Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A five-day Spanish Film Festival organised by the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy and the Spanish government as part of a cultural exchange programme between India and Spain began here on Tuesday.

As many as 10 films directed by eminent Spanish directors are being screened at the festival.

A delegation of Spanish film personalities including Carlos Saura, Ingrid Rubio, Maria Ruiz, Veronica Sanchez, Rosa Sarda, Bigas Luna, Julio Medem, Jorge Sanchez Cabezudo and Beatrice de la Gandara will be present in Thiruvananthapuram for the festival. They are accompanied by a team of journalists from Spain.

In a reciprocal gesture, the government of Spain is organising a Kerala Film Festival at Madrid and Valadolid in July this year.

Selected Malayalam films will be screened in the Spanish cities.

According to Chalachitra Academy chairman K.Mohanan, the festival is aimed at improving cross-cultural ties through better exposure to cinema and tourism in both countries.

Mr.Mohanan said moves were on to promote exchange programmes in music and dance, establish a Spanish language centre in Kerala, sell Malayalam films with Spanish sub-titles in Spain and promote tourism between Kerala and Spain.

The films to be screened at the Spanish Film Festival include ‘Alatriste’ directed by Agustin Diaz Yanez, ‘Chaotic Ana’ by Julio Medem, ‘Fados’ by Carlos Saura, ‘My Name is Juani’ by Bigas Luna, ‘The Night of the Sunflowers’ by Jorge Sanchez Cabezudo, ‘Salvador’ directed by Manuel Huerga, ‘Summer Dance’ by Antonio Banderas, ‘The Two Sides of the Bed’ by Emilio Martinez-Lazaro and ‘Vete de mi’ by Victor Garcia Leon.

‘Alatriste’ tells the story of a fierce soldier fighting for the Spanish cause in Flanders who returns home to fulfil the dying wish of a slain friend, only to find that life is not what it was in his decaying homeland. Chaotic Ana deals with a teenaged artist’s journey that unearths her past lives across centuries of remote myths.

‘Fados’, considered a masterpiece of Carlos Saura, tries to portray the Portuguese soul through its most emblematic musical genre. It explores the intricate relationship between the city of Lisbon and its music.