Catalan cinema and theatre go international

Eight Catalan films premiere in London, while New York inaugurates the theatrical festival ‘Spotlight Catalonia’.


October 1, 2010 11:44 PM

London and New York (ACN).- Catalan culture is more international than ever. This October, London and New York will host two festivals that present the best productions of Catalan cinema and theatre from the last few years. In the British capital, the section of the London Spanish Film Festival called ‘the Catalan Window’ will screen up to eight Catalan films and hold discussions with Catalan actors and directors about their work. In New York, there will be dramatized readings of plays from Sergi Belbel, Àngels Aymar, Marta Buchaca and Esteve Soler.

In London, all eight films included in the Catalan Window programme will be shown in the UK for the first time. The list of movies includes 'Family Strip' by Luis Miñarro and the recent Cannes Palme d'Or winner , 'Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives'. Other Catalan films being screened are 'Circuit' by the director Xavier Ribera and 'Dieta Mediterrània' by Joaquim Oristrell, amongst others.

The director of the London Spanish Film Festival and organiser of the 'Catalan Window', Joana Ortega, said in an interview with CNA that the event can help to create an 'identity' for Catalan cinema abroad. Ortega admitted that films from Catalonia are not yet widely known internationally, but said that this could change in the future. “In Catalonia people are working a lot, and working well”, argued Ortega. He said that the number of Catalan films showed at the London festival has increased from three last year to eight and two short-movies in this year's edition. 

The 'Catalan Window' is not only an opportunity to watch films, but also to discuss the films’ main ideas and the situation of the film industry with directors and actors. The festival’s programme includes up to five Q&A sessions in order to bring together the audience and the creators. The event finishes on the 7th of October.

In New York, the 'Spotlight Catalonia' event is an opportunity for Catalan playwrights to present their work in one of the most important cities of the world. Until the 5th of October, English versions of plays by Sergi Belbel, Àngels Aymar, Marta Buchaca and Esteve Soler will be read in public. The event is part of a broader festival about new trends in contemporary theatre. It is also an opportunity for Catalan writers to meet and discuss their work with American actors and directors.

The playwright Sergi Belbel, who is currently in New York, said that the festival is an example of the progress made by Catalan theatre in the last decades. “Twenty years ago it was impossible to see Catalan theatre abroad. Nowadays it is a sign of normality”, he argued. Belbel and his three colleagues agreed that being in New York is an 'opportunity' for them and a new step in the internationalisation of the Catalan theatre. “Despite being a small step, our presence here is another contribution by Catalan artists and directors to the world”.