Explota explota (Spain 2020) is the opening film of ¡Viva! 28

The full ¡Viva! film festival experience returns to HOME, Manchester at its usual time of the year after the interruptions of the last two years. The 2022 festival begins this coming Friday 18th March with Explota explota, a film featuring the songs of the 1970s superstar Raffaella Carrà,  and continues through to Thursday April 7th. A familiar programme structure sees two features each weekday and an extended programme at the weekends. A festival calendar is available here. This year’s programme features 19 new features from Spain and Latin America plus two classic archive films from Luis García Berlanga. These are later works by Berlanga, La Vaquilla (The Heifer, 1985) and Patrimonio nacional (National Heritage, 1981), both comedies.

A shot from Maixabel (Spain 2021)

A highlight of the programme will be the visit of Icíar Bollaín, who will be present for a Q&A following the screening of her 2021 film Maixabel. This film explores the potential for ‘repentance and reconciliation’ when a woman agrees to meet one of the ETA group members who killed her husband, a Basque politician eleven years earlier. ‘Live’ Q&As were not possible for the last festivals and it’s great to see them returning. The twenty one festival films are available across fifty screenings with all films being screened at least twice. Some features will be accompanied by short films. There are also other ‘added value’ elements such as film introductions and guest appearances plus the annual Café Cervantes opportunity to chat about films in Spanish and a ‘Language Lab’ session for adult students.

This year’s films come from Spain, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Mexico. Eleven of the films are from début directors and there is a group of six ‘coming-of-age’ stories so there is a ‘youthful’ feel to the festival overall.

It can’t have been easy trying to develop a festival programme as the COVID regulations in different territories have chopped and changed over the last two years but ¡Viva! is in the safe hands of Rachel Hayward, Head of Film, Jessie Gibbs, ¡Viva! Festival Coordinator, and Andy Willis, Professor of Film Studies at the University of Salford and HOME’s Senior Visiting Curator: Film. We hope to feature at least one report from the festival this year as we make our cautious re-entry into cinemas. But if you are in Manchester or can visit easily, we recommend diving in. All the details of screenings and events are on the HOME website.