Interview: Paulette Arvizu Invites You To 2019 Moro Spanish FIlm Festival
For the next three weeks Northbridge’s Cinema Paradiso will be filling its screens with Spanish and South American delights as this year’s Moro Spanish Film Festival rolls into Perth until May 15th. We were lucky enough to see a screening of one of this year’s selections, Crime Wave: a pretty great dark comedy with a murderous but endearing heart. While we were there we were able to hear about a little of what was coming up in the festival and meet a few of the passionate individuals and organisations who make festivals like this possible. So rather than us tell you why you should get out there and see whats on, we thought we’d talk to Paulette Arvizu, one of those passionate individuals previously mentioned, to get her take.
How did you decide your picks for this year? Were you looking to showcase anything in particular?
We are always looking for the best films that come from Spain and Latin America. We have a committee that travels to the biggest festivals in the world (Toronto, Cannes, Venice, Berlin) and who are searching for award winning films that have been critically acclaimed. At the same time, we follow the Spanish and Latin American box offices to bring to Australia the biggest box office hits of the regions, and we also accept film submissions from filmmakers and producers interested in premiering their films in our festival. We are indeed looking for a broad range of films, from award winning quality films, to independent films and box office hits.
Unlike other foreign language film, Spanish language film stretches beyond one nation or culture. With that in mind, can you speak a little about the Cine Latino arm of the festival and how you reconcile the Spanish film (from Spain) and Spanish-language film.
The Spain-Latin American co-productions have more than tripled from 2017-2019, so it was only natural to bring these festivals together. We have Spain-Argentina co-productions and a Cuba-Spain co production in this year’s program. The regions share the language and our patrons enjoy seeing these films from two different sides of the world equally.
Any personal favourites from the list?
The Realm is definitely one of my highlights this year, a well-deserved 7 Goya Awards (Spanish Oscars)! Also Crime Wave with Maribel Verdu. It is a great dark comedy.
Were they any films you wish could have made the list that you couldn’t put on?
There is only so many films we can bring to the festival. Whilst we are extremely happy with the selection. it would have been nice to have included Everybody Knows (From Director Asghar Farhadi and with Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem) to the line-up, but the distributor had other release plans for the film.
The festival has put a spotlight on female directors this year, any particular highlights from those selections?
The 11 films in this line up are outstanding productions. Highlights would definitely be Carmen & Lola, The Good Girls and The Chambermaid.
Any particular films showing this year that you recommend for someone new to Spanish film?
I think Break would be a great example of Argentinean cinema, but if someone wants to really have a close encounter with Spanish filmmaking and narrative, The Realm is a must watch.
Where do you see Spanish film’s place internationally?
I think the industry is now setting its eyes in the Spanish and Latin American regions. With Mexican directors wining the Oscar for Best Director these past years (Think Alfonso Cuaron, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Guillermo del Toro) and with actors like Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem playing major Hollywood roles, I think the Latin America and Spanish presence is growing internationally. Australian audiences have certainly embraced the cinema from the region in these past few years and we hope the interest keeps on increasing and the festival keeps on growing.