CinemaAttic Productions and the Institut Ramon Llull organize the Catalan Film Festival (CFF), a showcase of the most relevant Catalan film productions of the year. From 21 January to 15 February, cinemas in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Dundee will screen eight feature films and eleven short films. In addition, a number of side events will be organized, such as talks, castells (human towers) and a gastronomic session. From February 16 to 26, the festival will continue online, with four feature films and eight short films focused on the same subject: the presence of the rural world in recent Catalan cinema.
As for the in-person format, the festival's programming includes some of the most internationally acclaimed Catalan productions (Alcarràs, by Carla Simón; Pacifiction, by Albert Serra; Un año, una noche, by Isaki Lacuesta), along with some recent discoveries (D'ombres, by Joan Tisminetzky; La cuina dels homes/Men's Cooking, by Sílvia Subirós; and Dúo, by Meritxell Colell), and with films that deal with hot topics of the day (My vacío y yo/My emptiness and I, by Adrián Silvestre, and El sostre groc/The Yellow Ceiling, by Isabel Coixet).
The short section has 11 productions, which have been very well received by critics: El dia que volaron la montaña, by Alba Bresolí, El que encara ens balla, by Marga Almirall, Ponto final, by Miguel López Beraza, Por la pista vacía, by Pablo García Canga, Can Gardell, by Sílvia Subirós and Florencia Aliberti, Demà ho deixem, by David Moragas, Las niñas siempre dicen la verdad, by Virginia Garcia del Pino, Esa fugaz esencia que dejaron los hechos, by Carolina Astudillo, Mater inerta, by Adrià Expòsit Goy, Castells, by Blanca Camell, and El matí del Sr. Xifró, by Anna Solanas and Marc Riba.
From its very inception the CFF has always tried to show a diverse image of Catalan culture, beyond its cinematographic specialization: the inaugural event of the festival, which will take place on Saturday 21 January in Edinburgh, will feature the screening of short films with international prizes, which will be preceded by the performance of the city's Colla Castellera. After the shorts there will be a tapas dinner with Catalan gastronomic products. The Catalan community in Edinburgh has also been involved in the events of the opening day, through the support of the Catalan Center of Scotland.
The screening of the documentary La cuina dels homes (Men's Cooking), where Silvia Subirós reflects on the silenced role of women in the history of cooking and haute cuisine, and follows her own family history at the renowned El Motel restaurant, in Figueres, will be followed by a menu of traditional dishes. Catalan cuisine
Talks have also been scheduled with the director of Dúo, Meritxell Colell (in Edinburgh), and with the director of Mi vacío y yo, Adrián Silvestre (Glasgow).
Regarding the online festival, it will have a programme of its own focused on a monographic theme: the multi-faceted presence of the rural world in recent Catalan cinema. Indeed, the festival organizers are interested in highlighting both films and books that deal with nature, capitalism, ecology, tradition, heritage and family. Taking advantage of the echo of Irene Solà's novel Canto jo i la muntanya balla (When I Sing, Mountains Dance, published in the UK by Granta Books in early 2022), there will be several talks and readings. Related to this theme, in the in-person there will be a session in Edinburgh about Perspectives on Rural Catalonia, which includes the screening of two emblematic shorts (When the Mountain Rumbles and Can Gardell) with the participation of directors Alba Bresolí and Meritxell Colell.
The titles of the feature films chosen for the 2023 online festival are: The Perseids, by Alberto Dexeus and Ànnia Gabarró, La plaga, by Neus Ballús, La primavera, by Christophe Farnarier and El cielo gira, by Mercedes Álvarez. As for the short films, they are: El dia que volaron la montaña, by Alba Bresolí, Wild Animal, by Maria Besora, Les bones nenes, by Clara Roquet, Horta, by Pilar Palomero, SU, by Laia Foguet, Cucli, by Xavier Marrades, L'Oreig, by Blanca Camell, Can Gardell, by Sílvia Subirós and Florencia Aliberti and Mater inerta, by Adrià Exposit Goy.
Finally, and for the third year in a row, the festival will allow students from twenty British and Irish universities with Catalan studies to connect to the online festival for free, in order to get to know first-hand the current hightlights of Catalan cinema and also having the opportunity to enrich their learning of the Catalan language.