abracadabra”) showing the rich diversity of Spanish cinema.

Due to increased concerns regarding COVID-19, this activity has been canceled.

Spanish Cinema Now is an annual festival of outstanding new films that reflect the breadth of styles and talents at work in Spain curated by the AFI Silver Theatre and the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain, through its cultural program SPAIN arts & culture. Every year in June the AFI Silver Theater hosts the film series Spanish Cinema Now. Its fourth edition will take place June 4-7, 2020, and will feature a selection of the latest outstanding films from Spain.

Spanish Cinema Now+ is an initiative organized by SPAIN arts & culture to complement the original program of Spanish Cinema Now and give D.C. audiences the opportunity to enjoy U.S. and D.C. premieres of Spanish cinema all year round. Spanish Cinema Now+ is the perfect taste of what the festival has to offer.

The second edition of Spanish Cinema Now+ has been curated by Spanish Filmmaker Pablo Berger who presented his latest film Abracadabra at Spanish Cinema Now in 2018.

Pablo Berger is one of Spain’s most acclaimed international film directors. After receiving his MFA in Film from New York University, Berger’s short film Truth and Beauty was nominated for the Film Schools Emmys. His debut feature film Torremolinos 73 (2003) was a local box office hit and premiered at the Malaga Film Festival, winning Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress, and received prizes in many international film festivals. His second feature, the Spanish/French coproduction Blancanieves (2013), premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and won over 100 awards worldwide, including ten Goyas, Special Jury Prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival, nominations for Best Film and Best director at the European Film Awards, a César Awards nomination for Best Foreign Film, and selection as Spain’s Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film. His latest film Abracadabra (2017) was also a box office hit in Spain. Abracadabra was finalist for Spain’s Oscar 2018 entry and was nominated to eight Goya Awards. Pablo Berger is Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters of France.

For this edition of Spanish Cinema Now+, I have selected four independent productions, almost produced outside the film industry. Four original, groundbreaking and above all thematically and formally surprising films. STEP RIGHT UP… you won’t regret it!

—Pablo Berger


  • On Thursday, February 27 at 6:45 pm. Free, RSVP required.
  • Directed by Borja Cobeaga, Spain, 2014, 79 minutes. Original title: Negociador.
  • In Spanish with English subtitles. Watch trailer.

Negociador is a comedy by Spanish filmmaker and screenwriter Borja Cobeaga based on the negotiations held between the Spanish Goverment and ETA in 2005. Manu Aranguren is a Basque politician who becomes the Spanish government’s intermediary in the negotiations with terrorist group ETA. Nothing goes as expected, slip-ups and misundertandings leave the personal relationships of the negotiators as key to solve the conflict.

Is there a line to cross in comedy? Negociator is a radical dramedy about the terrorist group ETA. Full of truth, pain… and laughs.

—Pablo Berger

Killing God

  • On Thursday, March 26 at 6:45 pm. Free, RSVP required.
  • Directed by Caye Casas and Albert Pintó, Spain, 2017, 92 minutes. Original title: Matar a Dios.
  • In Spanish with English subtitles. Watch trailer.

Matar a Dios is the debut feature film of the screenwriters and filmmakers Caye Casas and Albert Pintó. On New Year’s Eve in an isolated house in the middle of the woods a family receives the visit of a mysterious man that claims to be God and threatens to exterminate the human race. Only two people will be saved, and the family have been chosen to pick these two survivors. Who would you save?

A dark, very dark comedy. Fun, hilarious. A personal and irreverent paella, with “chunks” from Buñuel, Valle-Inclán, and Álex De la Iglesia.

—Pablo Berger

Journey to a Mother’s Room

  • On Thursday, April 30 at 6:45 pm. Free, RSVP required.
  • Directed by Celia Rico, Spain, 2018, 90 minutes. Original title: Viaje al cuarto de una madre
  • In Spanish with English subtitles. Watch trailer.

Journey to a Mother’s Room is an intimate mother/daughter drama that looks at life inside the empty nest. Estrella (Lola Dueñas) has raised her daughter Leonor (Anna Castillo) to be a fine young woman, and it has always been just the two of them. Now entering adulthood, Leonor wants to leave home and explore, but she’s afraid to disappoint her mother. When the pressure of being a dutiful daughter becomes too much, Leonor makes an impulsive choice that leaves Estrella no choice but to let her go and adjust to the next part of her life.

A round-the-world trip of a mother and her daughter without leaving their house. A giant small movie. After watching it, you will call your mother… wanna bet?

—Pablo Berger

Notes for a Heist Film

  • On Thursday, May 21 at 6:45 pm. Free, RSVP required.
  • Directed by Elías León Siminiani, Spain, 2018, 90 minutes. Original title: Apuntes para una película de atracos.
  • In Spanish with English subtitles. Watch trailer.

Elías León Siminiani’s latest film follows a documentary filmmaker who has always fantasized about making a heist film. After a thwarted Madrid bank robbery in 2013 leads to the arrest of notorious gang leader Flako, “Robin Hood of Vallecas,” he decides to contact the jailed bandit. Much to his surprise, he receives a reply and embarks on a friendship with the infamous heist-master. Blending video diary with animated sequences and archival footage, Siminiani crafts a stranger-than-fiction homage to the heist film.

Documentary, autofiction, thriller… Striking and impossible to label. It teaches you how to rob banks. Now, you know how I’ll fund my next movie.

—Pablo Berger
  • Film
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Thu, February 27 —
    Thu, May 21, 2020


Venue map

Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain, 2801 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C.


Presented by Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C.