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  • Writer's pictureYumi La Blanca

French generosity and Spanish inspiration - London Spanish Film Festival ‘Spring Weekend’

Ciné Lumière, a cosy and inspirational cinema in London, is known as a part of the Institut Français, a French public industrial and commercial organisation that has established worldwide. Apparently their main mission is to promote French culture through various formats including language courses, films, theatre and creative events. It’s therefore unimaginable for most of us that they also host other country’s cultural events from time to time - yes, they do.

For example, they provide their lovely facilities to the London Spanish Film Festival. Yes, you’ve read it right - Spanish. As we know, Spain also has their own organisation of the similar concept called Instituto Cervantes around the world, including London and Manchester, hosting various Spanish related events to locals. Maybe reflecting the friendship and closeness between the two nations, Ciné Lumière of France has opened its doors to Spanish culture lovers too - it’s been the home for the London Spanish Film Festival and this year’s ‘Spring Weekend’ lineup will be shown there during 1st June and 4th June 2023.

This time, they not only introduce three UK premier films but also pay homage to the celebrated painter Pablo Picasso, commemorating the 50th anniversary of his death. ‘Le mystère Picasso’ (The Mystery of Picasso, 1956, directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot) is, to this date, still praised as an art documentary masterpiece. The documentary tries to depict how the genius creates his arts - in order to record the process they prepare transparent ‘canvases’ and portray it through the cinematography of Claude Renoir. Being a part of ‘Spanish Film Festival’ the language of this film is in French, suitable to the host venue.

If you’re a flamenco enthusiast or a music lover of whatever genre, you can’t miss ‘Niños Somos Todos’ (When You Listen, 2019, directed by Sergi Cameron). Niño de Elche, an unconventional flamenco singer, goes on a personal yet spiritual journey to Bolivia to search for the nature of music as well as his inner child, as a source of his inspiration and creation. It will resonate with our own inner child and inner musician.

Niño Somos Todos (When You Listen) Trailer

Of course, Ciné Lumière also has their usual showings of great French films. My husband and I have just enjoyed the thought-provoking suspense human drama entitled ‘À plein temps’ (Full Time, 2021, directed by Eric Gravel), making you reflect upon our own hardship and daily struggles beyond personal control (like, too many train strikes…)

With the welcoming cinema facilities, pleasant library, beautiful decor and lovely restaurant, Institut Français is more than just a home for Francophones and French culture lovers. The London Spanish Film Festival ‘Spring Weekend’ in Ciné Lumière is perfect for those who are fascinated by both French and Spanish cultures like me. Check the programme and find your interest!

London Spanish Film Festival ‘Spring Weekend’

London Spanish Film Festival (the main event is planned for 20-28 September 2023)


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