The ¡Viva! Spanish and Latin American Festival is set to return to Manchester’s Home for 18 days of films and events in April.
The line-up for the 22nd cross-artform festival includes newly commissioned theatre productions, a showcase of work by Cuba’s most prominent playwright, 20 films from ten countries, including four UK premieres and sneak peeks of Spanish and Latin American films set to hit the big screen across the country later this year.
For the first time ever, ¡Viva! will include an energetic theatre programme presenting new commissions alongside existing work and a special residency and showcase by Cuban playwright Abel González Melo.
Award-winning theatre company Little Soldier Productions will feature Derailed, the live recording of a concept album about social change. Using elements of physical theatre, storytelling, intimate confession and live music, this new commission is about politics and rock & roll.
ATRESBANDES are a young theatre company from Barcelona that has established a reputation for sharp, perceptive work. ¡Viva! 2016 will host the world premiere of its latest performance ALL IN. Inspired by going “all in” at poker where the player risks everything, ALL IN takes a wild ride through vastly different, seemingly unconnected worlds. Everyday situations take unexpected turns into the absurd and poignant, boundaries are tested, meals ruined, a dead guest goes to a nightclub and a bearded lady bares her soul.
Emma Frankland, Keir Cooper and Ultimo Comboio will showcase Don Quijote, a playful exploration of Cervantes’ novel, combining incredible visual imagery, live music and dance, with secret guest performers in the title role each evening.
Cuba Now will welcome leading contemporary playwright Abel González Melo to the festival. Internationally renowned González Melo writes about the underbelly of Cuban society, its harsh realities and relationships. His first success came with award-winning play Chamaco, which will see its UK premiere, a scratch performance, as part of ¡Viva! (directed by HOME’s Artistic Director: Theatre, Walter Meierjohann; translated by William Gregory). HOME will also present a reading of González Melo’s newly commissioned Weathered – the two pieces, presented in English language, span ten years of the struggles and hopes of Cuban society.
This year, the festival will showcase two fascinating documentaries and 18 feature films, in four different languages – Castilian, Catalan, Basque and Mayan language Kaqchikel – and hailing from ten different countries: Spain, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. The 2016 film programme includes no less than four UK premieres (Mi Gran Noche, Amama, Juntos y revueltos and L’adopció), plus three sneak previews of Spanish and Latin American films to make their UK debut on cinema screens later this year (El Abrazo de la serpiente, El Clan and Truman).
Delving into the archives, the programme will also present four recent Argentinian classics featuring prolific actor Ricardo Darín, in honour of his new film Truman, and a tribute to local heroine Leonora Carrington, a Lancashire-born surrealist artist who made her home in Mexico, with an introduced screening of the 1973 risqué horror film The Mansion of Madness.
Audiences will be able to enjoy the return of a collection of filmmaker Q&As, introduced screenings, a post-screening discussion, a One Hour Intro, and the Café Cervantes language learners’ event. In addition, the festival will host a Baby Friendly screening on Thu 21 April, and its first ever HOME-commissioned audio description for blind or partially sighted customers to accompany the screening of documentary Gabor.
In 2015, Cornerhouse closed its doors for the final time, bidding farewell to the venue in truly spectacular style with a celebratory, sold-out performance by Panamanian artist Humberto Vélez, The Storming. For ¡Viva! 2016, HOME will stage The Storming Reunion, with a Latin party for everyone on Sat 23 April from 17.45.
Visual art will also present the launch of online experimental moving image platform Apología /Antología, which contains 250 freely accessible works of experimental moving image by Spanish artists and film makers.