Regional Research Network in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Cinema

The Regional Research Network in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Cinema is a group of specialist researchers from universities across the trans Pennine region who meet to share current research and discuss their expertise on Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American cinema.

Symposia organised by the network are open to the public, PhD students and other researchers and coincide with ¡Viva! Spanish and Latin American Festival, Manchester’s long-standing and much anticipated annual film festival that showcases productions from different Spanish regions and Latin American countries. The largest of its kind in the UK, ¡Viva! has developed into a multi-arts event bringing together experts and audiences to share ideas and demonstrates that the platform for celebrating Spanish and Latin American culture in the North West continues to grow.



Contemporary Spanish Screen Media and Responses to Crisis and Aftermath

Friday 31 March-Saturday 1 April 2017. Conference Room, Ellen Wilkinson Building

This conference will explore the diverse ways in which Spanish screen media has responded to the recent economic crisis.  Since 2008, the economic context of precariousness and its aftermath has brought about shifts in Spanish film production and distribution. These material conditions have resulted in a renewal in the aesthetics of Spanish screen media and in increasingly innovative and experimental forms. Moreover, a new social turn in Spanish cinema, television and new media has re-engaged with questions of social exclusion and belonging, thereby providing a crucial intervention into contemporary political discourses. In exploring a variety of the latest film and television practices and aesthetics in Spain, the papers during this two-day conference seek to open up exciting new approaches to the study of contemporary Spanish screen media.


Friday 31st March

11:00 am Coffee. Welcome

11:30 am Panel 1.

‘Style and politics: povera realism in A puerta fria (Xavi Puebla, 2012)’
Alberto Mira. Spanish and Film Studies, Oxford Brookes University.

‘Strength in numbers? Images of post-crisis precarity and resilience in
short films from Three Spanish Film Festivals’
Nicola Tomlinson. Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, University of Manchester Slides (Tomlinson)

‘The Spanish Financial Crisis: Culprits and Pardon in El desconocido
(Dani de la Torre, 2015)’
Marta F Suárez. Screen School, Liverpool John Moores University. Slides and notes (Suárez)

1:00 pm – Lunch

2:00 pm Panel 2

Crowd Control: Populism, Public Assembly and Institutional Crises in
Pere Portabella’s Informe general II (2015)
Bryan Cameron. Department of Spanish & Portuguese, University of Cambridge

‘A Somatic Poetics of Crisis Cinema’
Belén Vidal. Department of Film Studies, King’s College London Slides (Vidal)

‘From activist to alcaldessa; post-crisis and post-feminist readings of
Ada Colau’
Abigail Loxham. Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, University of Manchester. Slides (Loxham)

3:30 pm – Plenary Session (in English and Spanish). Juanma Carrillo
Filmmaker and videoartist, Madrid. Carrillo_(link to showreel)

4:30 pm. Break, coffee / tea.

5:00 pm Panel 3

Crisis and Public Policy and their Effects on Spanish Cinema
María Jesús Díaz González & Almudena González del Valle Brena
Facultade de Ciencias da Comunicación, Universidade da Coruña &
Universidad Pontificia Comillas. Slides (Diaz-Gonzalez_Gonzalez del Valle)

Cultures of Resistance and Insistence in Present-Day Spain
Federico López-Terra. College of Arts and Humanities, Swansea University Slides (López-Terra)

A Backup Plan for the Otro cine españolʼ: Counter-Hegemonic Curatorial
and Programming Policies in a Context of Crisis
Emilio Gómez-Barranco. School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent. Slides (Gómez Barranco)

Saturday 1st April

9 am – Panel 1

‘Bewildered: Female Characters and Performance in Tots volem el millor
per a ella (Mar Coll 2013) and María (y los demás) (Nely Reguera
Maria Adell Carmona. Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. Slides (Adell)

‘Sweet Home (Rafa Martínez 2014): Spanish Horror, Gender and the
Economic Crisis’
Irene Baena-Cuder. School of Art, Media and American Studies, University of East Anglia

‘Spanish Horror Co-Productions in the post-2000 Revival: New Partners
and Challenges’
Rui Oliveira. Mass Communication, Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences,
Northumbria University. Slides (Oliveira)

10:30 am – Plenary (In Spanish)

‘Cuerpo, mirada y genéro en el women cinema español post 2008’
Uta Felten. Chair, Gender in Romance Cultures Research Group, Universität

11:30 am – Break. Coffee / Tea

12:00 Panel 5

‘It’s 1977 Once More: Nostalgia and Grassroots Initiatives responding
to the Crisis’
Núria Triana Toribio. School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent  Slides (Triana Toribio)

‘“A Form of Last Resort: A Way of Doing Things when Conventional
Documentary Can’t Cope”: How Spanish Docudrama became Political’
Victoria Pastor-González. Regent’s Institute of Languages and Culture, Regent’s University London. Slides (Pastor-González)

‘Cinema of Crisis and the Documentary Impulse: the UPF Master in
Creative Documentary’
Enrique Fibla-Gutiérrez. Film and Moving Image Studies, Concordia University, Montreal. Slides (Fibla-Gutiérrez)

1:30 pm – Lunch

2:30 pm Panel 6

‘Rethinking the Spanish Transition’
Violeta Kovacsics. Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. Slides (Kovacsics)

‘Return to the Past: From El futuro (Luis Lópz Carrasco 2014) to Arrebato
(Iván Zulueta 1980) — Notes on the Crisis as a Side-Effect of the Democratic Transition’
Sergio Sánchez Martí. Audiovisual Communication, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona & ESCAC, Barcelona. Slides (Sȧnchez Marti)

3:30 pm – Transfer to HOME Arts Centre

4:30 pm Public Lecture: ‘Our Sentiments Exactly: Transition in Spain and Spanish
Rob Stone. Chair of European Film & Co-Director of B-Film: The Birmingham Centre
for Film Studies, Department of Film and Creative Writing, College of Arts and Law, University of Birmingham Stone Our Sentiments Exactly presentation

Organised by the Regional Research Network in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Cinemas coordinated by Carmen Herrero, Abigail Loxham, Chris Perriam,  Duncan Wheeler and Tom Whittaker. Supported by the British Academy.

Other documentation:

Contemporary Spanish Screen Media abstracts

Contemporary Spanish Screen Media programme



Latin American Cinemas, European Markets

Experts from the Regional Network will meet to discuss the Latin American film industry and its audience. With invited keynote speaker Sarah Barrow (University of Lincoln) and additional papers from Nicola Astudillo-Jones (University of Manchester), Tiago De Luca (University of Liverpool), Stephanie Dennison (University of Leeds), Niamh Thornton (University of Liverpool), Amit Thakkar (University of Lancaster), Ignacio Aguiló  (University of Manchester) and public lecture from Deborah Shaw (University of Portsmouth). The symposium will take place in Room 5.03 in the Business School at Manchester Metropolitan University (number 4 on the map below).


Latin American Cinemas, European Markets: Beyond Neo-colonialism? – Sarah Barrow (University of Lincoln)

Consuming Latin America: The ¡Viva! Film Festival and Imagined Cosmopolitan Communities – Nicola Astudillo-Jones (University of Manchester)

Teaching Latin American Cinemas and Global Markets – Stephanie Dennison (University of Leeds)

National Traumatic Flashback: Pablo Larraín’s Post Mortem – Amit Thakker (University of Lancaster)

Carefully Curated Content or Tackling the Bloat: Accessing Latin American Cinema on Netflix, MUBI and Curzon Home Cinema – Niamh Thornton (University of Liverpool) 

Twitter Storify


Iberian and Latin American Cinemas in Dialogue 

A Peers Symposium held at the University of Liverpool on Friday 6 November 2015. With keynote speaker, Professor Rob Stone (University of Birmingham) and additional papers from Dr. Jo Evans (University College London), Dr. Abigail Loxham (University of Manchester), Dr. Dolores Tierney (University of Sussex), Dr. Maria do Carmo Piçarra (University of Reading) and Dr. Tatiana Heise (University of Glasgow). A report on the Peer Symposium can be viewed here.

New Contexts for Spanish Cinema

The Regional Research Network inaugural symposium was held on Saturday 7 May 2015. An exploration of the rapidly changing contexts for Spanish cinema with presentations from Andy Willis (University of Salford) Tom Whittaker (University of Liverpool) Dr. Abigail Loxham (University of Manchester) Dr. Carmen Herrero (Manchester Metropolitan University)  and Duncan Wheeler (University of Leeds). The symposium coincided with ¡Viva! New Spanish Cinema Weekender and included a public lecture from Professor Ann Davies (University of Stirling) on ‘Lasa eta Zabala: Old Conflicts and New Basque Cinema’.

7 November speakers’ key points

This first Manchester event gave us the opportunity to see some of the new network’s members present ongoing research in a relaxed context where it was particularly easy to watch out for, and comment on, different styles of presentation and projection. It also allowed people to pitch their personal research, over coffee or lunch, to others that perhaps they had never met before. For myself, it was great to recognise a wider network of research into Spanish Cinema across some of the Northern universities and an opportunity worth grabbing — even on a Saturday usually given over to other friends and commitments!

Dilys Jones, Researcher (University of Manchester)