If you’re a massive film buff, there are plenty of film festivals in Barcelona to keep you occupied throughout the year. Here’s a small guide to some of the main festivals.
27 April – 7 May
The D’A Film Festival is all about showcasing the best contemporary movies from across the globe. Be it local productions or international film makers, at the D’A Film Festival you’ll see the best of current independent and art-house films. This year, there is a great selection of films including Free Fire, 20th Century Women, The Woman Who Left, Porto and much more (check out the programme here). You can buy tickets separately or get 5 tickets for €30 or 10 for €50. Venues include Aribau Club, CCCB and Filmoteca de Catalunya.
6 – 11 June
This year will be the 25th edition of the Barcelona International Women’s Film Festival as it continues to promote cinema produced by women film-makers from around the world. The festival focuses on documentary and experimental films with a range of newcomers and well-known directors, and mainly takes place at the Filmoteca de Catalunya.
8 – 18 June
Fire!! was the first LGBT film festival in Spain and was started in 1995 by El Casal Lambda, a non-profit centre aimed at promoting the social normalisation of homosexuality. Freedom, equality and diversity are the festival’s focus showing feature films, short films and documentaries, but always engaging LGBT topics. Venues include the French Institute, Cinemes Girona and Raval Verd.
Summer is the time for watching films in the open air in Barcelona. Think enjoying a picnic and having a drink whilst watching some great films on the beach. And did I mention it’s free? Films are shown on Thursdays at Sant Sebastià beach in Barceloneta, and has expanded to include other beaches at the weekend such as l’Estació beach in Badalona, El Prat beach and Varador beach in Mataró. A wide range of international independent films are shown and all in their original version.
30 June – 4 August 2017
Another opportunity to enjoy a film outside on a summer’s night. Sala Montjuic is one of the most popular events of the summer, projecting classic and popular films onto a huge screen at Monjuic castle (check out the programme here). Films are shown three times a week over five weeks. Tickets are around €6 and if you want a deck chair it’s €3. I’d recommend taking a cushion or two so you can get nice and comfy on the lawn. Also take a jumper as it can get a bit chilly up on Montjuic at night. There are shuttle buses from Plaza España, but get there early as usually massive queues form despite the buses being quite frequent.
5 – 15 October
Each October Sitges is renowned for hosting the number one film festival dedicated to the fantasy and horror genre. This small and usually quiet beach town gets inundated with film buffs eager to see one of the hundreds of films on offer. Independent as well as popular films are shown with legendary movie stars and directors known to visit the festival. This year will be the 50th Anniversary so it’s sure to be a good one! If you’re coming for the day, make sure you make a note of the last trains and buses. Some films run quite late into the night so unfortunately it may mean you have to leave a film early.
The In-Edit festival is a personal favourite of mine as I’m a massive fan of music and music documentaries. The festival also takes place in other cities including Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Germany and Greece. But in October its Barcelona’s turn where you can see documentaries on a variety of music genres and artists from all over the world. From the birth of Latin boogaloo, song writing legends, house music in Islamic Iran, to the Catalan rumba. You can usually buy a ticket to see 5 films at around €30 or so, and then pick and choose which ones you’d like to see over the week. Plus some of the more popular documentaries are shown twice so you don’t need to worry about missing out. There are also live music events happening throughout the festival.
11 – 26 November
For any parent looking for something to keep the kids occupied in November, check out My First Festival. Aimed at children between 2 to 12 years old, My First Festival showcases children’s film that you might not otherwise be able to see as well as a few classics. The festival takes place all over Barcelona at the CCCB, Verdi cinema, Filmoteca de Catalunya and Cinemes Girona amongst other venues. There are also fun workshops including stop motion animation.
13 – 19 November
Now in its 24th year, the Independent Film Festival L’Alternativa shows, you guessed it, independent films from across the world. It offers truly unique and creative films far away from the commercial mainstream films. Full length and short films are shown in the CCCB, as well as different events, talks and performances that take place in the CCCB Hall.
For one week in November Casa Asia highlights the best of Asian cinema, showing films from a huge variety of countries. Last year the festival took place in Cinemes Girona and CaixaForum. Tickets cost around €4 – 6, or you can get a pass for several sessions e.g. 4 sessions for €20.
Are you a massive film buff? What’s your favourite film festival in Barcelona? Let me know and comment below! I’d love to hear your suggestions!