Boasting a program of 36 of the best contemporary films from Spain and Latin America, the 14th Spanish Film Festival opens this week in true Spanish style.

Drinks, live music and Alex de la Iglesia’s darkly comedic The Last Circus (Silver Lion winner for Best Director at the 2010 Venice Film Festival) will open a festival running from May 12–22 at the Palace Como and Kino Cinemas.

This year’s program is divided into two categories. Cine Contemporaneo features the best of contemporary film to emerge from Spain and offers such intriguing fare as Anything You Want, a drama about a father who makes himself up to be his wife following her sudden death, and Fake Orgasm, a provocative doco about an erotic performance artist seeking the answer to why three quarters of women say they’re sexually dissatisfied.

The Cine en Español category features a selection of Spanish-language films originating in Latin America. A couple to look out for in this bracket are the Australian premiere of Venezuelan Oscar submission, Hermano (written and directed by VCA graduates Rohan Jones and Marcel Rasquin), and the Peruvian winner of the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at Cannes, October.

The Spanish Film Festival closes Sunday May 22 at Palace Como with the Guillermo Del Toro-produced horror/thriller Julia’s Eyes (Los Ojos de Julia).

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