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The 26th edition of FESTROIA: TROIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL will be held from June 4 to 13 in the beautiful coastal resort town of Setubal, Portugal. The Festival, the country's oldest and most prestigious, is known as the "Cannes of Portugal" and showcases international talents from around the world, with competition sections, special events and a program  of new works from emerging North American independent filmmakers from the U.S.A.


A Spanish Film Weekend

 The Devil's BackboneThe Devil's Backbone

Sunday, June 3-------Audiences and visitors to the FESTROIA: Festival Internacional de Cinema have been treated to a Spanish film weekend. Not only did the Festival open on Friday evening with the documentary film INVISIBLES followed by the historical epic ALATRISTE, there have been celebrations of Spanish cinema all weekend long. On Saturday, the Argentine/Spanish co-production EL CAMINO DE SAN DIEGO (The Road To San Diego, 2006), by director Carlos Sorin, screened to great audience acclaim at the Forum Luisa Todi, the 1000-seat flagship theater of the Festival. The film, a road movie about an unemployed father who is obsessed with the soccer star Diego Maradona and travels to a Buenos Aires hospital to bring his idol a tree root he has sculpted into the soccer star's likeness. The film won the Special Jury Prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Also screening on Saturday night was the film which first put Mexican director Guillermo del Toro on the map (a director who works mostly in Spain). EL ESPINAZO DEL DIABLO (The Devil's Backbone, 2001) is a metaphysical thriller set during the day following the Spanish Civil War, with a young boy who lets his imagination run wild at an austere orphanage. The film won several festival and critics awards and echoed the themes that del Toro explored in last year's Oscar-winner PAN'S LABYRINTH.

Saturday night was not only for viewing films. The Spanish Consulate in Lisbon threw an elaborate cocktail party for Festival filmmakers and guests, which was a lively affair with great food and drinks. At the ceremony, Festival Director Fernanda Silva presented the Crystal Dolphin Award to the head of the Spanish Film Institute, which is co-presenting the Tribute To Spain program here. Revelers continued down the street to Heaven, Setubal's only gay bar, for a ribald evening of Spanish drag queen irreverent and fun end to a Spanish twist of an evening.

Spanish films and co-productions also resonated in Sunday's program. LA LENGUA DAS MARIPOSAS (Butterfly Tongues, 1999) by director Jose Luis Cuerdo was an international arthouse hit, winning awards at film festivals and a Best Screenplay Goya Award (the Spanish Oscar). MADRIGAL, a Cuban/Spanish co-production by Fernando Perez, brings an unusual twist to a relationship drama, the first half set in Havana in 2005, and the second half set in some undetermined location 20 years later. Spanish films from such masters as Carlos Saura and Alejandro Almenabar are set for later this week, along with a host of films by emerging talents on the vibrant Spanish film scene.

Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Online Dailies Editor

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Sandy Mandelberger
(International Media Resources)

United States

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