The Festival explores Ana Lily Amirpour’s world


• The British female director of Iranian origin will present four feature films and six short films during her stay at the film festival, which has programmed a retrospective of her work in its twenty-third edition

• Jesús Palacios, programmer of ‘The Freakiest Night’, will moderate the meetings that the actress and producer will have with the audience attending the screenings held at Cine Yelmo Las Arenas

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Tuesday, April 16, 2024. Ana Lily Amirpour’s world is “subtly humanist, ironic, ambiguous and rich in nuances, full of beautiful and cursed antiheroes and antiheroines, gritty violence, cruel and innocent children, dysfunctional families united by a literally all-consuming love and, most of all, a profound empathy for outcasts, freaks, misfits, fish out of water and those who are willingly antisocial.” This is how the freakiest soul of the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival, Jesús Palacios, describes her work in the text of the catalog, as a passionate plea of a universe to be discovered during the next film event that will start on April 19.

In its 23rd edition, the LPGCIFF is dedicating a retrospective to the work of this Iranian-born filmmaker, screenwriter, producer and actress. Born in the UK but based in the US, Amirpour’s cinema is linked to fantasy and horror film events, especially festivals like Sitges, which she opened in 2021, becoming the first woman to do so in its 50-plus-year history. Three years later, she will visit Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where she will present four feature films and six shorts, some of them as Spanish premieres.

The fans of the Festival will be able to enjoy several talks with the filmmaker. Jesús Palacios, programmer of ‘The Freakiest Night’ and a renowned critic and writer on the fantastic and horror genre, will be in charge of moderating these meetings, which will provide a closer look at the director’s career.

Under the title “Ana Lily Amirpour – But Call Me Lily”, the retrospective will begin with the screening of the author’s debut feature: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (USA, 2014, 101 min.). In this horror western set in an abandoned and gloomy Iranian town filled with all sorts of dark personalities, a lonely vampire stalks its darkest inhabitants while an unconventional love and blood story unfolds between a boy and a girl. The film earned her over twenty nominations and awards at different festivals such as Sitges, where Amirpour won the Citizen Kane Award for Best New Director, the Carnet Jove Jury Award and a Special Mention.

The Festival also recovers The Bad Batch (USA, 2016, 118 min.). Suki Waterhouse, Keanu Reeves, Jason Mamoa or Jim Carrey are some of the familiar cast members of this work that tells the story of a young woman who is captured by a gang of cannibals. The film received the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival where it was nominated for the Golden Lion for Best Film, too.

Another young woman with mysterious powers who escapes from a psychiatric hospital in New Orleans is the main character in Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon (USA, 2021, 106 min.). Starring Jeon Jong-seo and Kate Hudson, the feature, screening in just a few days at Cine Yelmo Las Arenas, was nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, where it received several awards such as the Special Mention of the Soundtrack Stars Award and the Nave d’Argento for Best OTP. It also won Best Original Music in the Official Fantastic Competition Section of the Sitges Festival.

Finally, the LPGCIFF will offer the screening of Cabinet of Curiosities: The Outside (USA, Mexico, 2022, 64 min.), too. This is the fourth episode of the tv series produced by Guillermo del Toro in which Stacey, an introverted woman anxious to fit in at work, decides to use a lotion that ends up causing a disturbing reaction.

The Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival, organized by the Culture area of the Gran-Canarian capital’s City Council through Promoción de la Ciudad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, has received public assistance by the ICAA [Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts], the program for the internationalization of Spanish culture, PICE Visitantes, of Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), from the Consejería de Universidades, Ciencia e Innovación y Cultura del Gobierno de Canarias, as well as public support from Promotur Turismo Islas Canarias.

Among the Festival’s collaborators we may find Fundación Auditorio Teatro, Cines Yelmo, Las Arenas Shopping Center and Hotel Cristina by Tigotan, places which also function as venues or hold activities of the film event; as well as other institutions and companies such as Sagulpa, Hospitales San Roque, Jameson, Ikigai, Cientouno Group, el Centro de Cultura Audiovisual de Gran Canaria, Audiovisuales Canarias, Music Library &SFX, Blackout Films and International Bach Festival. Likewise, its market, MECAS, has been possible thanks to the sponsorship of the Gran Canaria Film Commission-Sociedad de Promoción Económica de Gran Canaria and the support of Canary Islands Film and Proexca.

The University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the Mid Atlantic University, the CIFP Felo Monzón Grau-Bassas, the Canary Islands Film Institute, the Escuela Oficial de Idiomas, Digital 104, the Audiovisual Cluster of the Canary Islands, CIMA Asociación de Mujeres Cineastas y de Medios Audiovisuales, the Cartagena International Film Festival, the Gijón International Film Festival, the Barcelona Independent Film Festival and Very Good Script are also collaborators.

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