Culture and the Arts Environment

Gems of Latin American Cinema set to be shown next month at the Spanish cultural center

By Seymour Barros Sanchez

INSTITUTO Cervantes will feature “Four Gems of Latin American Cinema,” a series of critically acclaimed and award-winning films directed by Latin American filmmakers, every Saturday during the month of August at the new Intramuros branch of the Spanish cultural center.

The film cycle, which serves as an invitation to appreciate Latin American cinematography, will kick off on August 4, 6 p.m., with the screening of “Azul y no tan rosa” (My Straight Son), a plea for respect and non-discrimination due to sexual orientation. It won the 2013 LGBT Montreal Film Festival Best Feature and the 2014 Goya Award for Best Latin American Film.

Directed by Miguel Ferrari, the film tells the story of Diego, a successful Venezuelan fashion photographer, who decides to formalize his relationship with his boyfriend Fabrizio by moving in with him. A tragic accident leaves his partner in a coma. Unexpectedly, he is obliged to take care of his own son, Armando, who lives in Spain and with whom he has not seen in years. Now, both of them have to adapt to each other – Armando to the unknown, homosexual world of his father, and Diego to the closed attitude of his teenage son.

Next to be shown as part of the film series is El método (The Method) on August 11, 6 p.m. Based on a famous play by Jordi Galcerán and directed by Argentine filmmaker Marcelo Piñeyro, El método explores the dark inner mechanisms of the corporate world.

Seven candidates are put together in a meeting room as part of final selection process for a single high-level position in a multinational corporation. Then, they are informed that one of them is not a candidate but an employee from HR analyzing their attitudes. What follows is a series of fierce tests which will question their priorities, ethics and loyalty under stress.

On August 18, 6 p.m., the masterfully-crafted thriller El secreto de sus ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes) will be shown. Benjamin Esposito, a legal counselor who is about to retire, starts writing a novel hoping to find closure for one of his past unresolved homicide cases and for his unreciprocated love with his superior – both of which still haunt him decades later.

Writing the book leads Benjamin to investigate his own past and a period of Argentina’s history marked by violence and death. Arguably the best work by talented Argentinean filmmaker Juan José Campanella, it has received more than 50 international awards, among them the Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film, and the Goya Award for Best Latin American Film.

The comedy Lista de espera (Waiting List) concludes the film cycle on August 25, 8 p.m. Directed by Juan Carlos Tabío, it tells the story of a group of passengers who wait for their transportation at a Cuban bus station.

However, the passengers have no way to get on any bus, as all buses that pass are full. The administrator does not see any solution and intends to close the terminal. Even so, they decide to stay and repair an old bus – as a strange and tender story is woven among them.

This film series “Four Gems of Latin American Cinema” is presented by Instituto Cervantes, the Embassy of Spain, and the Film Archives of AECID, with the support of Intramuros Administration and Accenture.

Instituto Cervantes Intramuros is located at Casa Azul, a two-floor replica of a 19th-century Philippine house at Plaza San Luis Complex, next to San Agustin Church. Designed to complement the cultural and academic activities of the main branch in Makati, it has a 90-seat auditorium, an exhibition room, classrooms, and a library containing over 30,000 items.

All the films are in Spanish with English subtitles. Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please visit the Instituto Cervantes’ website ( or its Facebook page (


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Seymour Barros Sanchez
Seymour Barros Sanchez is an advocacy filmmaker, communication and film professor, freelance writer, and producer for news and current affairs programs. He is a fellow of the 17th Lopez Jaena Community Journalism Workshop (organized by the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication), 21st Iligan National Writers Workshop(organized by the Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology) and 9th Palihang Rogelio Sicat (organized by the UP Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas). He is also a graduate of the 14th Ricky Lee scriptwriting workshop for film and the first Brillante Mendoza film workshop.

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