Hola amigos y bienvenidos

As patron I am thrilled to welcome you to the 16th year of the Spanish Film Festival. Over the course of time I have been patron it has been so exciting to see the festival grow from strength to strength with Palace Cinemas. In 2013 I am particularly thrilled that the festival has expanded to take in Palace locations in Canberra and Byron Bay, along with Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide. Now so many more people will be able to experience the excellence of contemporary Spanish-language films!

There are so many similarities between Spain and Australia from our shared love of sunshine, relaxed attitude and love of celebration – it just seems sympatico and meant to be that as a proud Spaniard I find myself representing the festival and I am so proud to be a small part of sharing Spanish culture abroad.

Film as an art form is such a great medium for people to access – it is naturally democratic and gives us an opportunity to step outside our everyday lives and into the lives of the wonderful characters on screen. I hope you will enjoy the exceptional and varied program that is on offer this year from political drama to comedy, romance, thriller and much more. And of course it would not be a Spanish Film Festival without a healthy dose of fiestas and other special events - I encourage you to join us and celebrate Spanish culture!

Disfruten el festival!

Rafael Bonachela
Festival Patron
Artistic Director, Sydney Dance Company.