Selected conferences, lectures, film screenings, exhibitions, and workshops 2017-2022.
The Cunninghame Graham Lecture
The Cunninghame Graham Lecture was established in 1996 in honour of Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham - aka ‘Don Roberto’ (London, 1852-Buenos Aires, 1936) - politician, estanciero, and writer, who travelled extensively in Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay and Uruguay and had very strong ties to Argentina.
Delivered annually, it is jointly organised by LLC and the Office of Cultural and Scientific Affairs of the Embassy of Spain with the aim of promoting Spanish language and culture in Scotland.
Past speakers have included scholars, film makers, politicians, journalists, novelists, and figures bridging the Hispanic world and Scotland, such as the architect Enric Miralles (1955-2000) who designed the Scottish Parliament building.
The Cunninghame Graham Lecture 2022 - Poli Marichal
Date: 22 November 2022
Speaker: Poli Marichal
Chairs: Dr Jessica Gordon-Burroughs (Lecturer in Latin American Studies and Visual Culture, University of Edinburgh) and Dr Ignacio Cartagena Núñez (Consul General of Spain in Edinburgh)
Title: La Síntesis Rota – experimentos en el ojo de la tormenta (Broken Synthesis – Experiments in the Eye of the Storm)
In brief: The Cunninghame Graham Lecture 2022 was delivered by Puerto Rican filmmaker-artist Poli Marichal and focused on Marichal's Super 8 work from the 1980s and present digital experimentations.
Date: 10 November 2021
Speaker: Laura Restrepo
Chair: Charlotte Gleghorn
Title: Cuando la investigación se vuelve ficción y viceversa (When research becomes fiction and viceversa)
Date: 26 November 2020
Speaker Lucía Asué Mbomío Rubio
Chairs: Jessica Gordon Burrounds and Iona Macintyre
Title: Racismos cotidianos: desde lo circunstancial a lo sistémico
Date: 10 October 2019
Venue: Old College, University of Edinburgh, as part of the Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival 2019
Speaker: David Trueba
Chair: Dr Jose Saval
Title: Music, Cinema & Literature
Date: 31 October 2017
Venue: Appleton Tower, University of Edinburgh
Speaker: Carlos Zanón
Title: Nuevos Horizontes en la Novela Negra del Siglo XXI
Other lectures and talks
Date: 25 August 2023
Venue: Baillie Gifford West Court
As part of: Edinburgh International Book Festival
In brief: A discussion between Hirondina Joshua, Lucía Asué Mbomío Rubio and Leïla Slimani on experiences across the continent of Africa.
French and Portuguese MA Honours student Hanno Jewell appeared at this event to interpret for Hirondina Joshua, and has translated an excerpt of her work which was read at the event. The event was chaired by human rights lawyer and Edinburgh University rector Debora Kayembe.
Date: 24 August 2023
Venue: The Hub
As part of: Edinburgh International Festival
In brief: A discussion as part of the International Festival by director Declan Donnellan and designer Nick Ormerod, co-founders of the international theatre company Cheek by Jowl who attended the EIF to present Pedro Calderón la Barca’s 'Life is a Dream'. The event was chaired by Beth Blakemore, PhD candidate in Hispanic Studies.
Date: 28 July 2023
Venue: 50 George Square
Panelists: Jorge Egusquiza (Cuban filmmaker), Gretel Alfonso (Cuban artist and Guillén Landrián’s widow), Dean Luis Reyes (Cuban critic and curator), Dr Nikolaus Perneczky (Queen Mary University of London), and Dr Jessica Gordon-Burroughs (University of Edinburgh)
Organiser: Jessica Gordon-Borroughs (University of Edinburgh)
In brief: A free, in-person discussion and panel on the legacy of Afro-Cuban film director Nicolás Guillén Landrián (1938-2003); and for a panel discussion on the restoration project, the filmmaker’s legacy, and the broader challenges of Afro-diasporic archives.
This event marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Afro-Cuban filmmaker Nicolás Guillén Landrián (1938-2003). It was followed by a screening at the Glasgow Film Theatre on 29 July 2023 of the two restored films, 'Inside Downtown' and 'The End is not the End'.
Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival
Dates: 1 October to 4 November 2022
Venue: Various cinemas in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Stirling
In brief: A mix of in-person screenings, discussions and other events at venues across Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling that showcased the best of Spanish and Latin American cinema. Highlights included unmissable work from highly acclaimed female directors such as Icíar Bollaín and Carla Simón; directional debuts from Javier Marco and Izaskun Arandia; the festival's Schools and Family strand's screening of 'Zip and Zap and the Captain's Island', based on the comics by José Escobar Saliente; and the award-winning The Golden Dream about a group of teenagers fleeing Guatemala to pursue the American dream.
This year's festival also paid special tribute to Bigas Luna by celebrating the Iberian Portraits trilogy and the 30 year anniversary of 'Jamón Jamón', which launched the careers of Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz. The film was shown alongside 'Golden Balls' and 'The Tit and the Moon', followed by a roundtable discussion featuring Professor Santiago Fouz Hernández (Durham University) on Luna's cultural legacy and importance in Spanish cinema.
Dates: 1 to 17 October 2021
Venue: In person (1 to 14 October) at Filmhouse and the French Institute in Edinburgh; Online (14 to 17 October) via INDY On Demand
In brief: A hybrid mix of in-person and online screenings of feature films, documentaries and short films, discussions and other events. Highlights from the eight edition of ESFF include a number of directorial debuts by Bernabé Rico, María Pérez, and Guillermo Benet, and the opening film The Hive (Mireia Gabilondo), drawing particular attention to Basque cinema alongside David López's Ane is Missing. The programme also featured Catalan and Latin-American cinema, an online short film showcase, and special screenings for students and young people. The festival paid tribute to Luis García Berlanga by celebrating his centenary and showcasing his film The Executioner from 1963, followed by a roundtable discussion on Berlanga’s cultural legacy.
Dates: 6th - 25th October 2020
Format: Film screenings, panel discussions and other events.
Among the 16 feature films and 11 short films were several works by women directors, a number of debuts, documentaries, screenings for children and young people, and classics. The programme also featured Cabezas parlantes - a series of monologues created by Nuria Benet during the COVID-19 lockdown - and discussions with industry experts including filmmakers Paula Ortiz, Juan J. Campanella, Polo Menárguez, and Camila Urrutia, and academics Professor Nuria Capdevila (University of Exeter) and Dr Santiago Bertrán (University of Oxford).
Dates: 4th - 12th October 2019
Venue: Various including The School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures, University of Edinburgh
Format: Film screenings, panel discussions and other events.
The sixth edition of ESFF opened with Goya Award-winning thriller The Candidate. Other Festival highlights included a fiesta of music and food to celebrate 100 years of Spanish at the University of Edinburgh, CartasVivas - a special event on voices from women’s history with Professor Nuria Capdevila-Arguelles (University of Exeter) and Spanish filmmaker Paula Ortiz, and the Cunninghame Graham Lecture 2019 with Spanish filmmaker David Trueba.
Dates: 4 to 20 October 2018
Introduced by its co-director, Jon Garaño, 2018’s opening film was ‘Giant’, winner of an astounding 10 Goya Awards and the first ever Basque film to be screened at Edinburgh Filmhouse.
Over the course of the Festival, 15 feature films and seven short films were screened across the three venues, with associated events including Spanish food, flamenco and language taster sessions at Potterow on 5th and 6th October, and a roundtable discussion, 'The Secret of Adapting a Thriller', in 50 George Square on 12th October.
The School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) was delighted that so many of the community were involved in the fifth ESFF, from Marian A. Aréchaga (Curator) and Patricia Rueda (Producer), who teach in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies (SPLAS), to students, graduates and staff from across our Film and SPLAS programmes whose roles ranged from welcoming guests, to co-ordinating the Festival's schools programme and introducing films.
The Secret of Adapting a Thriller
As part of the fifth Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival, author Lorenzo Silva presented the film 'Mist and the Maiden' (La niebla y la doncella), based on his novel.
5th - 31st October 2017
The School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) were delighted to see so many of our staff and students involved in the fourth ESFF, from Marian A. Aréchaga and Patricia Rueda, who teach in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, to Film Studies MSc students, Dumitrita Pacicovschi and Nina Halton.
It was Marian, who curates ESFF, that first identified a gap in Edinburgh’s film calendar back in 2013, with French and Italian Film Festivals already established in the city.
Seeking to cater for Edinburgh’s large and vibrant Hispanic community, and growing interest around Hispanic culture, she set out to establish a festival covering a wide range of films for everyone, from the ‘first-timers’ and ‘foodies’ to the ‘fanatics’!
The opening screening of the 2017’s Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival was ‘100 meters’, the 2016 film based on the incredible true story of a Spanish man with multiple sclerosis (MS) who challenged himself to finish an Iron-Man Challenge.
Screening in support of the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic at the University of Edinburgh, the film was introduced by Director, Marcel Barrena, who also took part in the Q&A session.
Marcel Barrena is the winner of several awards for his work, which includes his debut, ‘Cuatro Estaciones’, and the acclaimed documentary, ‘Little World’.
Highly acclaimed world-wide, ‘100 meters’ was nominated for 11 Gaudí Awards - including Best Picture - with wins for Best Supporting Actress (Alexandra Jiménez) and Best Supporting Actor (Karra Elejalde).
Programme and trailer
The 2017 Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival presented a total of 15 feature films and 13 short films.
Highlights included the Scottish premiere of 'Happy 140' (directed by Gracia Querejeta), and the coveted Goya prize winners 'Smoke and Mirrors' (directed by Alberto Rodríguez) and '1898, Our Last Men in the Philippines' (directed by Salvador Calvo).