Viva Espana!

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_GP10363From the movies of Luis Buñuel to those of Pedro Almodóvar, the modern and contemporary cinema of Spain is celebrated worldwide. That long and proud tradition is centrestage at IFFI 2015, as a strong selection of movies commemorates 60 years of excellent diplomatic relations between India and Spain.
Alejandra Garcia Fuertes and Ignacio Ducasse Gutierrez are representing the Madrid government in at IFFI 2015. Ms. Fuertes believes the selection of movies at the festival will offer a wide perspective of contemporary Spanish cinema. The brand new ‘Isla Bonita’ (2015) will be followed by ‘Mar Adentro’ (2004), starring Javier Bardem, and the Almodovar hit, ‘La Mala Educacion’ (2004).
Gutierrez is confident that movies and cinematic ties have provided a better understanding between the cultures of the two nations. He said, “they help to build appreciation and knowledge.” The best example of this playing out between India and Spain, he said, was the hit Bollywood buddy movie, ‘Zindagi na Milegi Dobara’ which was largely shot in Spain with active sponsorship from that country’s tourism authorities. He said “movies are excellent marketing tools for the promotion of a destination. We actively participated with the producer of ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’, and since that film, the inflow of Indian visitors to Spain has almost doubled.”
Walking outside in bright sunlight in the centuries-old heritage precinct of the Maquinez Palace, both Gutierrez and Fuertes gave some hints that a similar process might play out in reverse. They both told The Peacock they felt immediately comfortable and at home in Goa, the sunshine state of the subcontinent. They recalled the Spanish roots of St. Francis Xavier, the patron of the Catholoc Church in Goa whose remains are maintained at the magnificent Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa, just upriver from Panjim. “We will be back,” they said.

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